The Hamilton Bulldogs scored five unanswered goals, including four goals on six shots in the third period, to take Game 5 of the North Division Finals, 5-2, over the Abbotsford Heat at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs will take a 3-2 series lead back home and into Game 6 at Copps Coliseum on Monday.
Abbotsford got on the board first for the fourth time in the series and the 10th time in 12 playoff games overall when Gaelan Patterson notched his first professional goal 11:50 into the game. Patterson, a 2009 draft pick by the Calgary Flames who had made his pro debut in Game 4 of the series on Thursday, shoveled home a rebound of a David Van der Gulik shot that Curtis Sanford couldn’t contain.
Cam Cunning one-timed a Jason Jaffray pass off a 2-on-1 chance to give the Heat a 2-0 lead just 62 seconds into the middle frame. It was Cunning’s first playoff goal after scoring 19 in the regular season.
Glumac then tied it up when his shot from the right-wing circle deflected off a Heat defender and past Shantz with 9:19 left in regulation.
Andre Benoit gave Hamilton its first lead of the night with 3:23 to play, firing home a rocket from the point after a Ryan White face-off win. Ryan Russell then iced the game with 32.8 seconds left, scoring into an empty net just moments after John Lammers missed a great chance to tie the game for Abbotsford. And David Desharnais finished the scoring with another empty-netter just before the final horn.
Sanford made 30 saves for the Bulldogs in his first appearance since Mar. 27, when he was injured during a game in Abbotsford. It was also Sanford’s first playoff start since May 5, 2004 when he was a member of the Worcester IceCats.
Shantz finished with 24 saves for the Heat, who will have to duplicate their first-round feat of winning Games 6 and 7 on the road in order to advance.
North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. N3-Abbotsford Heat
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 29 – Abbotsford 3, HAMILTON 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – HAMILTON 3, Abbotsford 1
Game 3 – Tue., May 4 – Hamilton 3, ABBOTSFORD 2
Game 4 – Thu., May 6 – ABBOTSFORD 4, Hamilton 1
Game 5 – Sat., May 8 – Hamilton 5, ABBOTSFORD 2
Game 6 – Mon., May 10 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30