Rockford, IL – The Abbotsford Heat beat the Rockford IceHogs (AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks) 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday morning at BMO Harris Bank Center. The Heat are back in first place in the West Division with a 25-13-1-1 record and 52 points.
For a second straight game, the Heat came from behind in the third period to win in overtime. AHL All-Star Chad Billins recorded a three point game (1-2-3) and was named the first star, while Max Reinhart and Corban Knight chipped in with two assists each. Puck drop was at 11:00am CST as it was the Rockford Public School District game.
The IceHogs opened the scoring at 6:36 on a goal from Brad Winchester. The ‘Hogs then made it 2-0 as Garrett Ross converted on a power play goal at 17:35. After 20 minutes, Rockford outshot Abbotsford 14-7.
In the second period, Mark Cundari cut the deficit to one, scoring his fourth goal of the season on the power play at 7:21 assisted by Reinhart and Billins. Less than four minutes later, the IceHogs restored their two goal lead with a goal from Brandon Mashinter, giving Rockford a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Just 17 seconds in to the third period, Evan Trupp scored his first career AHL goal in his first game with the Heat, assisted by Josh Jooris and Corban Knight. At the 13:56 mark, Chad Billins tied the game with his eighth goal of the season, assisted by Corban Knight.
In overtime, the Heat were awarded a power play, and Markus Granlund scored the game winning goal at 3:40, assisted by Billins and Reinhart.
The Heat were two out of three on the power play and killed off two of four penalties in the game.
Joey MacDonald picked up his fifth win of the season stopping 32 of 35 shots, while Jason LaBarbera was charged the loss turning away 29 of 33 shots.
The Heat continue their six-game road trip on Friday and Saturday against the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings). After the road trip, the Heat will return home and begin an eight-game home stand, starting with the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) on January 24th and 25th at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.