The Barons were, well, barren last night as the Abbotsford Heat took the first game in this weekend's back-to-back series, posting a 4-0 shutout in front of a sold out crowd at the AESC.
Ben Street, Ben Walter, Dustin Sylvester, and Krys Kolanos scored for the Heat, who out-shot the Barons 36-23. Danny Taylor saved all 23 shots against him for his first shutout of the season.
Shutting out the Barons is quite the feat, considering the roster they boast, but the Heat also scored on three of nine powerplays and shut down all five of the Barons' man-advantage attempts.
The Barons' stars will need to pull up their collective socks tonight if they hope to challenge the Heat, who continue to fire on all cylinders. Jordan Eberle and Tyler Pitlick led the Barons in shots on goal in yesterday's contest with four each, but Magnus Paajarvi had none and Taylor Hall managed to register just one shot against Danny Taylor. I can't say with certainty whether or not this is a function of Abbotsford's goalies simply making the saves, shot-blocking or an otherwise obstructionist defence reducing the quantity and quality of their opponent's shots on net, but I think it's quite likely to be the result of a mix of these factors.
Yann Danis has been the Barons' go-to guy in net thus far this season, appearing in seven games including last night's loss. However Danis now has a sub-.900 SV% and two losses in the Barons' past three games attached to his name, so perhaps Olivier Roy will get a shot at manning the crease. It is unclear as of yet if Danny Taylor will get the call between the pipes again tonight for the Heat.
The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet tonight on all four regional channels (supposedly--I'm still weary of getting my hopes up after I was let down last time) at 10PM ET, 8PM MT, and 7PM PT. I'll post any further updates to this story in a game thread closer to puck drop.