ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – After an embarrassing 5-1 loss at home on Tuesday night, the Abbotsford Heat came with a sense of desperation.
It paid off as the Heat blanked the Peoria Rivermen 2-0 Wednesday.
J.P. Lamoureux made 20 saves for his first shutout of the season and Bryan Cameron’s goal at 18:08 of the first stood as the game winner.
Cameron one-timed a Ryley Grantham feed past Rivermen starter Jake Allen for his fifth of the season, capping off an opening period, which saw Abbotsford (20-18-6) outshoot Peoria 17-4.
“It was a little bit of weight off my shoulders,” said Cameron. “It’s tough sometimes when you’re not getting out there much, but I’m trying to make the best of it and it worked out good tonight.”
The first period was a chippy one with the teams exchanging 40 penalty minutes through the first 15 minutes.
Things got out of hand 12:04 into the first as Peoria (26-14-3) defenceman Daryl Boyle tripped Heat forward Stefan Meyer as the two were racing for the puck on a delayed icing. As a result, the Heat’s Cam Cunning and the Rivermen’s Tyler Shattock dropped the gloves, with the Peoria forward coming out worse.
“You got two teams that play a physical style, both teams take a lot of pride in being hard teams to play against,” said Rivermen head coach Jared Bednar. “I don’t think the (rough stuff) fazes either team–its’just part of the way we go about our business.
“What bothered me about our team’s effort tonight was we weren’t able to push back.”
Derek Nesbitt had two great chances to tie the game nearly five minutes into the second as he redirected a shot, which Lamoureux was able to recover and save–then Nesbitt had a shot from the top of the crease which the Heat starter got his glove on.
Jon Rheault doubled Abbotsford’s lead near the midway mark of the second finishing off a feed from defenceman T.J. Brodie.
“We played desperate–we knew we had to not let this slide like last night,” Rheault said. “When something goes wrong, find it, fix it and turn it around.
“We know now, we’re figuring out what it takes to turn it around.”
With Allen pulled, on a power play, Peoria had a flurry of chances late, but could not beat Lamoureux.
The Heat finished a season-high 10-game home stand with a 4-4-2 record.
Allen made 35 saves in the loss.