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Heat edged by Wolves in a shootout

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CHICAGO, IL -- The Abbotsford Heat earned a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Chicago Wolves (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) on Wednesday night at the Allstate Arena.

The Heat fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits in the game but were defeated in the shootout as three Chicago shooters scored. Mitch Wahl scored his first AHL goal of the season in his fourth appearance with the Heat, while Joe Piskula added two assists, and Leland Irving made 36 saves.

The Wolves opened the scoring on the power play at 2:37 of the second period on on a goal by Bill Sweatt. Darren Haydar and Brad Hunt recorded assists on the goal. Chicago extended their lead to two just 3:20 later, when Sweatt set-up Haydar on a 2-on-1 rush. Recently assigned Andrew Ebbett also drew an assist on the play.

The Heat cut the Wolves’ lead to 2-1 at the 18:40 mark of the second period, as Wahl scored his first AHL goal of the season in his fourth game with the Heat. The goal was assisted by Akim Aliu. The Wolves led 2-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Darren Haydar scored his second of the night just 28 seconds into the third period, but Brett Carson brought the Heat back within a goal at 3:28 of the third period with his sixth of the season. Krys Kolanos’ 13th goal of the season tied the game with just 2:48 remaining. The goal was assisted by Piskula for his second assist of the game.

After five minutes of scoreless four-on-four overtime, the game went to a shootout for Abbotsford’s tenth time this season. Carter Bancks opened with a goal but the Wolves scored on each of their first three attempts to earn the extra point. The Heat have now won five of ten games that have gone to the shootout.

Irving made his first start since being assigned by the Calgary Flames on Saturday, making 36 saves on 39 shots. Irving’s last start for the Heat was on January 11th prior to Calgary Flames training camp. The Wolves outshot the Heat by a 39-35 margin in the game.

The Heat power play did not score on two power play opportunities, while the penalty kill erased two-of-three Wolves man-advantages.

The Heat will return home this Friday and Saturday to face the Charlotte Checkers (AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes). Friday night is Country Night at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre! The event will feature hotdogs for a dollar and beer for two dollars for the team’s fourth Loonie, Toonie, Dog ‘N Brew Night. Saturday night will feature a ceremonial puck-drop from Canadian war hero Master Corporal (retired) Paul Franklin, co-founder of the Heroes Hockey Challenge. Both games will start at 7:00 PM PST!

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