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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

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie