ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Tyler Weiman turned aside all 27 shots he faced and Sergei Shirokov scored his team-leading 11th and 12th goals of the season Monday as the Manitoba Moose shut out the Abbotsford Heat 4-0 in American Hockey League play.
Marco Rosa and Mario Bliznak had the other goals for Manitoba.
Shirokov opened the scoring at 3:33 of the first, burying a Nolan Baumgartner rebound past Heat starter Matt Keetley.
“Sergei’s been a huge catalyst for our team and he’s one of our go-to guys,” said Weiman, who picked up his first shutout of the season. “He’s been real consistent for us and we look for him to put the puck in the net and he’s done a great job.”
With plenty of Vancouver Canucks brass in attendance to watch their AHL affiliate, the Moose (19-11-4) dominated the second period, outshooting the Heat (16-17-4) 12-1 and scoring three unanswered goals.
Shirokov beat Keetley for his second of the night at 4:42 off a one-time feed from Bliznak. Rosa ended Keetley’s night when he wired a short-handed wrist shot over the Abbotsford goaltender’s glove at 7:46.
Keetley surrendered three goals on 15 shots and was replaced by Leland Irving.
Bliznak beat Irving for his fourth of the season with a backhand shot to extend the Moose lead to 4-0 at 15:16.
“I can be a little more aggressive, but at the same time you’re playing for the guys in front of you,” said Weiman of the offence provided. “At the same time we play these guys again (Tuesday) so we just wanted to keep doing what we were that got us the lead.”
Jon Rheault had Abbotsford’s best chance of the period but he missed the net with Weiman out of position.
“No one is going to help us, we can’t just wait around and hope that someone lets us get a win or someone lets us score early,” said Rheault. “We just need to reset and calm down—we’re not going to score goals if we’re gripping our sticks.
“I think I was a prime example of that. I got a lot of chances.”
The Heat got two early third-period power plays, and were outshooting the Moose 10-1 at one point, but couldn’t solve Weiman.
Abbotsford’s best chance of the period came early in the third but Weiman snared a Greg Nemisz shot from the slot.
“My mindset going into this game was get off to a good start and try to see pucks early,” Weiman said. “I’ve practised for a long time (between starts), but that doesn’t always make it easy going into games.
“I think the guys did a good job in front of me of letting me see pucks and getting into the game early helped.”
Irving made 10 saves in relief of Keetley as the Heat dropped their season-high sixth in a row.