ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Blair Jones scored the eventual winner in the third period as the Abbotsford Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Oil Barons 3-2 in American Hockey League action on Friday.
Jones' goal at 7:32 of the third gave the Heat a two-goal lead. The Barons scored late, but the Heat (40-25-7) hung on for the win.
Brett Olson and Derek Smith scored on the Heat's first two shots of the game.
Matthew Ford and Taylor Fedun scored for the Barons (33-28-11), who slipped to eighth-place with the loss. Richard Bachman made 16 saves.
Joni Ortio stopped 35 shots, including a toe save in close off Ford, the Barons' leading goal scorer, with seconds to play.
Abbotsford has won six of its past eight games, improving its chances of catching Chicago for fourth in the Western Conference.
Olson opened the scoring just 90 seconds into the game after Corey Locke skated around a defender at the blue-line and fed him the puck down low.
Olson took the pass off his skate and backhanded the puck over a sprawling Bachman for his 16th of the season. Brett Kulak picked up the second assist on the play for his first career AHL point.
Smith made it 2-0 at 5:34, blasting a slap shot from just across the blue-line between the legs of Bachman.
The Barons pushed to get on the board but were denied. Ortio robbed Juhjar Khaira in close on a rebound attempt. Then the Finnish netminder made a pad stop off Darnell Nurse on a backdoor play.
Shots were 12-3 for the visiting Barons at the 14-minute mark of the period.
The Barons finally solved Ortio at 5:37 of the second period on the power play as Ford deflected C.J. Stretch's wrist shot in midair, for his team-high 24th goal.
Oklahoma City thought they tied it at 11:06, but the goal was immediately waved off because Andrew Miller kicked the puck in.
Moments later Roman Horak was sent in on a breakaway by Miller, but the former Heat forward was stonewalled by Ortio.
Jones restored the two-goal cushion for Abbotsford, taking a drop pass from Ben Street and ripping a shot blocker side for his 16th of the season.
The Barons got back within one with just over two minutes to go as Fedun's point shot redirected off of a Heat defender's skate past Ortio.
The two teams face off again Sunday afternoon in Abbotsford.
NOTES: Max Reinhart had his seven-game point streak snapped. ... Reigning AHL player of the week Sven Baertschi had his five-game point streak snapped. ??? Ortio was recently named to the AHL All-Rookie team.