ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Texas Stars got an early lead on the Abbotsford Heat, and Richard Bachman made sure it held up.
Bachman turned aside 38 shots as the Stars beat Abbotsford 4-1 in American Hockey League action Thursday night.
“(Richard) was good,” Texas head coach Dan Gulutzan said. “Thirty-nine shots, he faced a lot of rubber, but in fairness to our guys our defenders did a good job.”
After Texas took a first-period lead, Stars forward Fabian Brunnstrom scored the winner early in the second. Brunnstrom beat Heat starter Leland Irving as he put home a cross-ice feed from Dan Spang for his seventh of the season.
Just 38 seconds later, Ondrej Roman made it 3-0 when he beat Irving with a wrist shot from the face-off circle.
Cam Cunning had Abbotsford’s best chance of the middle frame as his shot got past Bachman, but was cleared from the crease before it crossed the goal line.
Luke Gazdic made it 4-0 in the third as his weak shot fluttered over the shoulder of a screened Irving.
“I think we got some breaks tonight,” Gulutzan said. “We got that fourth goal, which was a bounce, but I thought we played with some poise tonight.
“It’s hard to play (in Abbotsford) because they come with such energy physicality so I thought we did a good job of handling that and I didn’t mind our game.”
Rookie Tomas Vincour opened the scoring for Texas (20-11-4) as he managed to get a handle on a rebound off of Aaron Gagnon’s shot early in the first.
“We’re not mature enough to come back from the (break) mature enough to play,” said Heat head coach Jim Playfair. “It’s simple: dumb, lazy minor penalties and casual play from our rookies.
“You don’t get offence unless you pay the price and go to the net. Guys on our team are scared to go to the net.”
Greg Nemisz spoiled Bachman’s shutout bid as his backhand shot sailed over the Stars goaltender mid-way through the third.
Irving, who made 20 saves, was stuck with his 11th loss of the season for Abbotsford (16-15-4).