By Win Wachsmann. The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Lake Erie Monsters 4 – 3 in a shootout at the AESC on Saturday to take third place in the Western Conference.
The Heat tied the game in the last minute of the game, fought off a penalty in overtime and then beat the Monsters in the shootout.
The Monsters scored first at 6:34 of the first period when Gary Steffes took a pass from winner Mike Connelly and wristed it past Barry Brust for his first career AHL goal.
The Heat replied at 14:49 when Dustin Sylvester scored his 10th of the season on a give and go from Paul Byron and Krys Kolanos.
In the second period the Monsters pressed the Heat and scored two goals to take a 3-1 lead. Brad Malone’s pass across the crease was deflected into the net by a Heat player. Mike Connely got his second assist of the game. Cameron Gaunce got the second assist.
Just four minutes later Daniel Maggio beat Brust with a point shot to get his first AHL career goal. Geoff Walker and Chris Reed got the assists.
It looked like the score would stay that way until Brett Olsen scored with less than a minute left to bring the Heat within a goal of the Monsters. He tipped a Joe Piskula shot at the net that was stopped by Calvin Pickard but Olsen backhanded in the rebound to make it 3-2 Monsters …
The third period was scoreless until the final minute when the Heat, who were down 3-2, pulled Barry Brust for an extra attacker.
Moving down the ice, Max Reinhardt.fired a shot and Dustin Sylvester scored his second goal of the game as he redirected it past Pickard to tie the game with 51 seconds to go. That was Sylvester’s second goal of the game and eleventh of the season.
In the overtime, the Monsters pressed hard and fired 6 shots at Brust. The Heat also fought off a penalty powerplay when Joe Piskula was sent off for highsticking.
In the shootout Roman Horak, Krys Kolanos and Max Reinhart scored for the Heat while Barry Brust stopped all three Monsters shooters.
The Monsters outshot the heat 32-21 but Barry Brust got his first win since January 20.
The vaunted and top rated Heat powerplay showed their stuff as they kept the Monsters off the scoreboard on all four penalties.
The three stars 1. Abb Dustin Sylvester 2. Abb Krys Kolanos 3. Lake Erie Mike Connelly
The Heat play the Monsters again on Sunday at 4 PM.