AUSTIN, TX -- The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) 7-3 on Wednesday night at the Cedar Park Centre. The Heat remain in first place in the American Hockey League (AHL) with a 12-4-0-1 record and 25 points.
Blair Jones had a career night, recording three goals and two assists in the Heat win. His linemates Ben Street and Michael Ferland also had multi-point games as Abbotsford’s top line combined for 12 points.
The Heat opened the scoring at 16:01 on a breakaway goal by Jones, assisted by Chad Billins and Street. Just 37 seconds later, Brett Olson scored his third goal of the season on the power play to put the Heat up 2-0, assisted by Jones and Ferland. Joni Ortio stopped all 18 shots he faced in the first period, while Christopher Nilstorp stopped five of seven shots for Texas.
At 4:46 of the second period, Jones scored his second of the game on the power play, assisted by Billins and Ferland. At 11:02 and 14:35 of the period, the Stars scored back-to-back power play goals by Colton Sceviour to cut the Heat’s lead to 3-2. With 17 seconds remaining in the second, Street restored the two-goal lead with his fourth of the season, assisted by Jones and Tyler Wotherspoon.
The Stars started the third period with an unassisted shorthanded goal from Francis Wathier at 5:25, cutting the Heat lead to one. However, Street scored on the power play just 30 seconds later, assisted by Corban Knight and Mark Cundari. On the next shift, Knight scored his sixth goal of the season, assisted by Ben Hanowski, to give the Heat a 6-3 lead. Texas pulled the goalie with less than four minutes to play and Jones capped off his first career AHL hat-trick into the empty net at 16:59, assisted by Ferland and Street.
Ortio picked up his sixth win of the season facing a career-high 48 shots, while Nilstorp was charged with the loss allowing six goals on 27 shots.
The Heat were a perfect three for three on the power play and killed off four of five penalties.
The Heat will continue their seven game road trip with two games against the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) on Friday and Saturday night. Following this seven game road trip, the Heat will return home to play the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate to Vancouver Canucks) on Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th. Friday, November 29th will feature the third Legends of Hockey night of the season, with Canucks legend Kirk McLean appearing for autographs prior to the game on the AESC concourse at 6:00pm.