Rochester, NY – The Abbotsford Heat earned a point, but lost 3-2 to the Rochester Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) in the tenth round of a shootout.
Drew MacKenzie scored the first goal of his AHL career, Akim Aliu found the net for the second straight night, and the visitors killed off a penalty in overtime, but lost in a ten-round shootout. The Heat completed their final three-in-three segment of the schedule, earning three of a possible six points.
Despite being outshot 10-5 in the first period, the Americans scored twice at even strength and led 2-0 at the first intermission.
Akim Aliu scored on an end-to-end rush at 8:23 of the second period to cut the Rochester lead to 2-1. The home team continued to lead 2-1 after 40 minutes of play.
The Heat tied the game 2-2 at the 14:00 mark of the third period when Drew MacKenzie’s first career AHL goal bounced off the end glass and in off the back of goalie David Leggio. MacKenzie’s goal came unassisted and forced overtime.
The Heat erased the full two minutes of a four-on-three penalty kill in overtime, taking both teams to a shootout, where ten rounds were needed to decide a winner. Akim Aliu, Blair Jones and Tyler Ruegsegger all scored in the shootout, while Brett Olson hit the crossbar moments before the Americans ended the game.
Danny Taylor made 24 saves on 26 shots through 65 minutes, with an additional six saves on ten shots in the shootout. The Heat outshot the Americans by a 37-32 margin.
The Heat did not score on three power play opportunities, but killed off both Rochester man advantages.
The Heat will depart for Texas on Monday, where the club will play the final three games of their season-long, 15-day, seven-game road trip.
The Heat’s next action in Abbotsford will be against the Rockford IceHogs (AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks) on March 22nd and 23rd. For tickets and more information on the Heat, please call 1-877-452-HEAT(4328) or visit us online at www.AbbotsfordHeat.com.