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Heat grab division lead with a win over Lake Erie

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CLEVELAND, OH -- The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) 4-1 to split back-to-back games in Cleveland and snap a two game losing streak.

Ben Street, Max Reinhart, and Brady Lamb each had a multipoint night for the Heat. Danny Taylor made 23 saves and added an assist to help the Heat move a point ahead of the Monsters for top spot in the North Division. The Heat have earned nine of a possible 12 points against the Monsters this season.

The Heat took a 1-0 lead just 4:37 into the game with a five-on-three power play goal from Street. Street’s tenth of the season came just seven seconds into a two-man advantage, and was assisted by Reinhart and Brett Carson. Abbotsford has opened the scoring in each of the last eight games, and led the game 1-0 through 20 minutes of play.

The Heat extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period on Tyler Ruegsegger’s fifth goal of the season. Lamb and Street drew assists on the even strength goal to give the Heat a 2-0 lead after two periods.

Paul Byron made it 3-0 for the Heat with his sixth goal of the season at 2:06 of the third period. Reinhart and Lamb earned assists on the goal, giving Lamb his first multi-point game as a professional.

After Brad Malone scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with 12:22 remaining in the game, Brett Olson added an empty-net goal with just four and a half seconds left in the game. Olson’s sixth of the season came on a power play and was assisted by Taylor.

Taylor started for the seventh time in the Heat’s last nine games, making 23 saves on 24 shots to win his fifth game in his last six starts. The Heat outshot the Monsters 29-24 and allowed just four shots on goal in the third period.

The Heat power play scored twice on five opportunities. The Heat penalty kill erased all five Monsters opportunities, including a four-minute power play in the first period.

The Heat will conclude their three game road trip tomorrow in Grand Rapids with a 4:00 PST puck drop against the Midwest Division leading Griffins. The next home game for the Heat will be the morning game on February 5th, which will be played in front of approximately 5,000 students from the Fraser Valley. Puck drop on the annual ‘school day game’ is set for 10:30 AM PST.

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