ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat lost to the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings) 7-2 on Saturday night at the Abbotsford Centre. The Heat trail the best-of-five series 2-0.
The defending Calder Cup champions proved to be too much for the Heat, as the Griffins scored six unanswered goals and outshot the Heat through 60:00. Four Griffins players had multi-point efforts on the evening.
The Heat jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 7:40 of the first period, with a goal by Emile Poirier assisted by Max Reinhart and Markus Granlund. Shortly after, the Griffins tied it up on a goal by Trevor Parkes at 10:13. A Reinhart power play goal at 15:32 restored the Heat lead, but it was short lived as Andrej Nestrasil of the Griffins tied it back up 35 seconds later. The Griffins then captured a 3-2 lead before the end of the period on a shorthanded goal by Corey Emmerton.
The Griffins extended their lead to two on a Jeff Hoggan tally at 2:02 of the second period. Andrej Nestrasil’s second goal of the night then made it 5-2 for the Griffins, it also ended Heat goaltender Joni Ortio’s night as backup Doug Carr entered the game in relief.
The Griffins struck again in the third period, with a power play goal by Ryan Sproul at 6:42. Teemu Pulkkinen added another power play goal at 12:09, making it a 7-2 final for the Griffins.
The Heat finished the game with one goal on three power play attempts and killed off eight of ten Griffins man advantages.
Ortio made 25 saves on 30 shots and was charged with the loss. In relief, Carr stopped 13 of the 16 shots he faced. Petr Mrazek earned his second straight win in the series turning aside 15 of 17 shots.
The Heat continue their first round series of the Calder Cup Playoffs in a do-or-die game number three on Wednesday, April 30th in Grand Rapids. Puck drops at 5:00 PM MST.