ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat beat the Toronto Marlies (AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) 6-3 on Sunday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC). The Heat are now 11-4-0-1 on the season and currently sit first in the American Hockey League (AHL) with 23 points.
Heat goaltender Joey MacDonald earned his second win in two starts with Abbotsford, leading the Heat to their seventh consecutive victory. The Heat trailed 1-0 in the first period, but fought back with five goals in the last 40 minutes to seal the victory. Michael Ferland and Corban Knight continued their strong play, each recording a goal and an assist.
Josh Levio scored at 8:09 in the first period to give the Toronto Marlies the early 1-0 lead. The Heat responded with a goal at 17:46 by Chad Billins, assisted by assisted by Paul Byron and Greg Nemisz. The goal was decided after a long video review and was Billins’ sixth of the season. Abbotsford out-shot 14-8 in the period.
Abbotsford came out strong in the second period, scoring back-to-back goals at 5:02 by Ben Street, assisted by Ferland, and at 7:33 by Knight, assisted by Ben Hanowski. Toronto’s Trevor Smith scored at 11:49 to cut Abbotsford’s lead to 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Toronto’s Jerry D’Amigo tied the game 3-3 at 6:10 in the third period, assisted by David Broll and Sam Carrick. Brett Olson scored the game winner at 12:21, assisted by Knight and Tyler Wotherspoon. Abbotsford’s Markus Granlund added some insurance by scoring on a penalty shot at 17:13, beating Garret Sparks through the five-hole. Ferland further contributed to the Heat’s lead by scoring on Toronto’s empty net for his third goal of the weekend.
MacDonald made 24 saves on 27 shots for the Heat, while Garret Sparks stopped 25 of 30 shots for the Marlies.
The Heat were scoreless on four power play opportunities, and killed off four of the five Marlies man advantages.
The Heat now embark on a seven game road trip before returning home to face off against Utica Comets (AHL affiliate to Vancouver Canucks) on Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th. Friday, November 29th will feature the third Legends of Hockey night of the season, with Canucks legend Kirk McLean appearing for autographs prior to the game on the AESC concourse at 6:00pm.
Fans are encouraged to purchase the Comets flex package including two tickets to each Friday or Saturday night game against the Comets. The Comets package starts at $81, call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) to purchase yours today!