From the Abbotsford Heat. The Abbotsford Heat lost to the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings) 5-3 on Friday night at the Van Andel Arena. With the loss the Heat are eliminated from the Calder Cup Playoffs in four games to the defending champions.
The 2014 Playoffs and the Abbotsford Heat franchise came to an end for the Heat as they lost their opening round, best of 5 game series, three games to one. Markus Granlund (1-1-2) and Max Reinhart (0-2-2) both registered two point nights in a losing effort for the Heat.
The Heat opened the scoring at 14:21 of the first period, on a goal by Shane O’Brien, assisted by Ben Hanowski and Chris Breen. The shots were 9-8 in favour of the Heat at the end of 20 minutes.
The Griffins tied the game with a power play goal from forward Teemu Pulkkinen at 7:26 of the second period. Shortly after at the 9:09 mark, Jeff Hoggan gave the Griffins their first lead of the game at 2-1. Minutes later, the Heat tied it up at 2-2, as Kane Lafranchise scored his first career AHL goal assisted by Max Reinhart and Markus Granlund. Late in the period, the Griffins jumped back in front 3-2, on Jeff Hoggan’s second goal of the period.
In the third period, the Griffins extended their lead to 4-2 on a power play goal by Riley Sheahan at 4:51. The Heat responded, and drew to within one, with a power play goal by Markus Granlund assisted by Max Reinhart and Ben Street at 5:46, but that’s as close as they would come. Landon Ferrarro scored an empty net goal for the Griffins in the last minute of play to make it a 5-3 final.
The Heat finished the game with one goal on four power play attempts and killed off three of five penalties on the evening.
Goaltender Joni Ortio made 31 saves on 35 shots and took the loss for the Heat. His counterpart Petr Mrazek of the Griffins registered 24 saves on 27 shots and earned the victory.
The loss closes the book on the Abbotsford Heat franchise, as the team will be relocated for the 2014-2015 season. In five seasons, the Heat had a regular season record of 196-144-21-27 in 388 games and a playoff record of 10-13-2 in 25 games. The franchise thanks all of their fans for their continued support throughout the team’s tenure in Abbotsford.