ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens) 2-1 in a shootout to earn four points in a pair of midweek games against their North Division rivals.
Dustin Sylvester snapped an eleven-game pointless drought with his fourth power play goal of the season and Danny Taylor was named first star after making 28 saves. Tied at one through four-on-four overtime, Max Reinhart, Ben Walter and Tyler Ruegsegger all scored in the shootout to earn the victory for the Heat.
Sylvester’s seventh goal of the season put the Heat ahead 1-0 at 12:55 of the first period. Walter and Krys Kolanos drew assists. The goal marked the third time in the last four games that the Heat have scored the first goal of a game on the power play.
The Bulldogs tied the game at 1-1 at 2:08 of the third period when an Alexander Avtsin shot was stopped by Taylor, but Philippe Lefebvre converted the rebound from the slot.
The score remained tied 1-1 after sixty minutes and four-on-four overtime did not decide the game. The Heat outshot the Bulldogs 4-2 in overtime.
Both teams scored twice in the first five rounds of the shootout before Ruegsegger ended the game with a goal in the sixth round.
Taylor made his third straight start, making 28 saves in regulation and overtime combined, and stopping four of six shootout attempts. The Heat were outshot 27-23 in regulation and 29-27 at the conclusion of overtime.
The Heat power play was 1 for 3, while the Bulldogs did not score on four power play opportunities.
The Heat will now play back-to-back home games against the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators) on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Sunday’s contest is the first 4:00 PM PST start of the 2012-13 season, and the last of eight consecutive home games.
Fans are invited to join Heat players Walter, Ruegsegger, Zach McKelvie and President Ryan Walter for “Faith Night” in section 101 following the game.