First pro goals for Dumont, Fortier gives ’Dogs series lead

The Hamilton Bulldogs have taken a 2-1 lead in games in their division final, after defeating the Heat 3-2 in Abbotsford on Tuesday night.

The fourth game in the American Hockey League’s North Division best-of-seven series will be played Thursday night in Abbotsford.

Gabriel Dumont and Olivier Fortier each scored their first professional goals with Fortier’s standing as the game-winner to lead the ‘Dogs to victory.

The Heat opened the game’s scoring at 5:48 of the first period with a power-play marker. Jon Rheault picked up a rebound and beat goalie Cedrick Desjardins.

The Bulldogs tied the game with a power-play goal at 11:53 of the first stanza. Brock Trotter sent a pass to Andre Benoit, who was positioned at the right point. Benoit hammered a slapshot that travelled through traffic to beat Abbotsford goaltender David Shantz.

Brett Sutter gave the Heat a 2-1 lead just under four minutes later.

The ‘Dogs earned their second power-play goal of the game at 16:49 of the second stanza. Mike Vernace sent the puck to Trotter, who backhanded a pass to Gabriel Dumont. Dumont fired a shot from the left side of the net, which trickled through the pads of Shantz and across the goal line. Hamilton took its first lead of the game at 18:54. Andrew Conboy skated around an Abbotsford defender before sliding the puck to the front of the net. The puck bounced off Olivier Fortier before sliding past Shantz.

Hamilton was outshot in the game, 33-26, before a crowd of 2,556.

Game 4, with a 10 p.m. EST star, can be heard on TALK 820 radio.