Location: Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Center
Broadcast: abbotsfordheat.com, teamradio.ca
Game one of the Marlies/Heat double header was a contentious affair through most of the night until a third period Abbotsford penalty turned things around in an unexpected manner.
After Chris Breen took a penalty for closing his hand on the puck just three minutes into the third, the scoreless tie was finally broken by Heat defender Steve McCarthy, who broke down the wide side on a three-on-two rush and beat Ben Scrivens through the fivehole. The Heat somehow made it 2-0 just three seconds later when a Ben Street shot from center ice somehow beat the apparently shell-shocked Scrivens to put the game out of reach (and establish a new AHL record for fastest two short-handed goals ever scored). Sven Baertschi iced things with an empty netter with about a minute and a half left.
Abbotsford’s penchant for taking a lot of penalties was on full display again last night, garnering no less than 10 minors over the course of the evening. Luckily, thy PK was +2 thanks to the McCarthy-Street miracle, although I still maintain the club needs to figure out how to stay out of the box if it wants to maintain success in the long run.
That said, despite piling up the PIMs, the Heat managed to outshoot the Marlies 29-22, which suggests they were the much better team at even strength. Less time in the box should mean a lot more time in Toronto’s end of the ice.
Laing was the vet scratch last night, but he may return this evening. Aliu moved up the rotation initally, although Im not sure how long that lasted.
- Baertschi – Walter – Sylvester
- Aliu – Street – Kolanos
- Horak – Reinhart – Olson
- Estoclet – Bancks – Ruesegger
- Brodie – Piskula
- McCarthy – Breen
- Callahan – Lamb
Still no sign of Byron or Nemisz. I assume Leland Irving will get his second start of the season tonight since he was the guy backing up Barry Brust yesterday.
Clearly it wasn’t a good night for poor Ben Scrivens. He actually had a pretty good performance going up until the SHG debacle, including a highlight reel diving save on Max Reinhart. In the end, his teammates didn’t even score a single goal despite multiple PP’s, so the blame for the loss can’t really fall on the goalies shoulders alone.
- Deschamps – Aucoin – McKegg
- Ashton – Colborne – Komarov
- Hamilton – Kadri – Zigomanis
- D’Amigo – Acton – Ryan
- Fraser – Ranger
- Gardiner – Kostka
- Yeo – Gysber
Jake Gardiner lead his team in shots yesterday (5) and shaping up to be the best prospect in the pro system for the Leafs currently. Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne, however, are still in the "promising but need to prove more" phase of their careers. They didn’t do much to advance their causes last night, but today is a new day.
Sum it Up
The Heat continue to have a scary good PK – at this point in the year, they have scored more goals short-handed (3) than they have surrendered (1). That’s bonkers. It won’t continue forever, but it’s good that the team has managed to collect so many points during this hot streak as a result.
That said, Im going to add a bit of a plea here…please stop taking so many penalties, Abbotsford. It makes things unnecessarily hard on you every night and it keeps many of your best players (*cough* Sven *cough*) off the ice.