Abbotsford, BC – The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) 4-2 on Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC). The Heat now sit in first place in the American Hockey League (AHL) with a 23-9-1-1 record and 48 points.
Joni Ortio earned his league-leading 15th win of the season, with Ben Street (2 assists) and Corban Knight (1 goal, 1 assist) leading the way offensively. During the two game series against the Barons, Street had six assists and Knight had two goals and two assists. Sven Baertschi also scored his first AHL goal of the season.
Curtis Hamilton opened the scoring for the Barons at 7:49 of the first period. Markus Granlund evened the game at 1-1 with a stellar individual effort at 18:48. Granlund’s 13th of the season was assisted by Max Reinhart and Brady Lamb.
Knight scored a power play goal at 17:09 of the second period, from Street and Ben Hanowski, to stretch the Heat lead to 2-1. The period featured seven minor penalties, and Ortio stopped 22 of 23 Oklahoma City shots through 40 minutes.
Lane MacDermid scored his first of the season at 10:31 of the third period on a great feed from Carter Bancks. Just 15 seconds later, Hamilton scored his second of the game for the Barons on an unlucky deflection of the Heat defenceman, drawing the Barons within one goal. However, Baertschi iced the game at 18:43 on the power play, assisted by Knight and Street.
Abbotsford was two for seven on the power play, and killed off all three Oklahoma City man advantages.
Joni Ortio stopped 32 of 34 shots for the Heat, and Richard Bachman made 22 saves on 26 shots for Oklahoma City. Ortio stopped 64 of 67 shots this weekend for back to back victories.
The Heat will host the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday, January 3rd and Saturday, January 4th. Friday night will feature the first $3 $2 $1 Brew Dog and Pop night, with value priced beer, hotdogs, and fountain pop. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.