Rampage hang on to edge Heat

The San Antonio Rampage snapped the Abbotsford Heat’s two-game winning streak on Wednesday evening, edging the Heat 3-2 at the AT&T Center.

The San Antonio Rampage snapped the Abbotsford Heat’s two-game winning streak on Wednesday evening, edging the Heat 3-2 at the AT&T Center.

Matt Watkins scored twice for the Rampage, who improved to 35-23-2-0. The Heat fell to 29-25-3-5, good for fifth in the AHL’s North Division.

After a scoreless first period, Watkins got the Rampage on the board at 5:44 of the middle frame, redirecting a feed from Ned Lukacevic past Heat goalie Leland Irving.

Ales Kotalik, with his third goal in two games, levelled the scored for Abbotsford at the 12:53 mark. Kotalik stripped the puck from San Antonio defenceman Maxim Goncharov before beating goalie Matt Climie with a rising backhander.

The Lukacevic-to-Watkins combination connected again early in the third. Off a Lukacevic pass, Watkins’ initial shot was stopped by Irving, but the Rampage forward converted on the rebound.

Langley native Matt Pope extended the Rampage to 3-1 at 7:40 of the final frame, scoring on the power play.

Heat defenceman T.J. Brodie got Abbotsford back to within a goal with 3:03 remaining, beating Climie with a high glove-side shot. But that was as close as the Heat would get.

Abbotsford out-shot San Antonio 35-25, including six from defenceman Gord Baldwin.

The Heat continue their road swing with a Friday-Saturday set against the Oklahoma City Barons. They wrap up the trip on Sunday against the Houston Aeros, before returning home for two games against the league-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, March 11-12.