Heat centre Ben Walter battles Evan Brophey in the faceoff circle on Friday evening in Cleveland.

Heat slay Monsters on opening night

The Abbotsford Heat delivered a victory for new head coach Troy Ward on opening night, edging the Lake Erie Monsters 2-1 in Cleveland on Friday.

The Abbotsford Heat delivered a victory for new head coach Troy Ward on opening night, edging the Lake Erie Monsters 2-1 in Cleveland on Friday.

Greg Nemisz’s power-play goal at 12:05 of the second period stood up as the game-winner, and Leland Irving made 22 saves as the Heat won their season-opener for the second straight year.

Abbotsford rode a stellar special-teams performance on Friday, going 2-for-5 on the power play while killing off all three Monsters man-advantage opportunities.

“I thought we played a complete game,” Ward said. “We worked hard – which was our biggest concern – and our system play got better as the game wore on.”

Dustin Sylvester, who signed with the Heat last month after leading Freiburg of the German second division in scoring last season, opened the scoring on a power play just over five minutes into the first period. Monsters goalie Trevor Cann stopped an initial shot from Heat captain Quintin Laing, but Sylvester was there to chip in the rebound.

Greg Mauldin drew the Monsters even at the 10:50 mark of the opening frame, as Stefan Elliott’s point shot deflected off him and past Irving.

Just past the midway point of the second period, Nemisz tracked down a loose puck amongst a maze of legs in front of the Lake Erie net and flicked a shot by Cann, who had lost track of the biscuit.

Irving took it home from there, and his teammates played a solid game in front of him, coming up with two pivotal penalty kills in the final frame.

ICE CHIPS:

• The Heat and Monsters renew hostilities on Saturday at 3 p.m. Pacific time. The Heat then return home for their home opener, Friday, Oct. 14 against the Rockford IceHogs.

• Forwards Carter Bancks and Krys Kolanos were scratched due to injury for the Heat, while healthy scratches included centre Mitch Wahl, defencemen John Negrin, James Martin and Patrick Cullity, and goalie Joni Ortio. Ward went with David Brown as the backup goalie behind Irving.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Abbotsford wrestlers earn gold at Miri Piri Championship

W.J. Mouat Hawks take home top team prize, many locals reach podium

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

World-renowned violinist to perform at Abbotsford prison

Gidon Kremer’s concert on Jan. 29 is part of Looking at the Stars’ program

Man charged with killing woman in Kamloops motel room claims he ‘blacked out’

Debra Novacluse of Abbotsford was found beaten to death in a room at a Kamloops motel in 2016.

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read