With the ink barely dry on his new contract, Krys Kolanos got back to the business of goal-scoring.
Kolanos netted two goals and added an assist to lead the Abbotsford Heat past the San Antonio Rampage 4-0 in a rare morning game on Tuesday, played before a crowd of more than 10,000 schoolchildren at San Antonio’s AT&T Centre.
Quintin Laing and Gaelan Patterson, with his first of the year, also scored for Abbotsford, while Greg Nemisz picked up two assists.
Heat goalie Leland Irving continued his strong play, turning aside 34 shots to earn his second shutout of the season, as the Heat (11-4-1-0, 23 points) took over sole possession of first place in the AHL’s West Division. They’re also second overall in the entire AHL, trailing only the St. John’s IceCaps (11-2-3-0, 25 points).
Kolanos had watched the Heat’s Saturday game against the Texas Stars from the press box – his initial professional tryout (PTO) contract with Abbotsford having expired the previous day. But on Monday, he signed a new AHL deal with Heat for the balance of the season, paving a way for a return to the lineup.
Despite the fact he’s only played half of the Heat’s 16 games this season, Kolanos now holds the team scoring lead with 16 points (nine goals and seven assists), and he boasts a team-best +7 rating.
Nemisz is having a terrific season in his own right – the sophomore pro is second to Kolanos with 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 16 games.
Tuesday’s win marked the Heat’s seventh in a row on the road – they lead the AHL with nine road wins, and they’re 9-1-0-0 away from home this season.
• Heat winger Jon Rheault saw his six-game point streak come to an end. He did post a +1 rating while registering three shots on goal.
• The Heat wrap up the road trip with a three-games-in-three-nights stretch this weekend. They take on the Oklahoma City Barons on Friday and Saturday, then face the Houston Aeros on Sunday. The Heat’s next home games are Nov. 25 and 27, when they host the Rampage at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.