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Heat shutout in Grand Rapids

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The Abbotsford Heat were shutout 1-0 by the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings) in front of 8,899 fans at the Van Andel Arena on Saturday night.

Griffins rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped all 32 shots he faced and had three Heat shots hit the crossbar, to earn his first AHL shutout. The Heat fell behind late in the first period, and couldn’t equalize the game despite outshooting the Griffins 26-10 in the final 40 minutes.

There was a fight just one second into the game and five combined power plays in the opening period. Also, a penalty shot was awarded to Griffins defender Chad Billins at 9:48 of the first period, that Danny Taylor stopped to keep the game scoreless.

The Griffins scored the only goal of the game 38 seconds prior to the first intermission when Adam Almquist’s sixth of the season put the home team ahead. The Heat would put thirteen shots on net in the second and third period, but coulnd’t tie the game, giving the Griffins their second win of the season over the Heat.

Taylor started for the third straight game for the Heat and made 22 saves on 23 shots, as well as denying Chad Billins on a penalty shot in the first period. The Heat were outshot 12-6 in the first period but finished the game with a 32-23 edge in shots.

The Heat power play did not score on four opportunities, while the penalty kill neutralized all four man-advantages for the Griffins.

The Heat will return home for a back-to-back series against the Rochester Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday’s is the annual ‘School Day Game,’ where more than 5,000 students will be in attendance for a 10:30 AM PST puck-drop. Tickets are $10 for any seat in the building for Tuesday’s first of four consecutive home games.

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