ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - With teammate and fellow goalie Danny Taylor up with the Calgary Flames, Barry Brust is making the most of his time in the Abbotsford crease.
Brust stopped 38 shots in the Heat's 1-0 shootout win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Sunday night in American Hockey League action.
Carter Bancks scored the winner in the shootout and then Brust stopped Brad Malone on the sixth attempt to clinch the victory. It was the fifth shutout of the season for Brust and the 21st of his AHL career.
“The more you play, the better you feel,” said Brust. “That last few games I played it just seemed like a lot of things weren’t bouncing my way and every decision I made was wrong. With the quality of goaltenders we had here if you don’t perform you’re not going to play.
“It was just getting a feel for the game and trusting my instincts."
Those instincts, however, can cause anxiety amongst fans, coaches and teammates. His tendency to aggressively poke check and leave the net to make plays sometimes puts him out of position.
“With us as a group of coaches back there it's a lot of patience,” said head coach Troy Ward. “And every now and then, 'What did he just do?' But at the same time, that's Barry and that's who he is. That's how he likes to paint the picture, and we trust him."
Paul Byron and Tyler Ruegsegger also scored in the shootout for Abbotsford (26-16-7), who beat Lake Erie in a shootout 4-3 on Saturday night and now have a four-point lead in the North Division standings.
Despite the loss, Kent Patterson made 23 saves for the Monsters in his first AHL start. Patterson spent most of the season with the Denver Cutthroats of the Central Hockey League. He was Colorado’s fourth-round selection in the 2007 NHL entry draft.
With Sami Aittokallio out with a lower-body injury for the weekend and Calvin Pickard ineffective the Monsters coaching staff gave the reins to Patterson.
Lake Erie (24-16-6) have just one regulation loss in their last 10 games (5-1-4)
Brust saved his best for the later stages of the third period, making a number of key stops while killing a penalty with seven minutes to go. Then he made a quick toe save off Harrison Reed's rebound attempt at the side of the net with four minutes left in the third.
Markus Lauridsen looked skyward after Brust denied him on his two shots in the final two minutes.
In overtime Cameron Gaunce had a chance from the slot but Brust kicked his pad out to stop the wrist shot.
Patterson's best stop was with less than five seconds to play in overtime, stopping Roman Horak in close to force the shootout.
With Ben Street called up to the Flames and Ben Walter on the sidelines with an undisclosed injury the Heat’s forward lines looked much different this weekend.
"Our team has changed quite a bit,” said Ward. “Different guys are getting a lot of minutes that weren't getting minutes before. But the leadership core did a good job.”
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