IN THE NEWS
BARONS FALL TO HEAT 4-2
By Josh Evans, OKC Barons
Abbotsford Heat forward Guillaume Desbiens broke a 2-2 tie with a goal early in the third period to lead the Heat to a 4-2 win over the Oklahoma City Barons. The Barons and Heat split their two-game set in Oklahoma City with each club winning a game in regulation.
After a scoreless first period, Abbotsford struck first with a pair of goals 1:19 apart in the second period. Greg Nemisz collected a pass from the point in the slot and fired it toward Barons goaltender Yann Danis. The shot deflected off of Danis’ shoulder and the puck fluttered just over the goal line.
Defenseman Clay Wilson extended the lead to two goals with his fourth of the season. He was able to convert on a goal-mouth fray that featured all five Heat players in and around the top of Danis’ crease.
At the time of Wilson’s goal, the Barons had been outshot 9-0 in the period and appeared flat.
With the Barons reeling and short handed for the third time in the period, they would strike with their third short-handed goal of the season. Ryan O’Marra corralled the puck in the neutral zone and found Hunter Tremblay streaking toward the net. Tremblay was able to deek Heat goaltender Leland Irving and slide the puck underneath him to give the Barons their first goal and some life. Tremblay has all three of the Barons’ short-handed goals this season.
The back half of the second period was more productive for the Barons and they were able to tie the game at two with just over a minute to play. Centerman Chris VandeVelde was able to convert on the rebound of a Gilbert Brule shot from the slot to tie the contest.
Shortly after the third period began, Desbiens converted on a nifty centering pass from Dustin Sylvester. The Heat maintained their lead and were able to keep the Barons to just nine shots on goal in the third period. Oklahoma City would pull their goaltender with just under a minute to play in the game, but Jon Rheault added an empty-netter before the Barons could set up their attack to secure the 4-2 win.
Barons goaltender Yann Danis stopped 26 of the 29 shots he saw in the loss. His record falls to 8-4-0. Heat netminder Leland Irving made 21 saves for his league leading 12th win of the season. Oklahoma City failed to convert on both of their power-play chances while the Heat were 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
The Barons are off until next Friday when they start a three-game weekend. Friday they take on Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. (ct). Saturday, they travel to Rockford to play the IceHogs at 7 p.m. The Barons return to Grand Rapids Sunday at 4 p.m. (ct).
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