ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Fourteen games of professional hockey in Norway prepared Dov Grumet-Morris for a great return to the American Hockey League.
The 29-year-old goalie made 21 saves as the San Antonio Rampage shut out the Abbotsford Heat 5-0 Friday night.
Grumet-Morris signed with the Rampage three days ago after posting a 2.14 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 14 starts with Norway's L?renskog IK.
"It's always nice when you introduce yourself to a team with a win," said Grumet-Morris, who earned his sixth career AHL shutout. "I know we lost the last couple games so from a team perspective it was good and from an individual perspective it was great."
San Antonio (8-11-0) entered the game last in the AHL after back-to-back losses and the Heat (13-6-1) had just returned from a 6-1-0 road trip, so the one-sided rout came as a surprise to the 4,576 fans at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
"Obviously San Antonio didn?t think (they were underdogs), and that's all that matters," said Abbotsford captain Quintin Laing. "They believed they could win this game and earned it. They outworked us. We got everything we deserved tonight, and it probably should have been worse. It was a humble experience for the team."
Bracken Kearns led the way for the Rampage with a goal and two assists.
Nolan Yonkman, Brian Sutherby, Bill Thomas, and Evan Barlow also scored for the Rampage. Colby Robak, Mark Cullen and Tyson Strachan had a pair of assists each.
"We talked about being a greasy road team,??? said Rampage head coach Chuck Weber. ???I thought we did a good job getting pucks in deep and being opportunistic offensively.
"(The Heat) have one of the best records in the conference for a reason. We had to be ready for a big push from them."
Leland Irving, fresh off being named the AHL player of the week, made 19 stops and was hooked twice in the game.
"Both goalies worked and did what they could," said Abbotsford head coach Troy Ward. "They both made big saves but didn???t play well in front of them."
The winning goal came at 5:21 of the first. Yonkman took a pass from Kearns and one-timed a shot low to the stick side of Irving, giving the six-foot-six Rampage captain his first goal of the season.
A power-play goal doubled the lead for the Rampage as Robak's point shot ricocheted off the end-boards right to Kearns, who backhanded the puck past Irving.
Sutherby's first of the year made it 3-0 at 4:49 in the second, just after an Abbotsford penalty expired.
A minute later Thomas finished off a 2-on-1 with Mark Cullen for his fifth of the year.
Barlow scored his second of the year at 15:57, taking a feed from ex-Heat member Keith Seabrook one second after a power play ended.
Abbotsford entered the game tied for first in the AHL on the strength of their road record, but dropped its home record to 2-4-1 this season.
"A team's first game back after a long road trip can be a little bit of a struggle, so we know we didn???t want to give them any hope early," said Weber.
The two teams meet again at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.
"They're going to be (a tough team to play against) on Sunday," Seabrook said. "They won't be happy after that one."