By Win Wachsmann. The Abbotsford Heat shut out the Toronto Marlies 3 -0 in front of 6503 fans at the Abbotsford Arts and Entertainment Centre on Friday.
Even though the Heat have been eliminated from playoff contention, they played their hearts out on Fan Appreciation night.
Danny Taylor played a stellar game as he made 25 saves to earn his third shutout of the season and the 12th of his AHL career.
The penalty killers also played an outstanding game as they were able to keep the Marlies off the scoreboard during six power play opportunities.
Tyler Ruegsegger took a pass from Blair Jones and then wristed it past Marlie goalie Drew Macintyre at 8:11 of the first period to get his tenth goal of the season. Mike Matczak got the second assist.
The Heat kept pressing and at the midpoint of the second period, after a slashing penalty by Toronto’s Paul Ranger, Brady Lamb fired another shot at Macintyre which was stopped but not held. In the ensuing melee, Ruegsegger hacked at it and then Mike Testwuide jammed it in for his fourth goal of the season at 9:38.
Ruegsegger’s assist gave him two points for the game and that was enough to earn him the First Star of the game.
With Toronto shorthanded for only the second time in the game at 4:41 of the third, when Kevin Marshall was boxed for slashing, the Heat power play unit went back to work.
At 5:51, after Krys Kolanos took a pass from Ben Walter and left Marlie defenceman Paul Ranger swinging at air, Kolanos drove the puck past Macintyre to make it 3-0. That was Kolanos’ 17th goal of the season. Mark Cundari got the second assist and the third star of the game.
Marlie goalie Drew Macintyre made 23 saves on 26 shots.
The next Heat game and the final one on home ice will be played at the AESC in Abbotsford on Sunday at 4 PM.
Photo Credit: Clint Trahan