Bulldogs grab playoff spot, first place

The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Abbotsford Heat 2-1 on Tuesday night (April 5) to clinch a spot in the 2011 American Hockey League Calder Cup Playoffs.

The victory also vaulted Hamilton into first place in the North Division. Kyle Klubertanz scored the game-winning goal in the third period while Drew MacIntyre made 29 saves for the win in his 19th consecutive start.

The Bulldogs scored first at 11:32 with a penalty shot goal. Nigel Dawes was awarded the shot after an Abbotsford player covered the puck in the goal crease. Dawes put the puck through the five-hole of Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving.

The Heat tied the game 1-1 at 15:17 of the final frame. Quintin Laing received the puck from Joe Piskula before firing a shot towards the net from the right point. The shot deflected off the stick of Jon Rheault and past MacIntyre.

One minute later the visiting Bulldogs scored the game-winner. Brendon Nash sent the puck along the blueline to Klubertanz, who skated towards the net from the right point. He backhanded a shot over the right shoulder of Irving and into the top of the net.
The Heat had a slim 30-28 edge in shots on goal before 4,884 fans.

The Bulldogs will play their final two games of the 2010-11 regular season on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 when they meet the Manitoba Moose in Winnipeg for two 8:30 p.m. games. The two teams will be battling for first place in the North Division.

One comment on “Bulldogs grab playoff spot, first place

  1. If Hamilton and Manitoba split the Apr. 8, 9 games what will decide who gets 1st place?