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2014 NHL Draft

Knight with hat trick, Baertschi five points as Heat double up IceHogs 6-3

Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 1:05 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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Knight with hat trick, Baertschi five points as Heat double up IceHogs 6-3

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Corban Knight snapped a 10-game goalless drought with a hat trick as the Abbotsford Heat doubled up the visiting Rockford IceHogs 6-3 on Friday in American Hockey League action.

The 23-year-old rookie scored back-to-back goals in the first period, first tipping a shot from Max Reinhart over goaltender Jason LaBarbera's left shoulder to give Abbotsford a 2-1 edge on the power play at 16:40.

Knight's second goal came just over a minute later at 18:04 as Tim Miller took advantage of a Rockford turnover in the IceHogs zone and fed the puck across the crease to Knight, who buried it short side.

Miller collected a goal and two assists for Abbotsford (37-25-7) and Sven Baertschi had two goals and three assists.

Joni Ortio stopped 45 shots in the win for the Heat.

Mark McNeill and Alex Broadhurst each had a goal and an assist for the IceHogs (33-26-9).

LaBarbera allowed four goals on 12 shots in the loss, while Kent Simpson stopped five shots in a relief effort for Rockford.

McNeill opened the scoring at 3:05 of the first as he powered around Abbotsford's Zach Davies, cut to the crease and roofed it over Ortio's glove. Broadhurst and Klas Dahlbeck picked up assists.

At 11:25 of the first, Miller picked up Heat captain Dean Arsene's point shot and buried the rebound into an open net to tie the game.

Less than a minute into the second period, Alex Broadhurst received a Terry Broadhurst pass from behind the net and quickly put it past the outstretched left pad of Ortio.

At 7:28 of the second, Knight scored his hat trick goal by flipping the puck on net from behind the goal line, squeaking it just between the goal post and LaBarbera's left shoulder.

Baertschi added to Abbotsford's lead by feeding an intended pass through the crease that deflected off of a Rockford defender at 13:49 of the second.

The IceHogs responded on the power play at 16:21 as Brian Connelly fed Adam Clendening at the point, who then fired it through traffic to cut Abbotsford's lead to 5-3.

Baertschi added an empty-net goal from centre ice with 0:41 remaining in the game.

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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