ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- With their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the Utica Comets needed someone to step up Saturday night. Enter team captain Colin Stuart. Stuart scored twice to lead the Utica Comets to a 3-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat on Saturday in American Hockey League action. Stuart now has 15 goals on the year and is tied for third on the team despite scoring just twice in the previous 15 games. "We challenged our leaders to bring a better game tonight, and (Stuart) was one of the guys who stepped up," said Comets head coach Travis Green. "Hes been good for us all year. You expect your captain to make plays and step up at the right time. You need all your best players this time of the year and it was good to see him do that." The Comets had their four-game winning streak snapped Friday by the Heat, but moved to within eight points of a Western Conference playoff berth with the bounce-back victory. "I didnt like the way we skated last night and the way we competed in certain areas of the ice," said Green. "The guys responded well tonight. These are desperate times for our team and we played like it tonight." Stuart, who signed with the Comets NHL-affiliate Vancouver Canucks during the summer, played in Abbotsford during the Heats inaugural season in 2009-10. Hes now registered six points in six games against the Heat this year. "Its still neat coming here," said Stuart. "And not just the arena, but the city itself. Its interesting to see how things have changed around town. And obviously I was here in the inaugural season so it was pretty special too." Brandon DeFazio also scored for the Comets for his third goal in four games. Alex Friesen had two assists for Utica (27-27-7), while Joacim Eriksson made 38 saves in the win. "(Eriksson) was good the whole game," said Green. "I like him last night and really liked him for the last three months. Hes been real solid for us. He had a tough start to the year but hes starting to develop." Eriksson gave the Abbotsford offence fits Saturday, making several key stops. "We keyed on getting the puck to the net but obviously we didnt take away the guys eyes as well as we should have," said Heat defenceman Chad Billins. "Theyre big bodies back there and they box out very well. Weve got to get some more bodies to the front of the net. And also hes a good goalie, so youve got to give him credit too." Ben Street scored the only goal for the Heat and Olivier Roy stopped 31 shots for Abbotsford (34-21-7), which has just one win in its last nine games. The Heat actually had the best opportunities to open the scoring, getting four power plays in the first period, but had nothing to show for it, including just one shot through 10 minutes. "We had four straight power plays, and we didnt generate anything off of that," said Heat head coach Troy Ward. "We didnt gain some momentum, we didnt put ourselves in a position physically or mentally to get some emotion or get some charge out of those power plays. I thought that was one of the biggest differences in the game." Stuart mirrored that idea. "We got into a little bit of penalty trouble in the first period," said Stuart. "We just kept battling back. Wed kill off a penalty and gain back a little bit more momentum and build on it. They kept coming at us and we weathered the storm when we needed to and controlled the game when we needed to as well." The Comets finally opened the scoring at 8:47 of the second period. Yann Sauves long shot was kicked out by Roy right to DeFazio down low and he made no mistake in beating Roy stick side for his 12th of the year. The Heat had some opportunities to get on the board. Corey Locke forced a turnover behind the net and centred for Max Reinhart, but Eriksson stopped him and made it look easy as well. While Locke has 14 assists with the Heat this season, he still has not scored in 18 games. "Its frustrating," said Locke. "Ive been getting looks but cant find a way to get the puck behind that goal-line. It cost a goal today. I stayed out to try and score, extending a shift, and they go back and score that second goal. Thats unacceptable." Stuart made it 2-0 at 15:25. Friesen made a perfect pass off the boards, around a Heat defender, to Stuart and he beat Roy blocker side. The Comets captain got his second of the game at 3:05 of the third. He skated to the left faceoff dot and wired a shot short side on the Heat netminder, putting the visitors up 3-0. The Heat had a two-man advantage with eight minutes to go in the third and finally beat Eriksson. Street one-timed Lockes pass from the slot, blowing it by the Swedish netminders glove for his 23rd of the year. Evan Longoria Jersey
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. CBS Sports Jon Heyman is reporting that Santana will sign a one-year deal, likely in the next two days with one of a trio of suitors, with the Toronto Blue Jays believed to be heavily involved.INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis signed free agent centre Phil Costa on Thursday. The 6-foot-3, 302-pound Maryland alum started 20 games over the past four seasons with Dallas. Terms of the deal were not immediately available. Costa is likely to replace Samson Satele, who started the last two seasons with Indy. Satele was released in a cost-cutting move late last week. Costa was originally signed as an undrafted rookie in 2010, and eventually won the starting job.dddddddddddd Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement that Costa was a "physical" centre who will provide "competition" for the starting job. Indy has been busy in free agency, signing a handful of its own players and adding Costa, linebacker DQwell Jackson from Cleveland and defensive lineman Arthur Jones from Baltimore. ' ' '