The Hamilton Bulldogs (39-26-2-7) swept the Abbotsford Heat (34-29-4-6) with a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night in their second of the back-to-back games in two nights at the Copps Coliseum. Nigel Dawes completed his hat trick with an empty netter in the dying seconds of the game. He now has a total of 38 goals and is just one shy of Hamilton’s franchise record. Drew MacIntyre continued his excellent work between the pipes with a 36 save performance.
Just two weeks ago, the Heat got back into the playoff picture with two consecutive victories on their home ice against the Bulldogs. The tables have turned this time around. The ‘Dogs laid a huge blow on Abbotsfords’ chances of reaching the post-season and also did themselves a favor as they got inches away from locking down a playoff seed.
Nigel Dawes picked up a goal and an assist on Tuesday night and then added three goals and one assist with 7 shots on goal. The ‘Dogs number one line is looking unstoppable for a combined 4 goals and 4 assist with a plus 11 rating. Linemate Aaron Palushaj also had a goal and an assist on Tuesday and a goal and two assists last night. Dustin Boyd who completes that powerful line had two assists on Tuesday and picked up a helper last night.
Goaltender Drew MacIntyre recorded his 7th victory as a Bulldog with an outstanding game. He has allowed just four goals in the past four games from 130 shots for a .969 save percentage. All hope was lost when Sanford had a season ending injury but with Drew Mac in nets he has regained the confidence in their teammates.
The ‘Dogs sit three points shy of the third seed in the Western Conference where the Manitoba Moose currently stand. Their next home game will be a showdown for division lead against the Moose on Saturday night and it will also be the last home game of the regular season.
But before looking ahead the ‘Dogs will play in Lake Erie agaisnt the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The Monsters sit on top of the ‘Dogs at the 5th seed with a one point lead. The winner of this match will hold down the 5th spot for the time being. The ‘Dogs have had a tough time against the Monsters this season holding a 2-5 record in the season series, both of those victories coming on the ice of the Copps Coliseum.