Heat Beat Comets 2-1 in Overtime
Utica, NY - The Abbotsford Heat beat the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks), 2-1 in overtime on Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Heat remain in second place in the West Division with a 36-24-5-2 record and 79 points.
It was a spectacular goaltending performance from Joni Ortio and Joacim Eriksson, who combined to stop 71 of 74 shots. Ben Street led the way offensively with two points (1-1-2) and was the hero, scoring his second overtime winning goal of the season.
The Comets opened the scoring at the 8:14 mark of the first period, on a shorthanded goal from Alex Friesen. Joni Ortio made 16 saves in the first period, while Joacim Eriksson stopped all nine shots he faced.
In the dying seconds of the second period, Sven Baertschi scored his 10th goal of the season at 19:59, assisted by Ben Street and Derek Smith, which tied up the game at 1-1.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities in the third period, but neither could beat the goaltenders, and overtime was necessary.
In the extra session, Ben Street scored his team leading 25th goal of the season at the 2:19 mark, assisted by Max Reinhart and Chad Billins.
The Heat went zero for two on the power play and killed off both Comets man advantages.
Joni Ortio was named the first star of the game, stopping 43 of the 44 shots he faced and picked up the win, while Joacim Eriksson was charged the loss turning aside 28 of 30 shots.
The Heat and Comets will finish their season series in Utica on Saturday March 29th at 4:00 PM PST. The Heat's next home game is on Friday, April 4th against the Rockford IceHogs (AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks). NHL Veteran Brendan Morrison will be making an appearance as part of the Heat's 'Legends of Hockey series'. Morrison will be available for autographs on the concourse of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC) on a first come, first served basis. For fans who lead a group sale of 10 or more tickets for this game, they and a guest will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive meet and greet with Morrison. For tickets, please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.
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