The Heat fell 3-2 to the Rochester Americans in a shootout despite the efforts of former Sabre Paul Byron. - Mike Ridewood
Despite coming back from one-goal deficits twice in this game, the Abbotsford Heat failed to keep their new-found winning streak going against the Rochester Americans last night in New York.
The Heat and the Americans played a close, scoreless contest with Abbotsford holding the edge in shots until Frederick Roy scored for the home team at 7:47 of the second period. Dustin Sylvester scored a powerplay goal to tie the game at one less than five minutes later, but Luke Adam would score to put Rochester back up by one in the last minute of play in the second period.
Just over 30 seconds into overtime the Americans thought they had scored the game winner only to have the goal called off. The home team out-shot the Heat 2-0 in the five-minute extra frame.
In the shootout, David Leggio proved why he has the best record in the league when it comes to the tie-breaker, stopping all six Abbotsford shooters while Barry Brust stopped five of six shots before Rochester's second-best scorer T.J. Brennan managed to slip one past him to win it for the Americans.
Despite securing three of four points on their brief two-game road trip and continuing to lead the league, the Heat have struggled in the month of December with only one win, two overtime losses, and two shutout losses to their name nearly halfway through the month. It was evident that the team would not be able to operate at the high level they had previously been operating at for the entire season, but hopefully this is merely a common quarter-season slide; this was the first game in which the Heat allowed over 30 shots in a game since early November.
Abbotsford returns home this weekend to host back-to-back games against the Texas Stars on Friday and Saturday. Friday's game will include a Teddy Bear Toss while Saturday's game being broadcast on Sportsnet West and Pacific. The Heat beat the Stars 1-0 in overtime back on November 23rd. Texas currently sits in sixth place in the Western conference with 27 points in 23 games played.