Heat beat Rockford to remain first in AHL Abbotsford doubles up IceHogs, 4-2

ROCKFORD, Ill – The Abbotsford Heat won 4-2 against the Rockford IceHogs (AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks) on Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The Heat remain in first place in the American Hockey League (AHL) with a 15-5-0-1 record and 31 points. The Heat are now 4-1-0-0 through five of seven games on their current road trip and have won 11 of their last 12 games.

The Heat put forth a complete 60 minute effort, led by goaltender Joey MacDonald who made 28 saves, defenceman Chad Billins and winger Michael Ferland who combined for five points.

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Photo Credit: Todd Reicher

After killing off their first penalty of the game, the Heat scored on their first power play opportunity at 14:33 from Ben Hanowski, with the assists going to Chad Billins and Blair Jones. Joey MacDonald stopped all 10 shots he faced, while Kent Simpson turned away nine of ten for Rockford.

In the second period, the Heat got an early goal from Paul Byron at 1:29, assisted by Michael Ferland. The IceHogs then cut the Heat lead to one with a goal on the power play at 13:50 from Drew LeBlanc.

In the third period, Michael Ferland scored his fourth of the season to make it a 3-1 game at 6:51, assisted by Billins and Markus Granlund. Viktor Svedberg cut the deficit to one as he scored at 11:33 for Rockford, but Brett Olson scored into the empty net with three seconds left in the game, assisted by Billins, to make it a 4-2 final for the Heat.

The Heat were one out of four on the power play and killed off two of three penalties in the game.

Joey MacDonald picked up his third win of the season stopping 28 of 30 shots, while Kent Simpson suffered the loss turning away 27 shots.

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