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Ben Street and Brett Carson lead Heat to 3-2 AHL win over Americans

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Abbotsford defenceman Brett Carson is making a case for another shot with the Calgary Flames this year.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Abbotsford defenceman Brett Carson is making a case for another shot with the Calgary Flames this year.

Carson had a goal and an assist as the Heat defeated the Rochester Americans 3-2 in American Hockey League action Tuesday afternoon.

Carson now has four goals and three assists in eight games with the Heat since being sent down by the Flames following the abbreviated training camp.

He signed a two-year deal with Calgary in 2011, but hasn’t been able to get a steady spot in the Flames lineup, though he's been a consistent threat at the AHL level.

“Everybody thought he was capable at this level of putting up points,” said Heat head coach Troy Ward. “The unknown part was, how could he play and perform at the other level.

"It’s a difficult thing because you go from being a skilled guy in the American Hockey League to a non-skilled guy in the NHL and the temperature — how you play and how you posture yourself physically in a game — is a lot different. But down here he’s a go-to guy.”

For the 27-year-old Carson, who has never scored more than six goals in any AHL season, he says he's just glad to be contributing.

“Good things happen when you shoot pucks at the net,” said Carson. “Confidence is a huge part of this game. When pucks are going through, just getting to the net, it feels like you have a little bit more time, you see the lanes opening up, bounces are going your way.

"I’ll just keep throwing pucks on net and hopefully they’ll keep going in or at least creating some offence.”

Ben Street also had a goal and an assist, while Joe Piskula scored a rare goal in the second period that proved to be the winner for Abbotsford (24-15-7), which has one win in its previous four games.

Danny Taylor made 17 saves in the win. The Heat held the AHL's most prolific offence to just 19 shots and the fourth-ranked power play scoreless on eight opportunities.

“We took too many penalties tonight and Taylor bailed us out a few times,” said Carson.

The Abbotsford penalty kill is ranked first in the AHL.

“It was outstanding today,” said Taylor. “They didn’t get a lot of looks and the ones they did shoot I could see. We blocked so many pucks and had sticks in the lanes.”

“It’s been our bread and butter all year, to an extent,” added Ward.

Frederick Roy and Nick Tarnasky scored for Rochester (24-16-3), which saw its five-game win streak end.

Rochester is now four points back of Abbotsford for the North Division lead but have three games in hand.

Connor Knapp, making his first start since Dec. 22, made 17 saves.

Roy opened the scoring for the Americans at 3:50 with a delayed penalty coming. He deflected Jonathan Parker's shot from the point past Taylor, giving him four goals on the year.

The Heat tied the game a couple minutes later when Tyler Ruegsegger won the draw back to Carson at the point and the blue-liner's wrist shot found the top corner.

Street gave Abbotsford the lead at 18:52 of the first during a two-man advantage. His one-timer from the right faceoff circle beat Knapp.

Piksula made it 3-1 with four minutes to go in the second period when his wrist from the point found its way through traffic.

Tarnasky scored with 50 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to one goal.

NOTES: Rochester goalie David Leggio missed the game due to his grandmother's death earlier this week. He is scheduled to rejoin the team for Wednesday night's rematch with Abbotsford.