ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Starting two games in two nights didn’t seem to tire out Leland Irving.
The Abbotsford Heat goaltender was in a zone Saturday night, steering away 31 of 32 shots in a 2-1 American Hockey League win over the Milwaukee Admirals. It was Irving’s second win in a row, through it was a cleaner effort that the Heat’s 7-5 win over Milwaukee on Friday.
“You know, I felt good,” said Irving. “Not a whole lot different than Friday night to be honest, but some nights you get the bounces, some nights you don’t.”
Abbotsford’s Keith Seabrook scored the only goal of the first period when his point shot deflected in off a Admirals player.
Abbotsford had a few great chances to take a two-goal lead in the second period.
Riley Grantham beat Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich with a shot from the face-off dot, but hit the post.
Later in the period, Jason Jaffray had an excellent point-blank chance in the slot, but didn’t get everything on it and Dekanich was able to steer the shot aside.
The Heat opened up a two-goal lead late in the third period on what looked like a harmless shot from just inside the blue-line from Brett Sutter.
“I was just trying to put it on net – anything can happen,” said Sutter of his goal. “I tried shooting it through the (defenceman), using him as a screen, and it kind of caught the goalie off a bit.”
Dave Scatchard made things interesting with less than a minute remaining when he managed to bad a lose puck behind Irving, but that’s as close as the Admirals would get.
The Admirals were able to generate just one goal on 32 shots and many quality chances.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Milwaukee head coach Lane Lambert said. “We scored five last night and lost and then to not be able to capitalize tonight – walk out of here with two losses is extremely frustrating.”
Abbotsford’s penalty kill came up huge in the win killing off all seven Admiral chances including a two-minute five-on-three early in the first.
“I think you look at our schedule – four games in five nights and with travel mixed in – I think our team’s doing really well,” said Heat head coach, Jim Playfair. “At the end of the game with a one-goal lead our team looked really comfortable.”
Next up for the Heat is a visit from the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday.