ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-2 on Friday night in front of 4,655 fans at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC). The Heat set a franchise record with 1,202 tickets sold on the day of the game.
Roman Horak scored a natural hat-trick, giving the Czech forward a league-leading ten goals in nine games. Ben Walter and Sven Baertschi each earned two assists and Heat goaltender Leland Irving stopped 25 of 27 shots for his first victory of the season.
The Heat allowed the first goal of the contest at 2:31 of the first period, but Horak tied the game with a power play goal at 19:57. The Heat were outshot 13-4 through 20 minutes.
The Heat took the lead on two more goals by Horak at 1:03 and 6:29 of the second period. Walter and Baertschi earned assists on both goals. The Marlies scored a short-handed goal at 9:51 to pull within one goal after two periods.
Quintin Laing scored the Heat’s second power play goal of the game at 8:58 of the third period. Joe Callahan and Brett Olson earned assists on Laing’s first goal of the season. The Heat were outshot 27 to 19 in the game.
The Heat negated all three of Toronto’s chances with the man-advantage to remain the top team on the penalty kill in the AHL with a success rate of 97.5%. The Heat power play scored two goals on six chances, but allowed one short-handed goal.
Tonight’s win moves the Heat into top spot in the Western Conference with 14 points. They lead the Rochester Americans by one point in the North Division.
The Heat host the Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers affiliate) next Friday, November 9th, and Saturday, November 10th.