(Abbotsford, BC)… The Rochester Americans dropped a 3-1 decision to the Abbotsford Heat on Saturday as the teams split their two-game series at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. Heat forward Ben Street scored two goals and added an assist to key the Abbotsford victory.
After the Amerks tallied five goals in Friday’s win, Nick Tarnasky was the lone Rochester goal scorer on Saturday as he picked up his sixth of the season. With the primary assist on Tarnasky’s goal, Amerks leading scorer T.J. Brennan reached the 30-point mark to equal his point total from last season, when he appeared in 52 games for the Amerks. Goaltender David Leggio stopped 28 of 31 shots in the loss.
Abbotsford goalie Danny Taylor finished with 17 saves on the night while Joe Callahan chipped in with two assists.
Tarnasky opened the scoring to give the Amerks a 1-0 lead at the 6:47 mark of the first period. He began the play by circling the net and passing the puck out front, where Kevin Sundher’s shot attempt was blocked. Brennan, however, gained control and fired a shot that was stopped by Taylor. The rebound bounced up in the air, and Tarnasky was there to bat the puck out of mid-air and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
Rochester held on to its 1-0 lead for most of the opening period, but Abbotsford tied the game with just 31 seconds to go in the frame. T.J. Brodie carried the puck over the Amerks' blue line and cut toward the middle of the ice as Street was sneaking up the right wing boards. Brodie passed over to Street, who fired a wrist shot from the right face-off circle past Leggio to tie the game.
The Heat would take their first lead midway through the second period. Callahan took a one-timer from the point that was turned aside by Leggio. Street had the first rebound opportunity, but was denied by Leggio. Tyler Ruegsegger, however, was still in front of the net and pounced on the second rebound to make it a 2-1 game.
Street gave the Heat a 3-1 lead when he scored his second goal of the night at 3:24 of the third period. Paul Byron skated the puck around the Rochester net and dropped a pass for Street as they crossed paths near the bottom of the left face-off circle. With his momentum taking him away from the goal, Street was able to get a shot off that made its way through traffic and found the back of the net for his third point of the evening. Abbotsford had an opportunity to extend its lead later in the period when Sven Baertschi was awarded a penalty shot, but Leggio made a tremendous right pad save to keep it a two-goal game.
Rochester returns home on Wednesday, Jan. 9 to host the first-place Syracuse Crunch at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the third of 10 meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK.