Beach’s late goal sinks Heat

Kyle Beach’s power play goal late in the third period lifted the Rockford IceHogs to a 3-2 victory over the Abbotsford Heat at the Rockford MetroCentre on Saturday evening.

Ales Kotalik notched his first points as a member of the Heat – a pair of assists – but Abbotsford (23-21-2-5) allowed a two-goal lead to slip away against Rockford (20-21-2-4), the last-place team in the Western Conference.

The Heat scored on two of their first three shots of the game, courtesy of Quintin Laing and Greg Nemisz, with Kotalik picking up helpers on both goals.

But the IceHogs got off to great starts in both the second and third periods, with goals by Kyle Hagel (at 1:51 of the second) and Ryan Potulny (at 1:34 of the third) to knot the score.

With overtime looming, Heat defenceman T.J. Brodie picked up a high-sticking penalty with 2:18 remaining in regulation. Just 12 seconds later, Beach notched the game-winner.

Abbotsford goalie J.P. Lamoureux stopped 25 of 28 Rockford shots, while his IceHogs counterpart Alec Richards made 27 saves.

The Heat failed to keep pace with the Toronto Marlies for fourth place in the North Division. The Marlies beat the Rochester Americans 3-1 on the road.

Abbotsford wraps up a three-games-in-three-days gauntlet on Sunday, when they face the Lake Erie Monsters.