Krys Kolanos and Barry Brust led the way as the Abbotsford Heat extended their home-ice dominance with a 3-0 whitewashing of the Lake Erie Monsters on Tuesday.
Kolanos’s second-period goal snapped a scoreless tie, and Sven Baertschi and Quintin Laing would add empty-net goals in the final two minutes of regulation to provide the margin of victory at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
The goal was Kolanos’s 34th as a member of the Heat, moving him past Cam Cunning and into top spot on the franchise’s all-time list. The Calgary native racked up his record-setting total in just 55 games over the past two seasons – less than half the time it took Cunning (121 games) to establish the original mark.
Kolanos, not known for his pugilistic skills, also dropped the gloves with Monsters defenceman Tyson Barrie in the middle frame. It’s just the second fight logged under his name at hockeyfights.com; the other scrap was during the 2007-08 season.
“I’m real proud of him, but that’s not going to happen very much,” Heat head coach Troy Ward said with a grin, speaking of Kolanos’s fight. “But any time you have passion and emotion in a game, usually it results, in hockey, in something positive for you. It’s an emotional sport, and I thought Krys was dialled in from the get-go.”
Playing time has been tough to come by for Brust, with two other goalies – Danny Taylor and Leland Irving – on the roster. But when he’s gotten the nod, he’s been lights-out.
Brust stopped all 29 shots he faced on Tuesday, registering his second straight shutout. He’s allowed just one goal in three starts this season, all Heat wins, and his individual numbers are off the charts – he boasts a 0.33 goals against average and a .987 save percentage. He’s also nursing a shutout streak of 171 minutes, 41 seconds.
The Heat improved to 7-0-2 on home ice, having earned 16 of a possible 18 points at home. They boosted their record to 8-1-3 overall, taking over first place in the Western Conference and leapfrogging Lake Erie (9-5-0) for top spot in the North Division in the process.
• The Heat out-shot the Monsters 39-29, and both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play.
• After selling out a pair of high-profile games vs. the Oklahoma City Barons on the weekend, the Heat drew just 1,821 fans for the midweek contest.
• The Heat and Monsters renew hostilities on Wednesday evening at the AESC (7 p.m. start).