OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- The Abbotsford Heat lost 4-3 to the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) on Friday night at the Cox Convention Centre.
It was the first of eight meetings on the season, and the story of the game was the Barons’ top line of Linus Omark, Anton Lander, and Tyler Pitlick combining for nine points on the night. Reto Berra made his fifth straight start in goal for the Heat, but was pulled in the second period.
The Barons opened the scoring at the 4:02 mark of the first period with a goal from Omark. Omark scored his second of the game on the power play with 3:30 remaining in the period to make it 2-0 for the Barons.
The Barons continued to pour it on in the second period with Derek Nesbitt’s power play goal at 1:02 of the second period to make it 3-0. At 4:32, the Barons made it a 4-0 game on a goal from Lander, and Laurent Brossoit entered the game in relief of Berra. The goaltending change seemed to spark the Heat as Ben Hanowski scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season at 7:45 of the second period, assisted by Markus Granlund.
The Heat saved their best period for last, as Chad Billins scored a power play goal 42 seconds into the third period, assisted by Roman Horak and Max Reinhart. Under seven minutes later, Brett Olson scored his first goal of the season, from Carter Bancks and Paul Byron, to make it a 4-3 game. The Heat were given a late power play, but could not score on Barons goalie Richard Bachman and the game ended 4-3. The Heat outshot the Barons 22-4 in the third period.
The Heat finished the game one for three on the power play and killed off one of three penalties.
Berra took the loss for the Heat stopping 15 of 19 shots, while Brossoit stopped all nine shots he faced in relief. Bachman picked up the win and stopped 41 of 44 shots for Oklahoma City.
The Heat will play the Barons again tomorrow, October 19th, followed by a visit to the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) on October 20th. The next Heat home games are Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th against the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche). Friday, October 25th is Heat magnetic schedule giveaway night, with the first 2,500 fans getting a free Abbotsford Heat magnetic schedule. Lake Erie also features three players from the Greater Vancouver area: Stefan Elliott (North Vancouver), David van der Gulik (Abbotsford), and Mark Oliver (Burnaby). To purchase tickets call 1-877-452-HEAT.