The Abbotsford Heat hit a major speed bump at the start of a four-game road trip, falling 5-0 to the Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum on Wednesday evening.
Joe Colborne led the Marlies’ attack, notching two goals and an assist, while Greg Scott, Joey Crabb and Darryl Boyce added singles. Goalie Ben Scrivens stopped all 23 Heat shots as Toronto improved to 5-1-1-0.
The Heat fell to 4-3-0-0, and netminder Leland Irving didn’t make it out of the first period – he got the hook at the 10:45 mark after allowing two goals on seven shots.
Joni Ortio came on in relief, marking the first time this season a goalie other than Irving has been between the Heat pipes. The Finnish rookie stopped 21 of 24 shots.
The Marlies out-shot the Heat 31-23, and a big part of Abbotsford’s offensive struggles can be attributed to the power play – they failed to convert any of their six man-advantage opportunities.
The Heat made a pair of lineup changes on Wednesday. Captain Quintin Laing was back after missing Saturday’s home game against the Milwaukee Admirals to attend a family funeral. He drew into the lineup for Paul Byron, who was serving the first of a three-game suspension.
Defenceman Chris Breen returned after being a healthy scratch the previous two games in favour of rookie James Martin; Breen and blueline partner Brendan Mikkelson both finished with a -3 rating.
The Heat continue the road trip on Friday, as they visit the Grand Rapids Griffins.