Heat centre Ben Walter battles for the puck along the boards against Chris VandeVelde of the Oklahoma City Barons.

Heat centre Ben Walter battles for the puck along the boards against Chris VandeVelde of the Oklahoma City Barons.

Barons bounce back to beat Heat

One night after the Abbotsford Heat leapfrogged the Oklahoma City Barons for first place, the Barons took it right back.

One night after the Abbotsford Heat leapfrogged the Oklahoma City Barons for first place in the Western Conference, the Barons took it right back.

The Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate salvaged a weekend split with the Heat in Oklahoma City, bouncing back from a 2-1 defeat on Saturday to win 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.

The pivotal sequence came early in the second period. With OKC forward Milan Kytnar serving a holding penalty, the Barons struck on the penalty kill, as Chris VandeVelde notched a short-handed goal.

After Kytnar’s penalty expired, he hopped out of the box and took a breakaway pass, beating Heat goalie Danny Taylor to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Krys Kolanos, with his 18th goal of the season, cut the Heat’s deficit in half at 17:56 of the middle frame. Guillaume Desbiens and Clay Wilson – playing his first game back with the Heat after being reassigned by the Calgary Flames on Saturday – picked up assists on the play.

But with eight seconds left in the period, Lennart Petrell restored the Barons’ two-goal edge, and the Heat would get no closer.

The Heat’s league-leading penalty kill remains red-hot – they were perfect on three OKC power plays, and have erased all 21 man advantages through four games on their current road trip.

With the loss, the Heat (24-12-3-0, 51 points) are tied for second place in the AHL’s West Division with the Houston Aeros (21-9-2-7), two points back of the Barons (24-11-2-3, 53 points). Abbotsford and the Houston both have a game in hand in the three-way race for top spot.

The Heat wrap up the five-game road trip with a Monday afternoon tilt against the San Antonio Rampage.