ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat defeated the San Antonio Rampage (AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers) 3-2 in a shootout on Wednesday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC). The Heat are now 9-4-0-1 on the season and currently sit first in the AHL Western Conference.
Heat goaltender Joey MacDonald made his first AHL start of the season, putting forth a strong performance and earning first star honours. The win marks the fifth consecutive victory for Abbotsford.
Ben Street opened the scoring for the Heat at 11:38 of the first period. Street’s second goal of the year was assisted by Blair Jones. The first period ended 1-0 for Abbotsford, with the Rampage outshooting the Heat 8-7.
Ben Hanowski added to the Heat lead in the second period, scoring his fifth goal of the season at 2:35. Hanowski’s goal was assisted by Markus Granlund. San Antonio’s Garret Wilson cut the Heat lead in half at 12:00, assisted by teammates Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak. The Heat were able to kill off three penalties in the second period and maintained a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.
The third period remained scoreless until 14:07 when Bobby Butler of the Rampage scored the tying goal, which would send the game into overtime.
Both teams were unable to capitalize on any overtime chances, sending the game into a shootout. Four Rampage shooters failed to score on MacDonald, while both Street and Jones of the Heat beat Rampage goalie Dov Grumet-Morris high over his glove.
MacDonald stopped 29 of 31 shots and a number of pivotal saves to keep the Heat in the lead, while Dov Grumet-Morris made 22 saves on 25 shots.
This weekend the Heat will host the Toronto Marlies (AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will feature the second Legends of Hockey game of the season, with NHL Hall of Famer Mike Bossy appearing for autographs prior to the game on the AESC concourse at 5:30pm. Sunday will be the first family day of the season, with a family skate on the AESC ice after the game. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.