HAMILTON - Krys Kolanos isn't wasting anytime in his return to hockey.
Kolanos had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win for the Abbotsford Heat over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.
It was Kolanos's second game back since being sidelined by microfracture hip surgery in January 2010. In his debut Friday, the 30-year-old scored a hat trick ? just what Abbotsford needed as a team that has struggled to score in the early parts of the American Hockey League season.
"He's a natural goal scorer," Abbotsford coach Troy Ward said of Kolanos after the win.
There were plenty of goals Sunday with Dustin Sylvester scoring twice and Clay Wilson, Kolanos, Ben Walter and John Armstrong added singles for the Heat (6-3-0).
Olivier Fortier and Andreas Engqvist replied for the Bulldogs (4-4-0).
The Bulldogs, who just returned to Hamilton after having played 15 hours earlier in a loss to the Albany Devils, lost their starting goaltender Nathan Lawson and winger Ian Schultz to injuries.
Lawson started the game but gave up one goal on nine shots faced. Robert Mayer came in for Hamilton for the final two periods but allowed five goals on 24 shots.
Schultz was taken to hospital to have X-rays after he was hit in a knee-on-knee collision in the third, when frustration started to boil over for the Bulldogs.
"If we don't play with discipline we won't have any chance," said Hamilton coach Clem Jodoin.
"I thought we worked hard, maybe not as smart," said Bulldogs team captain Alex Henry, who was part of a crowded penalty box shortly after Hamilton cut the lead to 3-2 early in the third.
"They took some runs at our guys and we responded, maybe not in the best way because the game was still in reach," said Henry.
Hamilton opened the scoring after Joe Callahan banked the puck up and over a flat-footed Wilson to spring Fortier for a short-handed opportunity. Fortier was able to get Abbotsford goalie Leland Irving to follow him to the right side of the net, and tucked the puck in on the short side just 4:21 into the first.
Abbotsford quickly evened the score, scoring just 1:39 later. Lawson got a piece of Armstrong's shot from the high slot, but the puck went up and into the net off of Lawson's right pad.
Constant pressure by the Heat's power-play gave Abbotsford the lead early in the second. Kolanos scored the go-ahead goal, firing a slapshot off Mayer's glove from the centre of left circle.
The Heat scored 1:45 later, with Sylvester taking the drop pass in the high slot from Gaelan Patterson. Sylvester beat Mayer over his glove again to put the Heat up 3-1.
Engqvist cut the lead to one goal early in the third, but the lead was restored 29 seconds later on a floater from the point by Wilson.
Sylvester and Walter added two more goals for Abbotsford, while Irving finished with 26 saves for the win.