The Chicago Wolves handed the Abbotsford Heat their first regulation-time loss in the month of December, knocking them off 5-2 at Allstate Arena on Thursday evening.
The Heat came in having won seven of their last eight games, with the lone defeat coming in overtime.
But the Vancouver Canucks affiliate prevailed behind a dominant outing from Mark Mancari, who was playing his first game back with the Wolves after a three-game NHL stint with the Canucks. Mancari notched two goals and an assist to continue his torrid play at the AHL level – he’s posted 13 points over his last seven games with Chicago.
The Heat held a pair of one-goal leads in the first period, thanks to a pair of power-play goals. Jordan Henry opened the scoring at the 5:43 mark, and after Mancari tied it up, Quintin Laing struck on another man-advantage to give the Heat a 2-1 edge heading into the second.
But Mancari and Jordan Schroeder tallied in the middle frame, and Victor Oreskovich gave the Wolves some insurance at the 2:06 mark of the third.
Tim Miller rounded out the scoring with 49 seconds remaining – he was credited with a goal after Heat defenceman Clay Wilson hauled him down on an empty-net breakaway.
Wolves goalie Eddie Lack turned aside 29 of 31 shots to earn the victory, while his Heat counterpart Danny Taylor stopped 30 of 34 pucks he saw.
Abbotsford (20-9-2-0, 42 points) heads into the Christmas break in second place in both the West Division and overall AHL standings. They’re two points back of the Oklahoma City Barons.
The Heat’s next games are Dec. 29-20 at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, as they host the Texas Stars in a two-game set.
Heat blueliner Chris Breen readies for a faceoff opposite Victor Oreskovich of the Chicago Wolves.