CLEVELAND, OH -- The Abbotsford Heat lost 4-1 to the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) in the first of three road games in three days and the first of a two game set in Cleveland.
The Heat scored the game’s opening goal, but surrendered a short-handed goal in the second period and a power play goal and two even strength goals in the third to drop their second straight game. The win allowed the Monsters to pass the Heat for the North Division lead with 52 points.
Quintin Laing scored the first goal of the game for the Heat with just 13.3 seconds remaining in the first period. Laing’s fifth goal of the season was assisted by Greg Nemisz and Brett Carson. Carson now has four points in his first five games with the Heat this season.
After a Monsters short-handed goal tied the game at 1-1 at 7:51 of the second period, the game was tied at one going into the second intermission.
The Monsters converted on a fortuitous bounce of the puck in the first minute of the third period to take the lead. A dump-in from neutral ice bounced off the end wall into the slot and Brad Malone scored on the empty net. Malone's goal stood as the game-winner.
The Monsters struck twice more in the third period to earn their first regulation win in the last two seasons against the Heat.
Danny Taylor started for the sixth time in the Heat’s last eight games and made 33 saves on 36 shots in 43:01 of play. Barry Brust replaced Taylor in the third period and stopped all but one of eight shots in 16:59 of action. The Heat were outshot 44-24 in the game.
The Heat power play finished without a goal on six opportunities, while the penalty kill erased six of seven Lake Erie power plays.
The Heat will face the Monsters again tomorrow at 4:30 PM PST before concluding their three-game trip on Saturday in Grand Rapids. The next home game for the Heat will be the morning game on February 5th, which will be played in front of over 5,000 students from the Fraser Valley. Puck drop on the annual ‘school day game’ is set for 10:30 AM PST.