The Rochester Americans extended the Abbotsford Heat’s scoring drought on Thursday evening, blanking the Heat 3-0 at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena.
Abbotsford out-shot the hosts 33-21, but Amerks goalie David Leggio turned aside every puck the Heat directed his way. It marked the Heat’s second straight shutout defeat – coming on the heels of a 5-0 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Jan. 25 – and the Abbotsford club has now gone one hour, 24 minutes and 37 seconds of game time since their last goal.
Leland Irving made his return to the Heat crease after being sent down by the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, but Rochester got to him just 1:35 into the first period, as blueliner Nick Crawford’s seeing-eye point shot made its way in through a crowd in front.
Phil Varone (shorthanded) and Travis Turnbull (power play) scored special-teams goals in the third period to round out the scoring.
The game marked the debut for new Heat defenceman Brian Connelly, acquired last week in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks for Brendan Morrison. The offensive-minded blueliner finished with a -1 rating and four shots on goal.
The Heat also welcomed winger Jon Rheault back to the lineup. He’d missed the previous five games with a concussion.
Abbotsford (25-17-3-0) has lost six of its last seven games, and sits third in the AHL’s West Division. They renew hostilities with the Americans on Friday evening, before wrapping up the road trip with a visit to the Toronto Marlies on Saturday.
Ben Walter of the Heat battles for the puck along the side boards with Rochester’s Drew Schiestel.