Aeros Fall to Heat 4-2
Abbotsford, BC - The Houston Aeros (28-21-4-3, 63 points) were defeated by the Abbotsford Heat (27-22-3-5, 62 points) 4-2 on Friday night in front of 3,300 fans at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. Heat forward Ben Walter scored a pair of power-play goals 1:18 apart, erasing Abbotsford's one-goal deficit and propelling his team to victory over Houston. In all, Abbotsford used three goals in the third period to end its seven-game winless skid (0-6-0-1). Abbotsford goalie Leland Irving (3-4-2) made 29 saves, helping the Heat improve to 19-9-2-1 at home this season. Houston goalie Matt Hackett (18-19-3) made 21 saves on 24 shots, as the Aeros slipped to 14-13-2-1 on the road this year. The Aeros continue their four-game road trip Saturday night at 9 p.m. (CT) in Abbotsford.
Houston opened the scoring at 15:47 of the first period, taking a 1-0 lead in the team's first meeting with Abbotsford since Nov. 25 at Toyota Center. Forward David McIntyre played the puck to defenseman Steven Kampfer, who fired the puck to the Abbotsford net. Goalie Leland Irving made the initial save, but forward Stephane Veilleux poked in the rebound for his second goal of the year. Abbotsford tied the game 1-1 at 17:29 of the first period, as forward Andy Bohmbach tipped a shot past Houston goalie Matt Hackett. Defenseman Chris Breen and forward Max Reinhart each picked up an assist on Bohmbach's first goal of the year.
In the second period, Houston moved in front 2-1 in the last minute of the second period. Justin Fontaine snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Irving from just inside the left-wing circle. Fontaine's 14th goal of the season was set up by Johan Larsson and Brian Connelly on the power-play at 19:18.
Abbotsford scored twice in the first 4:18 of the third period to take its first lead of the night. Ben Walter put in a feed from Roman Horak at 3:00, scoring his 11th goal of the season. Right wing Tyler Ruegsegger also assisted on the power-play goal, tying the game 2-2. The Heat moved in front when Walter struck again at 4:18 of the second period. Brett Carson dropped a pass to Walter on the right-wing wall. Walter snapped a wrist shot from the right circle, beating Hackett for his 12th goal of the season and second power-play goal of the evening. Forward Brett Olson scored an empty-net shorthanded goal at 19:30 for the 4-2 final.
Houston plays its second of four straight on the road, concluding a two-game set in Abbotsford on Saturday at 9 p.m. CT. The team will make a stop in Charlotte for two games before returning home on Thursday, Mar. 14 at 7:05 p.m. as Houston hosts Abbotsford at Toyota Center. The game marks a "Thirsty Thursday", where fans may take their ticket stub to The Maple Leaf Pub (Smith and Elgin). The first 500 fans to The Maple Leaf Pub will receive a second drink free with their ticket stub.
Aeros season tickets start as low as $9 per seat and may be purchased online at Aeros.com by placing a $100 deposit. Once your order is processed, an Aeros ticket representative will contact you to choose your exact seat location, as well as discuss the payment options. Information on season tickets and mini-plans is also available on the team website at www.aeros.com. Groups of 15 or more receive a discount on all tickets, to book your group outing to an Aeros game please call 713-974-PUCK (7825).
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