The Texas Stars were buzzing around Heat goalie Joni Ortio all night

The Texas Stars were buzzing around Heat goalie Joni Ortio all night

Jones, Ortio spark Heat to franchise-record eighth straight win

The Abbotsford Heat avenged a 9-3 loss to the Texas Stars earlier this season, winning 7-3 on Wednesday night behind Blair Jones's hat trick

The last time the Abbotsford Heat visited the Cedar Park Center, they sustained a 9-3 beatdown at the hands of the host Texas Stars.

Blair Jones and Joni Ortio made sure that didn’t happen again.

Jones keyed an offensive explosion on Wednesday night with three goals and two assists, and goalie Ortio’s stellar play kept the Heat afloat at times despite being badly outshot (48-23).

The end result was a 7-3 Abbotsford victory – the team’s eighth in a row, a new franchise record for consecutive regular season wins. They boosted their AHL-best record to 12-4-1 for 25 points.

The Stars out-shot the Heat 18-7 in the first period, but Ortio held them in long enough for Jones to open the scoring. He was sent in on a breakaway by defenceman Chad Billins, and beat Stars tender Cristopher Nilstorp.

Brett Olson made it 2-0 just 37 seconds later, scoring on the power play with Jones and Michael Ferland picking up assists.

Jones notched another man-advantage marker early in the second to stake the Heat to a three-goal lead, but strikes by Scott Glennie and Colton Sceviour drew the hosts to within one.

Just 17 seconds before the intermission, though, Ben Street scored to restore a two-goal lead for the Heat.

The Stars got back to within a goal on Francis Wathier’s shorthanded tally at 5:55 of the third, but Street notched his second of the game on the same power play just 30 seconds later.

The Heat cruised from there, as goals by Corban Knight and Jones (into an empty net) rounded out the scoring.

Abbotsford’s top line of Jones, Street and Ferland combined for 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the win, while the Heat went 3-for-3 on the power play, compared to the Stars’ 1-for-5 mark.

Wednesday’s game marked the start of a seven-game road trip for the Heat, and it continues with games at the Oklahoma City Barons on Friday and Saturday.

Ilya Bryzgalov, the colourful former NHL goalie signed by the Edmonton Oilers (the Barons’ parent club) last week, is set to make the start for OKC on Friday. He’s with the Barons on a conditioning stint.

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