Jeremy Gottsch | harrisburgheat.com

The Harrisburg Heat are heading to the playoffs! The Heat took care of business tonight by defeating the Florida Tropics 4-2. This marks the first playoff appearance for Harrisburg in 17 years. After suffering three below average seasons, the Heat had a major turn around this season. New Heat owner Carl Delmont brought in new faces and made the necessary moves to make the Heat a playoff team.

Elmo Neto scored the opening goal of the game with five minutes remaining in the opening period. Victor Parreiras scored the equalizer for the Tropics with a minute left to play in the 1stperiod.

The Heat took control of the game in the 2nd period. Tom Mellor gave the Heat the lead a minute and half into the frame by firing a shot into the back of the net. With two minutes left in the half Lucio Gonzaga added a goal to give Harrisburg a 3-1 lead at halftime.

Florida added a goal in the 3rd period to cut the Heat lead in half. With four minutes left to play in the 4th, the Tropics pulled their goalie and added an extra attacker.

Big saves from Harrisburg goalie Hugo Silva kept Harrisburg in the lead. With everyone in the arena standing, hoping that the Heat could maintain the lead, Dominic Francis put everyone’s nerves at ease with an empty net goal with 40 seconds left to play. That sealed not only the game but also sealed a playoff berth.

Harrisburg finished the night with 21 shots on goal while Florida had 23 shots. Silva had a big night in goal and finished the game with 21 saves.

The Heat’s final game of the season is on Sunday, March 5th against rival Baltimore Blast.