ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat lost to the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) 3-1 on Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC). The Heat remain in second place in the West Division with a 34-22-5-2 record and 75 points.
The Comets played a fantastic road game as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead after forty minutes and did not look back. Utica captain Colin Stuart led the way offensively with two goals, while in net; Joacim Eriksson was incredible earning first star honours.
The two teams remained scoreless in the first period, as Abbotsford outshot Utica 10-8. The Heat had four chances on the man advantage in the opening 20 minutes, but could not capitalize.
A scoreless tie was broken in the second period, as Utica opened up a 2-0 lead on goals from Brandon DeFazio at 8:47 and Stuart at the 15:25 mark.
The Comets struck early in the third period at 3:55, courtesy of Stuart, who scored his second of the game to make it 3-0. The Heat replied with Ben Street scoring on a 5-on-3 power play, assisted by Corey Locke and Derek Smith at 12:40, but that’s as close as they would come.
The Heat finished the night going one out of six on the power play, and killed off two Comets power play attempts.
In goal, Eriksson stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced in a winning effort. Olivier Roy was charged the loss stopping 31 of 34 shots.
The Heat will now embark on a six game road trip that kicks off in Hamilton on Wednesday March 19th against the Bulldogs. The next Heat home game is against the Rockford IceHogs on Friday, April 4th at 7:00 pm at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. For tickets, please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.