The Hamilton Bulldogs bounced back from a tough overtime loss on Friday night with a 2-1 victory against the red hot Abbotsford Heat in AHL Action Sunday night at Copps Coliseum. The Heat came in as the only team without a regulation time loss and battled well but seemed to simply run out of gas in the third period.
All three goals came over a span of just 7:02 in the second period as Aaron Palushaj scored the game winner. Robert Mayer was steady all night for the Bulldogs and came back from a very rough outing in Toronto a week ago were he was pulled from the game after three goals on just six shots.
“it was huge, it’s always good to play at home we are trying to build a good record at home and we’ve got five out the six possible points from our home games” Mayer said.
The Heat only managed five shots in the third period and four of the shots came in final six minutes and Mayer came up with some solid stops during crunch time.
“I wasn’t all busy all period long, obviously they are going to come hard in the last few minutes especially when they pull the goalie and you just have to read the plays real good and you just got to keep your team in it,” Mayer added.
This was the third game of a 3 of 3 for the Heat and head coach Sylvain Lefebvre knew going down the stretch that if the Bulldogs could limited the shots on goal, they would have good chance to win.
“Things like sacrificing your body and doing the little things right,” Lefebvre said as the Bulldogs defensemen came through with a number of blocks in the final few minutes.
With the win against the Heat, the Bulldogs are now (3-2-1-0) and can look ahead to a home and home series starting Friday night in Rochester against the North Division leader the Rochester Americans.
The Bulldogs were outshot 24-22 after two periods but limited the Heat to just five shots in the third period.
The Heat went almost 16 minutes to start the third period with just one shot on goal
The Abbotsford Heat had not lost in regulation time coming into this game.
The start of the game was delayed by 15 minutes as during pre-game warm-ups two different panes of glass were broken in the Bulldogs end.
Greg Pateryn of the Bulldogs score his first professional point on the Bulldogs first goal of the game.