Greg Scott scored a natural hat trick in the third period as the Toronto Marlies defeated the Abbotsford Heat 3-1 in American Hockey League playoff action Tuesday.
Scott scored two goals 4:40 seconds apart in the third — the second on a short-handed breakaway — and added an empty netter to give Toronto a 3-1 series lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal. Game 5 goes Wednesday at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
Ben Scrivens made 36 saves for the win.
Hugh Jessiman scored for the Heat, whose power play let them down again Tuesday night. It gave up the winning goal and went 0-for-4, making it 0-for-21 over the four games of the series. Toronto's penalty kill was best in the AHL most of the season.
Danny Taylor returned to the crease for Abbotsford, stopping 14 shots in the losing effort.
The Heat opened the scoring just shy of the game's midway mark. After Scrivens misplayed the puck, Jessiman and Estoclet closed in on the Marlies' defenders to force a giveaway up the boards. Ben Walter collected the puck and quickly put a wrist shot on net. Jessiman deflected it past Scrivens, giving him two goals so far in these playoffs.
Scott tied the game for the Marlies at 2:31 of the third with a wicked wrist shot over Taylor's shoulder for his first AHL playoff goal.
Scott gave the Marlies the lead just under five minutes later with a short-handed effort. He took a breakaway pass from Juraj Mikus and slid the puck under a sprawling Taylor at 7:11.
With four minutes to go in the game Scrivens made a critical save, stopping Jon Rheault on the doorstep to maintain his team's one-goal lead. Then, in the final minute, Walter had a slap shot squeeze through Scrivens' pads but it slipped just wide of the post.
Scott added an empty-netter with 29 seconds remaining after stealing the puck in the neutral zone.
Abbotsford outshot visiting Toronto by a 36-17 margin, giving the Marlies a 4-0 record in the playoffs when their opponent had more shots on goal.
NOTES: Krys Kolanos, the Heat's leading scorer in both the regular season and the playoffs, was a healthy scratch for this game.