Rochester NY - Keith Seabrook scored his first of two goals just 35 seconds into the game, and David Shantz stopped 31 of 33 shots as the Abbotsford Heat stunned the Rochester Americans 3-2 to take a 1-0 series lead in Calder Cup North Division Semi Finals on Thursday night.
Seabrook's point blast was the first shot of the game against Rochester netminder Alexander Salak. Salak then surrendered a power play tip in goal by Tyler Spurgeon at 8:16 of the opening period, before Seabrook would score his second goal of the game at 18:17 of the opening period to give the Heat a 3-1 first period lead.
Salak would allow three goals on just nine Abbotsford shots and would be replaced in the Rochester goal by Tyler Plante to open the second period.
At the other end of the ice, David Shantz was doing what your goalie is supposed to do in the post season...provide the big save when needed.
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Game 5, if necessary is Friday April 23, also in Abbotsford
In the second period, with the Heat up 3-1, but with Rochester pressing, Shantz would make an unbelievable save on Rochester forward Evgeny Dadanov.
Shantz would stop the original Dadanov shot with a shoulder save, but the puck would pop free right to Dadanov on the rebound. With Shantz now down and appearing to be out, Dadanov did what every good goal scorer will try to do, lift the puck over the goalie. Dadanov lifted the puck over Shantz. Shantz, on his stomach, kicked his right heel up off the ice and stopped the young Russian with an amazing heel save while prone on the ice, preserving the Heat lead.
Jordan Henry on a first period power play and Mike York in the final seconds of the game, again on a Rochester power play, would score for the Americans. Both teams would finish 2/10 on the power play.
Of note, referee Jamie Koharski officiated his first Heat game since the much publicized Jim Playfair incident on March 27th. There was no carry-over from that incident whatsoever in this contest.
The Heat now take a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 on Saturday night.
You can catch all the HEAT HOCKEY action on Country 107.1 FM. Dave Sheldon will have the call of all the action, beginning with the HONDA WAY pregame show at 3:50 pm.
The puck will drop from the the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester at 5:05 pm MT.