ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Heading into the third period with a 2-0 lead, the Hamilton Bulldogs weathered a dominant third-period push by the West Division-leading Abbotsford Heat (23-10-1-1) and snuck away with a 2-1 victory on Friday night (Jan 3) in Abbotsford. With the win, the ‘Dogs tied their season-best four game winning streak and established a season-best five-game point streak while improving to 15-14-0-4 in the American Hockey League.
The Heat cooled to 23-10-1-1.
Bulldogs forward Justin Courtnall gave Hamilton a 1-0 lead with a highlight-reel wrap-around goal for his third tally of the season early in the opening period.
At 10:02 of the second period, Christian Thomas grabbed a loose puck in front of the Abbotsford goal and ripped a wrist shot that squeaked by Heat goaltender Joni Ortio for his third goal of the season.
Heat forward Sven Baertschi got his team on the board at 3:44 of the third period when he redirected a pass to beat Dustin Tokarski. Abbotsford outshot Hamilton 14-3 in the third period as they pressed to even the score, but held his ground, stopping all but one of the 29 shots he faced.
His counterpart, Ortio, made 20 saves on 22 shots.
The Bulldogs went 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Heat went 0-for-3.
The Bulldogs complete their two-game visit to Abbotsford tonight (Saturday). The Bulldogs return to Copps Coliseum on Saturday (Jan.11) when they the Rochester Americans are in town for a 7 p.m., meeting.
1. HAM – Justin Courtnall – 3 – (Joonas Nattinen) – 7:13
HAM Leblanc, 1:48 – Holding, 2 min (PP)
ABB Billins, 12:53 – Boarding, 2 min (PP)
HAM Blunden, 18:39 – Fighting, 5 min
ABB Cundari, 18:39 – Fighting, 5 min
2. HAM – Christian Thomas – 3 – (Louis Leblanc) – 10:02
HAM Tinordi, 0:29 – High-sticking, 2 min (PP)
HAM Dietz, 2:18 – Goaltender interference, 2 min (PP)
3. ABB – Sven Baertschi – 2 – (Mark Cundari, Adrian Foster) – 3:44