A two-goal effort from Krys Kolanos went for naught on Saturday evening, as Rockford IceHogs rallied for a 3-2 win over the slumping Abbotsford Heat.
Kolanos’s sixth and seventh goals of the season staked the Heat to a 2-0 lead in the first period at Rockford’s BMO Harris Bank Centre. But Ben Smith halved the Abbotsford advantage before the first frame was up, and Nick Leddy and Brandon Pirri tallied in the third period to complete a comeback for the hosts.
The Heat (17-8-6, 36 points) limp into a four-day Christmas break having lost eight of 10 games so far in the month of December. And for the first time virtually all season, they’re not in first place in the North Division. The Toronto Marlies, 4-2 winners over the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday, also have 36 points, and they have a game in hand on the Heat.
Rockford goalie Carter Hutton stopped 31 of 33 Abbotsford shots, while Abbotsford’s Danny Taylor made 28 saves in the loss.
The Heat forward trio of Roman Horak, Ben Street and Dustin Sylvester each posted a -3 rating, having been on the ice for all three Rockford goals.
After their holiday break, the Heat players and coaches reconvene in Chicago on Dec. 27 to prepare for a Dec. 29 game vs. the Chicago Wolves, the Vancouver Canucks’ affiliate.