Heat forward Josh Jooris pushes the puck up-ice as an OKC Barons defender gives chase.

Heat forward Josh Jooris pushes the puck up-ice as an OKC Barons defender gives chase.

Street, Heat on cloud nine, extend franchise-record streak at OKC

Not even a multimillionaire goalie on his way back to the NHL could slow down Ben Street and the Abbotsford Heat on Friday.

Not even a multimillionaire goalie on his way back to the NHL could slow down Ben Street and the Abbotsford Heat on Friday.

The red-hot Street notched a hat trick, extending his personal point streak to five games and sparking the Heat to a 5-4 comeback win on the road vs. the Oklahoma City Barons.

The Heat boosted their franchise-record regular season win streak to nine games, while Barons goalie Ilya Bryzgalov took the loss in his first start of the season.

The quirky, quotable 33-year-old Russian was considered one of the NHL’s elite netminders as recently as the 2010-11 season, but fell upon hard times after departing the Phoenix Coyotes to sign a nine-year, $51 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2011. This past June, after two subpar seasons, the Flyers bought out the remaining seven years of his contract.

The Edmonton Oilers, currently last overall in the NHL and receiving shaky ‘tending from Devan Dubnyk, rolled the dice on Bryzgalov, signing him to a one-year contract last week and sending him to the Barons for a conditioning stint.

He didn’t sparkle statistically in his debut – Street and the Heat got to him for five goals on just 24 shots, which works out to a .792 save percentage.

“It’s fun when you’re playing a world-class goalie,” said Street, who has racked up seven goals and five assists during his recent scoring splurge. “It was pretty cool – obviously he’s in the media a lot, and a lot of coverage lately.

“We didn’t really know what to expect from him coming in . . .  It’s always a good test for our guys when you’re playing a goalie of an NHL calibre.”

Street started the game on a line with Michael Ferland and Blair Jones, but the trio was on the ice for all three Barons goals as the hosts built a 3-1 lead in the second period. Markus Granlund had opened the scoring for the Heat with his sixth goal in nine games at 4:02 of the first, but OKC responded with tallies by Andrew Miller, C.J. Stretch and Denis Grebeshkov.

The Heat, though, struck for two power-play goals in 59 seconds, courtesy Ben Hanowski and Street, to knot the score midway through the middle frame.

Ryan Hamilton would restore the Barons’ lead at 14:11 of the second, but Street scored two goals 27 seconds apart early in the third, and Abbotsford hung on to win as goalie Joni Ortio improved to 7-0 on the season. He stopped 24 of 28 OKC shots.

“Tonight and last game (a 7-3 win over the Texas Stars), I didn’t feel like I played that well for most of the game, but I’m getting the bounces,” said Street, who finished the game flanked by Jones and Max Reinhart after his original line’s inauspicious start.

“Our line went down -3 pretty quickly, and we weren’t doing a great job of sorting out rushes . . . But we stuck with it and battled back, and it nice to get the win.”

The Heat improved their AHL-best record to 13-4-1 for 27 points, while their West Division rival Barons fell to 6-7-2 for 14 points.

“We haven’t had the perfect recipe every game,” Street said, reflecting on the Heat’s streak. “But the good thing about our group is, we feel if we stick with it, we have a chance to battle back and win.”

ICE CHIPS:

• Two ex-Heat players who were involved in last week’s trade between the NHL parent clubs, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, were in uniform for the Barons on Friday. Forward Roman Horak posted two assists and a +1 rating against his old team, while goalie Laurent Brossoit served as Bryzgalov’s backup.

• The Heat and Barons renew hostilities on Saturday at the Cox Convention Center (5 p.m. Pacific time, CIVL 101.7 FM).

 

Just Posted

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

An apartment building and townhouse project has been proposed at 2236 McCallum Rd. in Abbotsford. The development was given third reading by city council on June 14. (City of Abbotsford)
Apartment-and-townhouse project planned on McCallum Road in Abbotsford

Development across from old hospital site consists of 174 suites and 10 townhouses

Adam Hobbs went missing from a Langley work site on Monday, June 14 and may have gone to Vancouver. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Family, RCMP seek Abbotsford man missing from Langley job site

Adam Hobbs lives in Abbotsford and is a minor hockey referee

Police were on scene Monday afternoon (June 14) in the area of George Ferguson Way and Ware Street. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Police called out after reports of possible home invasion in Abbotsford

Incident on Monday afternoon at George Ferugson Way and Ware Street

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

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