Special teams told the tale for the Abbotsford Heat in their weekend series with the Houston Aeros.
On Friday, two power-play goals early in the third period from Ben Walter helped the Heat rally for a 4-2 victory at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
The hosts had trailed 2-1 heading into the final frame, with Andy Bohmbach supplying the Heat goal. But Walter’s man-advantage snipes, combined with a solid 1-for-7 performance on the penalty kill and an empty-net goal from Brett Olson, helped Abbotsford snap its seven-game losing streak.
But on Saturday, the Aeros got their power play in gear – they lit up the Heat to the tune of three goals on six man-advantage chances en route to a 5-1 win. Johan Larsson scored twice for Houston, while Greg Nemisz mustered the lone Abby tally.
“I thought we played a pretty good game on Saturday in a lot of ways, we just didn’t win the special teams war,” Heat head coach Troy Ward said. “The chances were in our favour, I thought we carried the play at different times in the game, as we do most weekends five-on-five. But if our special teams play is a little off . . . it’s difficult for us.”
The Heat (27-23-8) now embark on their longest road trip of the season – a seven-game jaunt beginning Tuesday at the Hamilton Bulldogs.