Hamilton ONT - The Abbotsford Heat are facing elimination -- again.
It is the fourth time this post-season that the Heat, the Calgary Flames top affiliate in the American Hockey League, has faced elimination -- this time in Game 6 of the North Division Final against the Hamilton Bulldogs Monday in Hamiton.
They will have to prove once again that they have the resilience to take out the Western Conference's top team by taking two straight in the Copps Coliseum. The Bulldogs lead the series 3-2.
But, as Heat head coach Jim Playfair was quick to point out earlier in this series, you need four to win.
"Our team has the ability to compete and win provided that we can execute for the full 60 minutes," stated Playfair. "We need everybody on board and our best players will need to step up and be the best on the ice to win."
Some good news for the Heat on the top players front as rookie Gaelan Patterson continued the 'Kids are all Right' tour by popping in his first AHL goal in Game 5.
Cam Cunning also popped his first goal of the post season on a second period Heat power play.
Cunning, who had nineteen goals in the regular season, took 12 playoff games to score his first of the post season.
As coach Playfair has emphasized throughout the post season, there comes a time when your best players need to rise to the occasion. Over the past couple of games, Cunning, David Van der Gulik and Jason Jaffray are starting to click and provide the Heat with some fire from their veterans.
Captain Garth Murray will look to turn his fortunes are around, as he is still looking for his first point in this series.
On the injury front, Staffan Kronwall has made the trip to the Steel City with his teammates. It will be determined at the game day skate on Monday morning if Kronwall will dress for tonight's game.
NORTH DIVISION FINAL - ABBOTSFORD HEAT VS HAMILTON BULLDOGS
(Bulldogs Lead the Series 3-2)
Game One - Thursday, April 29th - Abbotsford 3 @ Hamilton 2 (Brett Sutter - GWG)
Game Two - Sunday, May 2nd - Abbotsford 1 @ Hamilton 3 (Mike Glumac - GWG)
Game Three - Tuesday, May 4th - Hamilton @ Abbotsford (Olivier Fortier - GWG)
Game Four - Thursday, May 6th - Hamilton @ Abbotsford (Mitch Wahl - GWG)
Game Five - Saturday, May 8th - Hamilton @ Abbotsford (Andre Benoit - GWG)
Game Six - Monday, May 10th - Abbotsford @ Hamilton - 8:30 PM MT
*Game Seven - Tuesday, May 11th - Abbotsford @ Hamilton - 8:30 PM MT