ABB 0 UTI 3
Utica, NY – The Abbotsford Heat lost to the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) 3-0 on Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Heat are in second place in the Western Conference with a 20-9-1-1 record and 42 points.
The Comets received strong goaltending from Joacim Eriksson, who stopped every shot he faced on the evening. The Comets have beaten the Heat in four straight games, and for the first time this season the Heat have lost three games in a row.
For a second straight game, the Comets opened the scoring on a goal by Kellan Lain at 5:53. In the late stages of the first period, Alexandre Grenier made it 2-0 on the power play at 16:49. The Comets out shot the Heat 12-9 in the opening 20 minutes.
A second period fight between the Heat’s David Eddy and Yann Sauve of the Comets was the lone highlight of the period. No goals were scored as both teams took six shots on net each.
The Heat were unable to put anything past Joacim Eriksson in the third period, and with three seconds to go Benn Ferriero closed out the game with an empty net goal.
The Heat were zero out of two on the power play and killed one of two penalties in the game. Joacim Eriksson picked up the win and his second shutout of the season, stopping all 21 shots. Joni Ortio was charged with the loss as he turned away 20 of 22 shots.
The Heat will finish off their three game road trip on Sunday afternoon against the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens). The Heat will return home for a post-Christmas series with the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) on Friday December 27th and Saturday December 28th at the AESC (7:00PM). December 27th will feature a Legends of Hockey appearance by Oilers legend Grant Fuhr, with an autograph session on the AESC concourse at 6pm.