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Roman Horak scores in overtime to lift Abbotsford Heat past Rockford IceHogs

Sunday, 03.24.2013 / 1:05 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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Roman Horak scores in overtime to lift Abbotsford Heat past Rockford IceHogs

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Roman Horak scored at 2:17 of overtime to lift the Abbotsford Heat to a 4-3 win against the Rockford IceHogs in American Hockey League action Saturday.

Horak was sent in alone by Sven Baertschi, who drew to defenders to himself, and beat Rockford goaltender Henrik Karlsson five-hole for his 15th goal and first in 24 games.

Baertschi also had a goal for the Heat that looked to be the winning goal until the visiting IceHogs tied the game with 9.4 seconds to play.

Baertschi took a centring feed from Max Reinhart with less than five minutes to go in regulation, and put the Heat up after Rockford erased a two-goal deficit in the third.

However, Rockford got a power play in the final minute and sent the game to overtime.

Brandon Pirri found Rostislav Olesz in the high slot and he beat Heat goalie Danny Taylor with a one-timer that found the top right corner.

The goal gives Olesz two goals and an assist in his first two games of the season with Rockford.

Ben Walter and Tyler Ruegsegger also scored for Abbotsford (30-28-9), who moved into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference, though they have fewer games remaining than all the teams they are chasing for the final playoff spots.

Taylor made 39 saves, while Karlsson stopped 21 shots in the loss, snapping a personal five-game winning streak.

Pirri recorded a goal and two assists for Rockford (33-28-3), while Ben Smith also goal and an assist.

After a scoreless first period, Abbotsford finally opened the scoring at 11:49 of the second. Ben Street came down the right wing and threw the puck on net. Karlsson made the initial stop but the puck bounced right to Walter in front, who scored for the Heat.

The Heat doubled their lead less than two minutes before the second intermission. Ruegsegger intercepted a pass from Rockford defenceman Klas Dahlbeck in the slot and wired a shot past Karlsson, giving him eight goals on the campaign.

The IceHogs got on the board with a power-play marker 4:27 into the third. After Jeremy Morin was robbed by Taylor the puck squirted free to Pirri at the side of the net where the Toronto native scored his 19th goal of the season.

The visitors tied it at 8:02 on Smith's persistent effort. His initial shot was blocked by Heat defender Mike Matczak but Smith chipped the rebound over Taylor, who was scrambling to grab the loose puck.

Then Baertschi and Olesz swapped goals, sending the game to overtime.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres