Credit: Clint Trahan / Abbotsford Heat
1. NIFTY FIFTY: The Heat put 50 shots on net, but lost – two things that don’t often match. David Leggio, his posts, and a few misses on gaping nets were the difference in the hockey game. At the other end, a puck bounced in off Brian Flynn on the power play and another seemed to weave it’s way through a maze of bodies past a screened Barry Brust. It appears the Hockey Gods aren’t yet ready smile on the Heat. The high for shots on net this season in the AHL is 54 steered on target by the Charlotte Checkers in a 5-4 shootout loss to Peoria – go figure!
2. SVENTERTAINMENT: Rookie forward Sven Baertschi was strong in his first game back from an injury suffered on November 30th. Baertschi drew an assist on Ben Walter’s fifth goal of the season, but should have had at least another assist or two with some gorgeous seeing-eye back-door passes that went unconverted by linemates. Baertschi gave the Heat a dangerous dynamic at even strength showcasing his superb vision throughout the night. A couple whiffs and missed one-timers showed there may be a touch of rust on the Swiss wizard, but his return is huge for the club.
3. SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE LOST: The PP was 0/5 with 65 seconds of 5-on-3 time unconverted. There were chances and golden opportunities missed, but the Americans got two where the Heat got none. The PK was one-for-three on the night, but also buried while short-handed (Max Reinhart’s 3rd goal and the team’s fifth SHG of the season). A mixed bag to be sure, but Rochester won the game with their efficiency in odd-manned situations.