The Abbotsford Heat went goal-for-goal with the Toronto Marlies during a wild second period on Sunday afternoon, but in the finale of a six-game road trip, they ran out of gas in the third.
The Marlies got goals from Josh Leivo and Carter Ashton in the final frame to pull away for a 6-4 victory in a game that was televised nationally on Sportsnet 360.
Abbotsford and Toronto both started slow offensively, and were locked in a scoreless tie at the first intermission. But the goals came fast and furious in the second.
After Marlies defenceman T.J. Brennan opened the scoring on the power play at 3:15 of the middle frame, the Heat reeled off three of their own in a span of three minutes and 13 seconds.
Max Reinhart hammered home a one-timer on a two-man advantage, and Brett Olson followed with another quick power-play goal. Ben Street notched an even-strength marker to cap the spurt.
But less than two minutes later, the Marlies were back on even terms via goals from Jamie Devane and Greg McKegg, and a tally from Tyler Biggs later in the frame pushed Toronto back out in front 4-3.
But Heat defenceman Shane O’Brien levelled the score once again, popping in a rebound with five seconds left in the period.
Abbotsford, playing its third game in three nights, had a nice push to start the final frame, but the Marlies steadied themselves and surged ahead thanks to Leivo and Ashton.
The Heat (37-25-7) return home for a pair of games vs. the Rockford IceHogs on Friday and Saturday (7 p.m. both nights, Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre).