Leland Irving and the Abbotsford Heat finished strong on their longest road trip of the season, as they edged the Houston Aeros 1-0 in a shootout on Sunday afternoon.
Irving and his Houston counterpart Matthew Hackett engaged in an epic goaltending duel, but Irving simply refused to allow a puck past him. He stopped all 34 shots the Aeros directed his way during regulation and overtime, and then stymied all five Houston skaters in the shootout.
Rookie forward Dustin Sylvester, the Heat’s fourth shooter in the shootout, finally solved Hackett with a high glove-side wrist shot to give his team the win.
The Heat compiled a sterling 6-1-0-0 record on the journey, enabling them to take over first place in both the West Division and the Western Conference at 13-5-1-0 overall.
Irving is putting together another outstanding season – he took over the league lead with his third shutout, and also tops the AHL in wins (13) and minutes played (1,022). His goals-against average of 1.94 is fourth overall, and his .927 save percentage ranks 10th.
The Heat now head home for games against the San Antonio Rampage on Nov. 25 and 27 at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.