Hamilton defeated the Abbotsford Heat 4-0 at Copps Coliseum on Monday night but more importantly the victory gave the Bulldogs the North Division pennant.
Hamilton won the best-of-seven division final, 4-2, to advance to the Western Conference final.
Curtis Sanford posted 30 saves in the shutout while Aaron Palushaj had a goal and two assists. David Desharnais recorded a goal and an assist.
Hamilton began its victory march with what would stand as the game winning goal at 18:30 of the first period. Aaron Palushaj sent a pass to J.T. Wyman, who was positioned in front of the net. Wyman gave the puck to Desharnais, who jammed it underneath Abbotsford goaltender David Shantz and across the goal line.
The ‘Dogs added a second marker at 6:14 of the final frame. Desharnais deked past an Abbotsford defender before sliding a pass back to Palushaj. Palushaj backhanded a shot over the glove of Shantz and into the top of the net. Shawn Belle also earned an assist on the goal.
Brock Trotter gave Hamilton a 3-0 lead at 17:31. Trotter received the puck from Andre Benoit (who would finish the night with two helpers) before snapping a shot that sailed through traffic and past the glove of Shantz.
Mike Glumac recorded an empty net goal at 18:43.
With a crowd of 2,417 watching, Hamilton outshot their guests, 37-30.
The Bulldogs will meet either the Texas Stars or the Chicago Wolves in the Western Conference Final. Game 7 of that series was played last night (Tuesday).