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Tokarski registers second straight shutout as Bulldogs defeat Heat 2-0 @NHLdotcom

HAMILTON - Dustin Tokarski made 27 saves for his second consecutive shutout as the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Abbotsford Heat 2-0 in the American Hockey League Tuesday.

Joey Tenute scored the game winner for the Bulldogs (23-27-6) and Louis Leblanc added an empty-net goal.

Through six starts as a Bulldog since his trade from the Syracuse Crunch, Tokarski now has two shutouts and a save percentage of .960.

Leland Irving stopped 21 of 22 shots for the Heat (27-24-8).

Scoring chances were few and far between for much of Tuesday's game, but Tenute finally broke the deadlock at 18:48 of the second, with a highlight reel-worthy individual effort.

He carried the puck over the blue-line with speed from the right wing, and with Abbotsford defenders backing off of him, moved in on Irving and lifted a backhand shot past the goaltender's outstretched glove.

The first scoring chance of the game fell to the Bulldogs three minutes into the first period, with Hamilton enjoying a power play after a bench minor assessed to Abbotsford for having too many men on the ice.

Leblanc led an odd-man rush into the Abbotsford zone and dealt the puck to linemate Steve Quailer in the middle, whose quick wrist shot was kicked aside by Irving. The rebound spilled to Leblanc, but the centreman could only watch as the puck skipped over his stick and to safety.

Chances were few and far between in the second, as both teams struggled to hold possession in the offensive end. Instead, play hung in the neutral zone with the teams remaining at even strength.

The Heat enjoyed a power play late in the second, when Bulldog Jarred Tinordi was whistled for roughing at 14:11. But Abbotsford mustered very little pressure in the ensuing two minutes, and the penalty was served without incident.

Mike Blunden had an opportunity to provide an insurance goal for the Bulldogs five minutes into the third, but fell as a centring pass found him unmarked in the low slot.

Another chance presented itself with four minutes to play, as Leblanc and Blunden broke in on a 2-on-1 and the former threaded a cross-ice pass to the latter that he missed with an attempted one-time shot.

Leblanc ended any hopes of an Abbotsford comeback when he deposited the puck into the empty net at 19:26.

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