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.