The Abbotsford Heat stretched their team record winning streak to nine games by beating the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) 5-4 on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center. The Heat remain in first place in the Western Conference with a 13-4-0-1 record and will play the Barons again tomorrow night in Oklahoma City.
Photo by Steven Christy/Oklahoma City Barons
The game was a high scoring affair as the Heat were able to erase a two goal deficit in the second period and got a hat-trick from Ben Street to earn their ninth straight victory. Street now has seven goals and five assists during a five game point streak. Blair Jones had another solid night with 2 assists, both he and Street have seven points in their last two games. It was also the second consecutive game in which a Heat player scored a hat-trick.
The Heat opened the scoring at 4:02 of the first on a goal from Markus Granlund, assisted by Chris Breen and Greg Nemisz. The Barons tied the game 1-1 at 8:44, courtesy of Andrew Miller. Joni Ortio faced 10 shots for the Heat in the first period, while Ilya Bryzgalov faced seven shots for the Barons in his first AHL action since being sent down by the Edmonton Oilers on a conditioning assignment.
The Barons took a 2-1 lead at 3:27 of the second period on a goal from C.J. Stretch. Oklahoma City stretched their lead to 3-1 at the 7:59 mark with a goal from Dennis Grebeshkov. The Heat replied a minute later on the power play, as Ben Hanowski scored his sixth goal of the season with the assists going to Michael Ferland and Chad Billins. Ben Street tied the game on another power play at 9:58, assisted by Jones and Billins. However, at 14:11 the Barons took their lead back on a goal from Ryan Hamilton.
With the Heat trailing 4-3 in the third period, Ben Street scored his second of the game at 6:22, assisted by Brett Olson and Max Reinhart. Just 27 seconds later, Street capped off his first career AHL hat-trick with the assists going to Jones and Reinhart. Street’s winning goal gave the Heat a 5-4 victory.
The Heat were two out of four on the power play and killed off their only penalty in the game.
Joni Ortio picked up his seventh win in seven starts this season and faced 28 shots. Ilya Bryzgalov was charged with the loss, allowing five goals on 24 shots.
The Heat will continue their seven game road trip with another game on Saturday night against the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers). Following this seven game road trip, the Heat will return home to play the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) on Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th. Friday, November 29th will feature the third Legends of Hockey night of the season, with Canucks legend Kirk McLean appearing for autographs prior to the game on the AESC concourse at 6:00pm.