ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Sven Baertschi scored the winner in a shootout as the Abbotsford Heat defeated the Texas Stars 3-2 in American Hockey League action Saturday night.
Baertschi was the seventh Heat shooter, beating goalie Cristopher Nilstorp five-hole to give his team a 3-2 edge.
Olivier Roy stopped Brett Ritchie to clinch the win. Roy made 36 saves through overtime and five more in the shootout for his third victory in five days.
Josh Jooris and Derek Smith scored for in regulation for Abbotsford (31-14-4), who has won five straight and is on a 6-0-2 run.
Hubert Labrie and Brett Ritchie replied for Texas (28-15-6), and Nilstorp made 27 saves. The Stars have dropped their last three contests and trails first-place Abbotsford by four points in the Western Conference standings.
Corban Knight was issued a penalty for a face-off violation with three seconds to go in regulation and the Stars carried that power play into overtime.
Colton Sceviour had a chance to end it quickly but Roy stayed square.
The Heat had its own power-play opportunity with 25.6 seconds to go in overtime but couldn't convert.
The game marked a battle of the league's top power-play units with Texas at 27.7 per cent efficiency with the man advantage. The Stars finished 0 for 5 and Abbotsford was 1 for 6.
Ritchie opened the scoring for the Stars at 10:22. After taking a feed from Jamie Oleksiak, Ritchie fired a wrist shot from the left face-off dot, beating Roy stick side for his 10th of the season.
The Heat scored twice in 57 seconds to take the lead early in the second period.
First Ben Street won the draw back to Smith on a power play, and his shot beat Nilstorp top corner. Then Baertschi stole the puck at centre and fed Corey Locke, who in turn found Jooris for a one-timer at 5:30.
The Stars evened the game at 8:25. Maxime Fortunus's point shot was deflected by Labrie for his first goal of the year.