On the Line:
On Friday evening the Heat looked to snap a five-game winless streak, having picked up just a single point over the rough patch. It has also been uphill battle for the club offensively as they potted just eight goals over their five game road swing. With a four game home stand on the horizon, the Heat looked to break out of their woeful slumps.
The Abbotsford Heat controlled the play through most of the first period with Greg Nemisz scoring the only Heat goal, which was his first on the season.
The second period was marked by a whole lot of action and few whistles. The physicality ramped up from each team and the man behind the hard-hitting ways for the Checkers was former member of the Heat and Checkers captain Brett Sutter. For the Heat Blair Jones threw the most shoulders in the loss – his Heat debut. The Checkers did not let their foot off the gas in third frame as they scored three goals to seal the victory.
The Turning Point:
It’s safe to say the two shorthanded goals for the Charlotte Checkers was the turning point of the game. The back-to-back ‘shorties’ deflated the Heat to the point where a comeback would have been immensely difficult.
First Star: Zac Dalpe – With two shorthanded goals, there’s little doubt as to why he earned first star honours. His line took the wind out of the Heat’s sails.
Second Star: Brett Sutter – The former Heat forward collected a goal and three assists for his team and provided a great deal of physicality in the win.
Third Star: Justin Peters – The Checkers goaltender stood tall for his team in a 27 save performance.
Stat of the Game:
Brett Carson leads all active AHL defensemen in shooting percentage. He has converted on 18.5 per cent of his shots on goal.
“A lot of times when you’ve had good goaltending all year and you don’t think things are going to happen […] they always feel like ‘oh, it’s not going to happen’ and I felt it was one of those nights where I think they kind of felt ‘okay, it’s 2-1, nothing else will happen bad’ in terms of another shorthanded against and ironically that’s the way it works. You know, that’s life.”
- Troy Ward on giving up two shorthanded goals
The Heat will square off in a rematch against the Charlotte Checkers tomorrow night at 7:00. The test for the Heat will be to see if they can shut down the duo of Brett Sutter and Zac Dalpe who combined for eight points on the night.