ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat lost 3-1 to the Chicago Wolves (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) in the first of a two-game series at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC).
The Heat scored first, but Brett Sterling’s three-goal performance in the first period led the Wolves to a 3-1 victory. Brad Hunt drew two assists and Matt Climie stopped 26 of 27 shots in the Wolves’ win.
Ben Walter opened the scoring for the Heat with his sixth goal of the season at 4:08 of the first period. Paul Byron and Krys Kolanos drew assists on Walter’s second power play goal of the season.
Sterling’s natural hat trick gave the Wolves the lead 3-1 at the end of the first period. Sterling scored on the power play at 10:17, then added two even strength goals at 12:21 and 18:33 of the first period.
There was no scoring in the final two periods. Only one penalty was assessed in each of the second and the third periods of play.
Leland Irving made his first start since December 5th, making seven saves on ten shots in the first period before being relieved by Danny Taylor. Taylor stopped all 20 shots through the final two periods. The Heat were outshot 30-27 on the night.
Both the Heat and the Wolves scored on their first power play of the night, and the Heat finished with one goal on three man-advantages. The Heat penalty kill negated one of two Chicago power plays.
The Heat and Wolves play again tomorrow in Abbotsford at 7:00 PM. “Dear Rouge” – winners of The 2012 Peak Performance Project – will be playing a post-game concert presented by 102.7 The Peak. Next week, Abbotsford hosts the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens) on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators) on Saturday and Sunday.