HAMILTON, ON -- The Abbotsford Heat were edged 2-0 by the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens) to open their seven-game road trip.
Dustin Tokarski made 27 saves to post his second consecutive shutout, giving the Bulldogs their eighth win in eleven games. Hamilton native Joey Tenute scored to put the home team up by a goal, before an empty net marker would seal the win in the final minutes of play.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the late stages of the second period as Tenute was set up by Patrick Holland at the Heat blue line. Tenute scored on a backhand off the rush. The referee ruled no goal until video replay confirmed the puck had gone in to the Abbotsford net. The Bulldogs led 1-0 after 40 minutes.
The Heat were handed their fourth penalty of the night with 2:18 remaining in regulation, and pulled goalie Leland Irving in the late stages of the penalty kill. The Bulldogs scored into the empty net with just 34 seconds remaining in the game to seal the win.
Irving made 21 saves on 22 shots and the Heat outshot the Bulldogs 27-23 in the loss. Tokarski now has five shutouts on the season.
Abbotsford did not score on four power play opportunities, while the penalty kill erased three-of-four Hamilton man advantages. The lone power play goal-against came in the final minute of play, into an empty net.
The Heat will return to action on Friday in Rochester (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) with their first game of three in three nights. The Heat then visit the Toronto Marlies (AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) on Saturday afternoon before returning to Rochester on Sunday for their final game of the season against the Americans.