MANITOBA 4, ABBOTSFORD 0
2010 AHL All-Star Sergei Shirokov scored twice and goaltender Tyler Weiman pitched a 27-save shutout for his first win in more than a month as Manitoba blanked Abbotsford by a 4-0 count on Monday in the opener of a two-game set at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Shirokov opened the game’s scoring 3:33 into the contest and then made it 2-0 at 4:42 of the second period. Marco Rosa chased Heat starting goaltender Matt Keetley with a shorthanded marker at 7:46 of the second, and Mario Bliznak beat replacement Leland Irving less than eight minutes later.
Captain Nolan Baumgartner chipped in two assists for the Moose, who improved to 7-1-0-0 in their last eight games and moved into sole possession of second place in the North Division, two points clear of Toronto.
Manitoba is now just three points back of Hamilton for the top spot and still holds two games in hand on the Bulldogs.
Weiman (6-4-2) collected his first shutout of the season and his first victory since defeating Rockford in a 22-save performance on Nov. 19.
The teams will do battle again on Tuesday night in Abbotsford.