Paul Byron and the Heat had little room to operate on Saturday vs. Matt Hunwick and the Lake Erie Monsters.

Paul Byron and the Heat had little room to operate on Saturday vs. Matt Hunwick and the Lake Erie Monsters.

Sputtering Heat fall 3-1 to Monsters

One night after an offensively dominant performance vs. the Lake Erie Monsters, the Heat struggled mightily in the rematch.

On Friday night, the Abbotsford Heat looked downright dominant on the attack at times, en route to a 4-2 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters.

On Saturday, they looked rather toothless – the Monsters limited them to just 24 shots, and the hosts’ lone goal of the evening came on a shot from behind the goal line that banked in off Lake Erie netminder Calvin Pickard.

The Monsters, meanwhile, scored twice in a span of 1:08 in the second period and won 3-1 to salvage a split of the two-game weekend set at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

“We have a ton of skill in that dressing room,” Heat forward Carter Bancks observed, “but skill’s nothing if you’re never in the offensive zone.

“Throughout the whole game, I don’t know if we were hungry enough. We were trying to stretch them out a bit, but we weren’t getting touches (on the puck) – a lot of icings. I think we need to be more ready to play as a whole group. I don’t think we were as ready right off the hop.”

The Heat, though, did manage to draw first blood, as Corban Knight notched his third goal of the year on the power play at 9:46 of the first period.

The rookie centre collected the rebound off Ben Street’s initial shot, and with a Monsters defenceman pushing him south of the goal line, flipped the puck back towards the net. It banked in off Pickard’s pad.

“The goalie was kind of cheating off his post,” Knight recounted. “I thought I’d try to bank it off him, and it was kind of lucky it worked out.”

But that was the lone offensive highlight for the Heat, who were out of sync and easily smothered by the Monsters.

Michael Sgarbossa got the equalizer at 3:48 of the second, ripping a one-timer on the power play past Heat goalie Reto Berra. Joey Hishon gave Lake Erie the lead just over a minute later, finishing off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play with linemates Guillaume Desbiens and Mark Olver.

Desbiens, who played for the Heat in 2011-12, inserted the dagger at 4:55 of the third, roofing a glove-side wrist shot on a partial breakaway.

“It’s always fun coming back – I loved my time out here,” Desbiens said. “I have nothing but good things to say about Abbotsford. Obviously there’s not that many guys left from my time here but there but there are still a few familiar faces and any time you get a goal against your old team it’s fun to put it in their face a little bit. But the biggest thing is that we got the win are back to .500.”

Heat head coach Troy Ward felt his charges were galvanized mentally for Friday night’s game, after giving up six third-period goals in a 9-3 road loss to the Texas Stars the previous Sunday. But having proven their point in the opener of the weekend set vs. Lake Erie, the Heat were mentally lethargic for the rematch.

“We got a win and we felt pretty good,” Ward analyzed. “We didn’t put in any mental work prior to getting here, from the time we left last night. We were a step behind the whole night, just because of our mental abilities to get ready.

“Tonight, everything kind of caught us off guard.”


• Veteran defenceman Derek Smith, who was outstanding in his Heat debut on Friday, was recalled by the Calgary Flames on Saturday morning.

• With Smith no longer at their service, the Heat made three other lineup changes for Saturday. Forwards Josh Jooris and Michael Ferland and defenceman John Ramage were healthy scratches, while forwards Turner Elson and Brett Olson and blueliners Tyler Wotherspoon and Zach McKelvie were inserted.

“We’re just trying to get some guys in the lineup and figure out what we have,” Ward explained. “We have to be prepared here for injuries up top . . . We want to get as many guys going as we can, especially when we only play two games in a weekend.”

• The Heat (4-4-1) hit the road for a trio of games this week – Wednesday and Friday at the Utica Comets, and Saturday at the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

There were a total of 182 deaths of trumpeter swans at Judson Lake over the past winter, according to the Save the Swans website. The lake has the heaviest lead concentration of any known lake, the website states. (PHOTO:
Abbotsford man starts petition, saying lead shot is killing waterfowl in Judson Lake and beyond

Farmer Kevin Sinclair says local lake is ‘poster child’ for swans’ deaths from lead poisoning

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read