A memorable couple of days for Ben Street began with an all-star nod, continued with a slump-busting overtime goal, and ended with an NHL recall.
The Coquitlam-born centre, on the heels of being named to the AHL all-star game on Thursday, scored at 3:38 of the extra session on Saturday evening to lift the Abbotsford Heat to a 3-2 overtime victory over the San Antonio Rampage.
Street’s team-leading 17th goal of the season snapped the Heat’s season-high four-game losing streak – they were coming off a 5-0 defeat to the Texas Stars the night before which allowed the Stars leapfrog them for first place in the West Division.
After the game, Street found out he’d been summoned by the Calgary Flames. He began the season with the NHL club, posting one assist in eight games before being reassigned to Abbotsford.
Saturday’s victory was Troy Ward’s 100th as head coach of the Heat. He ascended to the top job prior to the 2011-12 season, after serving as an assistant under Jim Playfair in 2010-11.
The Heat had to rally twice to secure Ward’s milestone. They fell behind on Vincent Trocheck’s goal at 6:29 of the first period, but drew even on a strike by Chad Billins – a fellow AHL all-star game selection along with Street – later in the frame.
Garrett Wilson staked the Rampage to another one-goal advantage in the second period, before Josh Jooris’s fourth goal of the season midway through the third set the stage for OT.
Heat goalie Joni Ortio was coming off his first back-to-back losses of the campaign, but he turned things around with a 31-save performance. His Rampage counterpart Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 of 26 Abby shots.
The Heat (24-13-2, 50 points) are at the midpoint of a six-game road trip, which continues on Wednesday at the Rockford IceHogs.
• Saturday’s game marked the AHL debut of Cloverdale-born forward Jordan Kremyr, who was inserted into the lineup in place of Corban Knight. Kremyr was recalled earlier in the week from the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, where he’d posted nine goals and three assists in 29 games.
• The Heat’s penalty-killing struggles continued on Saturday, as both Rampage goals were with the man advantage. San Antonio finished 2-for-4 on the power play, while Abbotsford was 0-for-3. The Heat are 28th in the league on the PK, with a 76.3 per cent success rate.
• Tyler Wotherspoon was on the ice for all three Heat goals, and his +3 rating was a single-game best for the rookie defenceman. He also notched an assist on Billins’s marker.