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Plante makes 46 saves, Americans take 3-1 series lead over Heat

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Plante makes 46 saves, Americans take 3-1 series lead over Heat

The Canadian Press
By:

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - With the Rochester Americans scoring in bunches and riding a hot goalie, the Abbotsford Heat couldn't prevent being pushed to the brink of elimination from the American Hockey League playoffs.

Tyler Plante made 46 saves and Jordan Henry scored two second-period goals and the Americans beat Abbotsford 6-1 Wednesday.

With the win, Rochester now has a 3-1 stranglehold on the best-of-seven North Division semifinal. The Americans have a chance to close out the series in Abbotsford on Friday thanks largely to Plante, whose team was outshot 47-22.

"I thought the team did a good job of limiting their scoring chances," Plante said. "There was a lot of outside shots and I just had to make sure my rebounds were good and they took care of the rest."

Michael Garrison and Michal Repik also had second-period goals as the Americans scored four times in a 10-minute span on 12 shots.

It's the second game in a row the Americans have scored four unanswered goals.

"It's probably the third night in a row we weren't great in the first," said Henry. "It takes our guys a while to get going, we don't exactly like that, but once we get clicking in the second it seems like we can pop a couple."

Rochester opened the scoring for the first time in the series as Jamie Johnson managed to get his stick on a bouncing puck and beat Abbotsford starter David Shantz on Rochester's first shot of the game.

Abbotsford tied the game 1-1 early in the second as Josh Meyers beat Plante between his legs on an excellent feed from Mikael Backlund.

That's all the scoring Abbotsford would get. After Rochester's four-goal explosion in the second, Chris Taylor made it 6-1 for the Americans in the third with a power-play goal.

"I thought again our first period was an excellent period of hockey," Heat head coach Jim Playfair said. "I feel that our goaltending and our penalty kill obviously were obviously not very good.

"I put our veteran players on the ice and I expect them to take care of business, and they didn't."

Rochester finished the night 4-for-6 with the man advantage while holding the Heat scoreless on six power play opportunities.

Shantz turned aside 16 shots in a losing cause.

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Plante makes 46 saves, Americans take 3-1 series lead over Heat