ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – With a huge night from their second line, the Manitoba Moose earned a road win over a division rival.
Mike Keane, Guillame Desbiens and Mario Bliznak picked up five points as the Moose beat the Abbotsford Heat 5-2 in American Hockey League action Monday night.
Rookie Jordan Schroeder’s third goal of the season early in the second stood to be the winner as he picked up the bounce off the end boards and put it past Leland Irving, who was out of position on the play.
“We had an okay start,” said Desbiens “They scored on a 5-on-3, but then we took over in the second and third period. That’s our type of game – I think we played our game play to a key and we’ve got to do it (Tuesday) again.”
Desbiens, Bliznak and Schroeder each had a goal and an assist, while Taylor Ellington and Aaron Volpatti also scored for the Moose (36-32-6).
Staffan Kronwall and Andy Delmore replied for Abbotsford (34-29-11).
Earlier Monday, Heat coach Jim Playfair was fined an undisclosed amount for a screaming, stick-breaking meltdown during a game Saturday night against Hamilton.
Playfair became enraged following a call by referee Jamie Koharski,and a video on the Internet shows Playfair violently shattering two sticks and ripping off his jacket while screaming at officials.
The video had drawn more than 600,000 views on YouTube as of Monday afternoon. It even made CNN.
Playfair received a loud cheer from the crowd Monday as his name was announced with the Abbotsford coaching staff. He had no post-game comment about the crowd reaction prior to the opening face-off.
Abbotsford opened the scoring, and led after 20 minutes on Kronwall’s fifth goal of the season.
The second period was all Manitoba, as the Moose outshot the Heat 8-1 through the first half of the period and scored three unanswered goals.
“We started to put the puck in behind their (defence) with soft chip-ins and putting a lot of pressure,” said Desbiens of Manitoba’s second-period success. “When we cycle the puck down low you force them to take penalties and we scored a couple goals on the power play that were pretty big.”
Ellington tied the score at one when he ripped a shot from the point past Irving’s blocker.
The Moose took their first lead of the game as Keane and Desbiens worked the puck around to Bliznak, who had a wide open net and made no mistake picking up his ninth of the season.
Schroeder made it 3-1 in the second, then Desbiens and Volpatti added third period goals to secure the win.
“I thought we had a good first period,” Playfair said. “I thought we had a few missed assignments in the defensive zone on two (Manitoba’s) goals. The third goal went off of (Yan) Statsny, off the back of the net and into the empty net.
“That turned the game in a hurry for us.”
Irving 20 saves for his 17th loss of the season while Manitoba’s Corey Schneider made 17 saves in the win.