Heat centre Max Reinhart blasted a shot past Jonathan Hazen (9) and goalie Jacob Markstrom of the San Antonio Rampage on this play. It was Reinhart's first goal of the season

Reinhart snaps scoring slump, but Heat fall to Rampage in OT

As losses go, there were plenty of encouraging signs in the Abbotsford Heat's 3-2 overtime defeat to the San Antonio Rampage on Tuesday.

As losses go, there were plenty of positive signs in the Abbotsford Heat’s 3-2 overtime defeat to the San Antonio Rampage on Tuesday evening.

After a slow start, the Heat’s dominance in the second and third periods was comprehensive. They out-shot the Rampage 25-5 over the final 40 minutes of regulation, and only the sparkling play of San Antonio goalie Jacob Markstrom denied them the win.

The game also represented a breakthrough for Heat rookie centre Max Reinhart – he snapped an extended scoring drought with his first goal of the campaign.

Reinhart’s tally at 10:37 of the middle frame knotted the score 2-2, but that was the last puck the Heat would slip past Markstrom. San Antonio defenceman Jason DeSantis ended matters 35 seconds into OT, tapping a cross-ice feed from Drew Shore past Abbotsford keeper Barry Brust.

“We were counterpunching in the first seven to 10 minutes, and the rest of the game, we took it to them,” Heat head coach Troy Ward noted. “That’s the type of game, whether in the National Hockey League or the American Hockey League, you’re just hoping as a coach they don’t get the one shot.

“I’m real happy with our play. We didn’t win, but I don’t coach the scoreboard, so it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, you’ve got to be proud of your kids and how they behaved.”

Goals by San Antonio’s Casey Wellman and Greg Rallo sandwiched Roman Horak’s team-leading 12th of the season as the Rampage claimed a 2-1 lead after the first period.

Midway through the second, Reinhart made his presence felt, hammering a one-timed slap shot from the left faceoff dot, off a feed from Horak, past Markstrom.

“That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without a goal, and it’s the tightest I’ve ever hugged somebody after giving me an assist,” said Reinhart, who had mustered just two assists over his first 19 games this season. “I struggled with my confidence throughout the start of this year, and I’d say it’s a massive relief just to get one.”

Reinhart, considered one of the better forward prospects in the Calgary Flames system, made a memorable pro debut with the Heat last season. He scored twice against the Toronto Marlies in his first regular-season game after his WHL campaign with the Kootenay Ice wrapped up, and he went on to notch a goal and an assist in four playoff starts.

The Heat’s depth up front during the NHL lockout has limited his role this year, though – he’s spent much of the season centring the fourth line, though he has seen regular power-play duty.

“Half my battle is fighting to get ice this year,” he analyzed.

“I think it’s a lot to do with just having a lot of good players who have earned their opportunity in front of me. Being the young guy, you’ve got to be patient.

“Obviously I don’t like to see some teammates go down to injury to get my opportunity, but now that I’ve got an opportunity, I’ve got to keep going – just playing my hardest and creating that offence.”

Ward’s lone quibble with his team’s play on Tuesday was its power-play performance. Horak cashed in on the team’s first man-advantage opportunity of the night, but they went 0-for-4 after that.

“You have to create quality scoring chances and you have to get shots to the net, and we didn’t do that very well,” Ward said. “I thought that was the difference.”

ICE CHIPS:

• The Heat (13-3-5) and the Rampage (7-11-3) clash again on Wednesday night (7 p.m., Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre).

• Heat forwards Sven Baertschi (concussion/whiplash symptoms) and Ben Walter (undisclosed) sat out their second straight games on Tuesday. They were both injured late in Abbotsford’s 5-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs last Friday.

Just Posted

Abbotsford qualifies for national Communities in Bloom program

City awarded ‘5 Bloom’ rating at provincial level

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries from Abbotsford crash

Driver sent to hospital after crash with Mustang at Gladwin and Maclure roads

Abbotsford Visitor Centre closing for winter due to low attendance

Tourism Abbotsford says declining traffic during fall, winter months common for B.C. visitor centres

Nominations open for UFV Betty Urquhart Community Service award

Award recognizes those who make community a better place to live

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Most Read