Nigel Dawes three goal performance carried the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 4-1 win over the visiting Abbotsford Heat in American Hockey League play on Wednesday (March 30) at Copps Coliseum. Dawes added an assist to his 36th, 37th and 38th goals of the season Aaron Palushaj earned a goal and two assists.
Twenty-four hours earlier Hamilton beat the Heat 3-1.
Hamilton scored first at 9:47 of the opening frame. Dawes took a pass from Palushaj and released a low shot that beat goaltender Matt Keetley. Palushaj increased the ‘Dogs lead at 4:27 of the second stanza. Mathieu Carle grabbed a loose puck before sending a pass to Palushaj, who was at the right faceoff dot. Palushaj released a shot and beat Keetley.
The Heat made the game 2-1 at 13:07 of the middle frame. Josh Meyers backhanded a pass to Bryan Cameron from the left corner of the Bulldogs zone. Cameron faked a shot before dishing the puck to John Armstrong at the right side of the net. Armstrong tapped the pass past goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
The Bulldogs regained a two-goal lead at 18:39 of the second period. Carle took a shot from the right point which was stopped by Keetley. The rebound bounced out to the slot, where Dawes grabbed it before firing a shot low and past Keetley for his second goal of the game.
Dawes completed the hat trick at 19:57 of the final frame with an empty net goal.
Hamilton was outshot 37-25 before 2,873 fans.
The Bulldogs will travel to Cleveland for a 7:30 p.m. matchup against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday (April 1) before returning to Copps Coliseum for their final regular season home game of the season against the Manitoba Moose at 4 p.m. on Saturday (April 2).