The Abbotsford Heat will be looking for a measure of revenge on Saturday night after losing 3-2 to the Oklahoma City Barons on Thursday at the AESC. The Heat led 2-0 midway through the third frame, but couldn’t stop a furious comeback from the Barons, who scored three late goals to steal a win.
After a scoreless first period the Heat struck twice at even strength in the middle frame to take a two goal lead into the third. First it was Paul Byron finishing off a beautiful give-and-go with Greg Nemisz, giving the Heat the lead at 13:38 of the period. Nemisz received the puck on the right wing from Byron, before he flung a saucer pass in front of the Oklahoma City net that completed the play. It was Byron’s third goal of the season.
About four minutes later Krys Kolanos made it 2-0 Abbotsford, as he jammed in a loose puck during a goal-mouth scramble. Drawing assists were line-mates Jon Rheault and Ben Walter. The goal was Kolanos’ fifth in just four games.
The third period saw two OKC goals just 27 seconds apart tie the game at 11:13. Post-game Heat netminder Leland Irving talked about the second tally: “I just lost sight of the puck; it was a shot that hit my pad and went in.”
Then with just 2:05 remaining the third penalty of the game, and first since the midway point of the first period, was levied against the Heat. The Baron’s surrendered a glorious short-handed chance, but turned the play back up ice and won with just 36 seconds remaining.
The Heat would finish without a power play goal on just a single man-advantage, while the penalty kill surrendered one goal on two Oklahoma City opportunities.
Leland Irving stopped 21 of 24 shots in the game while the Heat directed 29 shots on the Barons’ net.
Next up for the Heat is a rematch with the Barons on Saturday night at the AESC, with a 7 p.m. faceoff.