ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat beat the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC). The Heat remain in first place in the Western Conference with a 31-14-3-1 record and 66 points.
Derek Smith came up big for the Heat, delivering a power play goal and converting in the shootout. Corey Locke extended his point streak to five games, while Josh Jooris continued his strong play with one goal. Sven Baertschi scored the game-winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout.
Brett Ritchie netted the lone goal of the first period, giving Texas the early lead at 10:22. The Heat outshot the Stars 11 to nine in the first.
Smith came back to tie the game with a power play goal, assisted by Ben Street at 4:33 of the second period. Less than a minute later, Jooris added another goal at 5:30, assisted by Corey Locke and Baertschi. The Stars quickly responded with a goal at 8:35 by Hubert Labrie. The second period ended in a 2-2 tie.
Both teams were scoreless in the third period and in four-on-four overtime, forcing the game to a shootout.
Corban Knight opened up the shootout, sneaking the puck past Christopher Nilstrop’s right skate. Texas’ Dustin Jeffery followed by putting the puck right through Olivier Roy’s five-hole. Markus Granlund was unable to beat Nilstrop, while Texas’ Chris Mueller sniped one past Roy. The next two rounds remained scoreless. Blair Jones beat Nilstrop high blocker to tie up the shootout. The next three shooters were unable to score until Baertschi scored the game-winner through Nilstrop’s five-hole.
Abbotsford was one for six on the power play and killed off all five of the Stars man advantages.
Roy made 36 of 38 saves, with opponent Nilstrop stopped 27 out of 29 shots.
Tomorrow the Heat will host the Texas Stars in their last home game before the AHL All-Star Break. It will be the annual Pink in the Rink game supporting the BC Cancer Research Foundation. Fans looking to attend tomorrow’s game should use the code PINK14 on Ticketmaster.ca, with partial proceeds from all tickets sold using this promo code benefitting the BC Cancer Foundation. The game is also an Abbotsford Heat Family Day, featuring a postgame skate with the entire Heat team as well as $2 pop, $2 popcorn, and $2 hotdogs. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.