ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Abbotsford Heat wrapped up their final home stand of the regular-season with a 2-1 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins in American Hockey League action Saturday night.
Shawn Weller and Collin Stuart had the goals for the Heat (37-29-11), while goaltender David Shantz turned aside 27 shots.
“Any time you get more ice time it always helps getting in a groove,” said Shantz, who picked up his 14th win of the season. “I’m feeling pretty good, but I haven’t done anything different – we played a pretty good third period tonight and it’s nice to get off that skid that we were on.”
Brad May replied for the Griffins (31-38-7).
Weller opened the scoring late in the first period as he outmuscled Justin Abdelkader in front of the Griffins net and put the puck past Thomas McCollum for his seventh of the season.
“I think Shawn felt guilty for laughing on the bench,” joked Heat head coach Jim Playfair of Weller’s reaction to his tirade last Saturday night. “He was just trying to make it up to me – he’s doing a good job of it. I just want to see more of that in the playoffs.”
Stuart nearly doubled the Heat’s lead before the end of the period. His shot got past McCollum and sat on the goal-line before it was cleared to safety.
Cory Emmerton had the Griffins best chance of the first as he rang a shot off the post with Shantz down and out.
Former Heat forward Riley Armstrong ended John Lammers’ night in the first with a crushing body check.
“It’s always easy to get up for these games,” said Armstrong. “I have a lot of good friends over there.”
According to the Heat, Lammers is suffering from a shoulder injury and will be re-evaluated Sunday morning before the team heads out on the road.
Abbotsford opened a 2-0 lead near the midway mark of the second as Stuart let go a wrist shot from the faceoff dot, which beat McCollum high blocker side.
For the second consecutive night May made things interesting in the third, putting home the rebound off Brandon Wong’s shot for his fourth of the season to make it 2-1, but the Griffins would get no closer.
“We were down two goals again tonight and we just kept battling,” said Armstrong. “We played pretty hard and we just got to build off that.”
Abbotsford finished the night 1-for-6 with the man advantage while the Griffins were held scoreless on three attempts.
McCollum made 33 saves in the loss.