Aaron Palushaj helps Bulldogs nip Heat in AHL action
Aaron Palushaj scored the go-ahead goal and Robert Mayer made 29 saves as the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Abbotsford Heat 2-1 in American Hockey League action on Sunday.
Blake Geoffrion had a goal and assisted Palushaj's goal in the second period for Hamilton (3-2-1).
Roman Horak had the lone goal for the Heat (4-1-2), who lost for the first time in regulation this season. Danny Taylor stopped 28 of 30 shots for Abbotsford.
Mayer injected life into a largely uneventful first period with eight minutes remaining, denying an Abbotsford breakaway and the resulting rebound before smothering the puck.
The Bulldogs had an opportunity to break the deadlock when a penalty to the Heat's Dustin Sylvester at 14:00 put them on their first power play, but they couldn't take advantage.
The Heat opened the scoring 3:36 into the second period, when centre Horak finished an attacking flurry by sliding the puck past Mayer. The Hamilton goalie had saved a 2-on-1 break, but could not get back into position before Abbotsford's Max Reinhart found Horak in the slot.
The goal was Horak's seventh of the season and tied him with Drayson Bowman of the Charlotte Checkers for the league lead in goal-scoring.
Hamilton responded three minutes later, when centre Geoffrion collected a pass from Greg Pateryn at the right faceoff dot and snapped the puck over Taylor's blocking glove for his second of the season.
The hosts took their first lead of the contest midway through the second, after the Heat's Adam Estoclet was whistled for slashing at 9:06. Palushaj scored his third goal of the season on the ensuing power play, tipping Geoffrion's pass from the point past Taylor.
Mayer produced an eye-catching glove save with three minutes remaining in the second to preserve Hamilton's 2-1 lead, and stopped all five shots he faced in the third.