HEAT COME FROM BEHIND TO DOWN BARONS 5-4
By George Darkow,
Ben Street had a hat trick for the Abbotsford Heat, who knocked off the Oklahoma City Barons 5-4 Friday night at Cox Convention Center. The Heat extended their current win streak to nine games.
After notching his first goal in the second period, Street scored twice within 27 seconds in the third, first tying the game for Abbotsford and later tallying the game-winning goal.
Abbotsford struck first at 15:58 in the first, when a Chris Breen shot from the point was redirected in front of the net by the Heat's Markus Granlund and skidded under Barons goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's pads for a 1-0 Heat lead.
The Barons answered quickly when Linus Omark received a pass from Anton Lander behind the Heat net and promptly fed Andrew Miller in front, who chipped the puck past Abbotsford goalie Joni Ortio to tie the game at 11:16.
There was plenty of action in the second period, as Oklahoma City tallied three goals and Abbotsford two.
The Barons' first goal of the period came at 16:33, as Miller gathered the puck to the right of the Heat net and flicked a pass to C.J. Stretch, sprinting ahead of two Abbotsford defenders. Stretch received the pass, deked Ortio and backhanded a shot into the net for a 2-1 Barons lead.
Shortly thereafter, Denis Grebeshkov added to the Barons' lead on a bizarre play. While attempting to corral a Ryan Hamilton pass near the slot, Grebeshkov flipped the puck in the air and over heavy traffic in front of the Abbotsford net. As a shielded Ortio attempted to locate the puck, it sailed over his shoulder and just across the goal line, giving the Barons a 3-1 lead at 12:01.
Exactly one minute later, the Heat cut the Barons' lead to 3-2 after a Matt Ford roughing penalty at 8:59. Ben Hanowski scored the power play goal on a rebounded Michael Ferland shot from just in front of the Oklahoma City net.
Less than a minute later, Abbotsford struck again, tying the game on a power play goal following an interference penalty at 10:41 to Omark. Street received a pass from Blair Jones and rifled it into the top shelf of the Oklahoma City net at 10:02 to knot the score at three apiece.
Oklahoma City regained the lead at 5:49 in the second when, on a two-on-two rush, Roman Horak sent a cross-ice pass to Hamilton who rifled a wrist shot around a Heat defender and over the glove of Ortio.
Abbotsford eventually tied the game at 13:38 in the third period on Street's second game-tying goal, after center Brett Olson found Street alone in front of the Barons net. Just 27 seconds later, at 13:11, Street scored the eventual game winner, tipping the puck past Bryzgalov off a Blair Jones snapshot from just inside the blue line.
Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 28 Abbotsford shots in his first professional action since last season.
With the loss the Barons dropped to 6-7-0-2 on the season, while Abbotsford improved to an AHL best 13-4-0-1.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at Cox Convention Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. CT. One fan will drive away in a brand-new Honda Civic during the team's Drive Away Every Saturday promotion. Fans can register for a chance to be a semifinalist at the game.
Click here for the boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011313
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