ON THE LINE:
With a win on Saturday the Heat had a chance to pass the Toronto Marlies and take pole position in the North Division. After converting on 33 per cent of their power play chances last night, the Heat hoped to keep their success on the man advantage rolling.
The flow in Saturday’s game came down to luck – or a lack thereof. While each team had their fair share of scoring chances, the Heat were unable to convert on some very good scoring opportunities throughout the game.
The physicality boiled over from the previous night’s game as well. Post-whistle scrums and even a tussle between Carter Bancks and Stephane Veilleux headlined the match.
THE TURNING POINT:
With the Aeros on their heels, the Heat were creating scoring opportunities until a nifty pass from Johan Larsson to Zack Phillips put the visitors up by two goals and took to wind out of the Heat’s sails.
First Star: Johan Larsson – With a big four-point performance, the Aeros rookie was the primary catalyst for his team’s road victory.
Second Star: Matt Hackett – The Aeros net-minder shut the door on 24 of the Heat’s 25 shots in the game.
Third Star: Paul Mara – The veteran of over 730 NHL games had two assists and drew a penalty to help his side earn a weekend split with the Heat.
STAT OF THE GAME:
Coming into the game, the Heat had allowed the second fewest goals against in the league at home (58 GA) and have the fifth best goal differential on home ice at +15.
“The problem that has been with this current group we have is we aren’t as hard as we used to be. We’re not nearly as fast. And so that coupled with bad special teams make for a bad recipe with this current team to play with.”
- Troy Ward on his team’s performance on Saturday night
The Heat will hit the road where they’ll play seven games in 12 days, which will include four big divisional games. They’ll begin their lengthy road swing in Hamilton on Tuesday at 4:30 PST.