A three-goal explosion in less than six minutes powered the Abbotsford Heat past the San Antonio Rampage on Thursday.
Ben Hanowski opened the scoring at 5:16 of the second period at San Antonio’s AT&T Center, and goals by Blair Jones and Corey Locke followed in quick succession to give the Heat a 3-0 lead.
John McFarland tallied on the power play late in the middle frame to get the Rampage on the board, but they would get no closer, as Abby goalie Joni Ortio repelled a 14-shot assault in the third period.
Markus Granlund and Trevor Gillies, both of whom had been sidelined due to injury, returned to the lineup on Thursday. Neither registered a point.
The Heat (41-25-8, 90 points) leapfrogged the Milwaukee Admirals for fifth place in the Western Conference, while the Rampage (30-36-9, 69 points) have already been eliminated from the playoff race.
The two teams clash again on Friday (5:30 p.m. Pacific time), and the Heat wrap up the regular season on Saturday at the Texas Stars (5 p.m. Pacific).