AHL

Knight scores winner as Heat down Checkers

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The Canadian Press
2/6/2014 12:49:34 AM
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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Forward Ben Street has been a welcome addition since being sent back to the Abbotsford Heat.

Street scored once and assisted on Corban Knight's winner late in the third period as the Abbotsford Heat edged the visiting Charlotte Checkers 4-3 on Wednesday in American Hockey League action.

Street put a shot on net from the slot and Knight was parked in front of goaltender Mike Murphy to slide the rebound in to break a 3-3 at 16:27 of the third.

"Whenever Street has the puck in the offensive zone you know something good is going to happen," said Knight. "I just went to the netaand lucky for me, it was a wrapped present."

Street scored for the second straight night since being reassigned by the Calgary Flames and now has 19 goals 37 points in 33 games with the Heat.

"Street's such an important part of this team, both on the ice and in the dressing room," said Knight. "He brings a calming presence and veteran leadership a lot of guys look up to. We knew he'd be at the top of his game."

The line of Knight, Street and Brett Olson - who had three assists in the game - was praised by head coach Troy Ward following the game.

"They were our best line the last two games, consistently in all three zones," said Ward. "We threw Ben to the left wing, which he really hasn't done all year here. He's usually a centre. There was a glimpse a couple months ago when Knight kept finding Street on the power play and he was burying goals. We knew there was some chemistry."

With 20 seconds left in the contest, Abbotsford's Olivier Roy made the biggest of his 32 saves after sliding across to rob Charlotte's Chris Terry on a back-door play to preserve victory.

"That save at the end of the game, the sprawl out, that's a reaction save," said Ward. "Those types of saves he made all night. It's tough to win two in a row against any team in this league, and tonight Roy was a big part of that."

Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund also scored for Abbotsford (30-14-4), which won its fourth game in a row.

Dan Biega scored his first two professional goals and Zach Boychuk had the other for Charlotte (22-22-1) while Murphy made 24 saves in defeat.

The Heat opened the scoring when Baertschi buried his third goal of the season, taking a feed from Corey Locke and backhanding the puck over the outstretched glove of Murphy at 12:43 of the first period.

The Checkers, however, tied the game a few minutes later. Charlotte broke out on a four-on-one rush and Biega finished a give-and-go with Brett Sutter, beating Roy five-hole.

Granlund put the Heat back up by one just 1:21 into the second period, finish off a two-on-one with Olson while shorthanded. Granlund beat Murphy for his team-leading 21st of the season and fifth in as many games.

The Checkers drew even again at 15:26 of the second. Boychuk skated in and wired a shot past Roy from the top of the circle, blocker side, for his team-leading 22nd of the year.

Street put the Heat back up by one at 9:30 of the third. With the puck lost in a maze of skates at the right face-off dot, Street spun around and fired the puck past Murphy.

Biega once again, though, knotted the game up for the visitors, driving out of the corner towards the net before sliding the puck under Roy at 11:11.

Heat defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon thought he had the winner on his stick with less than six minutes to go when he got open in the slot, but Murphy kicked his left pad up into the air to deny him of the sure goal.

"He had a good look, a good release," said Ward. "That's an old-time save, a throwback, like Tommy Barrasso or Martin Brodeur, double stacking and throwing the pads up. It was a good save."

Abbotsford will look to extend its four-game win streak Saturday when they host the Texas Stars.

Abbotsford Heat (Photo: TSN.ca)

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(Photo: TSN.ca)
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