Heat Defeat the Amerks to Force Game Six Sunday in Rochester

The Abbotsford Heat were down 3-1 in the series heading into Friday nights game and scored two first period goals on their way to a 3-1 win over the Amerks to force a game six on Sunday in Rochester.  Don Stevens said on the broadcast that the team has to be up at 4am to begin their travel back home, based on how tired the teams looked tonight let’s hope they drink some red bulls for the game on Sunday.

The game was more like game one in Rochester than the previous four.  The Heat took an early lead and were able to limit the quality scoring chances for the Amerks.  There was not a lot of scoring and definitely not a lot of hitting.  That can easily be contributed to the third game in five nights after traveling across the country.

It did appear the Jeff Taffe had scored a goal late in the third period that would have made it a 3-2 game but it was called no goal by referee Frederic L’Ecuyer.  Every Amerk player on the ice at the time celebrated and even David Shantz looked for the puck but it was waved off.  Benoit Groulx even stepped down to the boards to confront L’Ecuyer.  It’s a shame there’s no replays in The AHL, but that’s a discussion for another day.  A goal certainly would have given the Amerks some momentum.

In the end the Amerks defense was not as physical, Ellerby had a horrible giveaway, and the offense was not able to get that many quality chances until the final moments of the game.

Jon Rheault scored at 7:45 of the first period after receiving a pass from Brett Sutter and skating around Clay Wilson to put the puck between the legs of Tyler Plante.

The eventual game winner was scored by Garth Murray at 10:27 of the first period shooting a rebound into the net that Plante was just not able to get over in time to cover.

The final shot total for the game was 34-19 in favor of the Heat.  At around the 12 minute mark of the first period the Heat already had a 17-4 advantage.

Mike York and Shawn Matthias teamed up at 13:04 of the first period to make it a 2-1 game.  Well, it was more like a mistake by David Shantz who was not able to cover the puck and Mike York took advantage of it.  Matthias had put the puck on the net with a back hand from the side boards and as Shantz tried to get it and York was being tackled to the ice he was able to poke it into the net.

Jason Jaffray was granted a penalty shot at 7:44 of the second period because Jason Garrison had completely wrapped him up on a breakaway.  Jaffray tried to go back hand on Plante but the puck rolled off his stick and Plante made the easy pad save.

Keaton Ellerby proved yet again why some doubt his future after a horrible giveaway that resulted in David Van der Gulik scoring at 9:48 of the 3rd period to give the Heat a 3-1 lead.  As Ellerby was skating up the boards and he went to make a pass to Mathieu Roy it was anticipated, blocked and intercepted by Van der Gulik.  Ellerby makes a number of great plays at times but unfortunately the mistakes he does make are huge and costly.

A one goal deficit is easy to overcome late in the third, a two goal not so much.

There were some other great chances in the game.  There were three power play opportunities.  The Amerks were just not able to get anything done at the right times and the Heat were able to shut them down.  The game was like a Sunday afternoon game watching a team play their fourth game in five nights.  It’s tough for any team to win three straight on the road so looking at the positive the Amerks are home for at least the next two games as they try and close out the series.

Tell everyone you know about the game on Sunday at 5:05pm at Blue Cross Arena to come on out and cheer on the team!

Rochester Americans 1 At Abbotsford Heat 3 – Status: Final
Apr 23, 2010 – Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre

Rochester 1 0 0 – 1
Abbotsford 2 0 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Abbotsford, Rheault 2 (Spurgeon, Sutter), 7:45. 2, Abbotsford, Murray 1 (Lammers, Cunning), 10:27. 3, Rochester, York 2 (Matthias), 13:04. Penalties-Cunning Abb (hooking), 0:40; Taylor Rch (hooking), 8:08; Duco Rch (goaltender interference), 17:23.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-de Gray Rch (high-sticking), 9:13; Latendresse Abb (interference), 12:47; York Rch (tripping), 18:57.

3rd Period-4, Abbotsford, Van der Gulik 1   9:48. Penalties-Van der Gulik Abb (interference), 14:19; Mink Rch (roughing, misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:56; Wilson Rch (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:56; Seabrook Abb (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:56; Sutter Abb (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:56.

Shots on Goal-Rochester 6-7-6-19. Abbotsford 19-7-8-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Rochester 0 of 3; Abbotsford 0 of 5.
Goalies-Rochester, Plante 3-1-0 (34 shots-31 saves). Abbotsford, Shantz 2-2-0 (19 shots-18 saves).
Referees-Frederic L’Ecuyer (48).
Linesmen-Chris de Haan (50), Trent Knorr (91).