Late goal lifts Barons past Brust, Heat

Toni Rajala's goal with 6:39 left in the third period was the difference as the Oklahoma City Barons edged the Abbotsford Heat 1-0.

Heat centre Blair Jones goes airborne as he absorbs a hip check from an OKC Barons opponent on Friday.

Heat centre Blair Jones goes airborne as he absorbs a hip check from an OKC Barons opponent on Friday.

Toni Rajala’s goal with 6:39 left in the third period was the difference as the Oklahoma City Barons edged the Abbotsford Heat 1-0 on Friday at the Cox Convention Centre.

Rajala’s tally, set up by Jonathan Cheechoo and Mark Arcobello, decided an epic goaltenders’ duel between Heat keeper Barry Brust and his OKC counterpart Yann Danis. Brust turned aside 30 of 31 shots, while Danis blocked all 24 pucks the Heat sent his way.

The game marked the professional debut for Turner Elson, a 20-year-old left winger who was assigned to the Heat last week after his WHL campaign with the Red Deer Rebels concluded.

The Heat (34-31-10, 78 points) were eliminated from playoff contention last week, and they wrap up the regular season on Saturday with a road rematch vs. the Barons.