A four-goal explosion in the third period powered the Abbotsford Heat to a 5-3 road win over the Oklahoma City Barons on Friday evening.
Stefan Meyer and Ryan MacMurchy scored two goals apiece as the Heat won the opener of a two-game set in OKC. The same teams tangle again on Saturday at the Cox Convention Centre.
Meyer opened the scoring on the power play at 9:45 of the first period, but goals by Colten Teubert and Colin McDonald staked the Barons to a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes. Abbotsford native Brad Moran assisted on both Oklahoma City markers.
The Heat blew up in the third period. Goals by MacMurchy sandwiched a tally by captain Quintin Laing, who returned to the lineup Friday after a two-game absence due to personal reasons. Meyer, with his second of the game, capped the scoring binge.
OKC blueliner Kevin Montgomery rounded out the scoring at 13:29 of the third.
Heat goalie Leland Irving was busy – the Barons put 38 shots on net, including 18 in the second period alone. Irving was up to the task and picked up his 26th victory of the season.
In addition to Meyer and MacMurchy, Laing (one goal, two assists), Gord Baldwin (three assists) and Kotalik (two assists) had multi-point nights for the Heat.
MacGregor Sharp, picked up in a loan transaction from the Manitoba Moose on Thursday, made his Heat debut against the Barons. He registered a –1 rating and one shot on goal.
Both teams are on the wrong side of the playoff bubble. The Heat (30-25-3-5) are fifth in the AHL’s North Division, while the Barons (32-22-2-5) are sixth in the West.