ABBOTSFORD 4, HAMILTON 1
Rookie Mitch Wahl tallied three points – including his first two AHL playoff goals – and David Shantz made 26 saves in net as Abbotsford evened up the North Division Finals with a 4-1 win over Hamilton at the Entertainment & Sports Centre on Thursday.
The best-of-7 series is now deadlocked at two games apiece, with Game 5 to be played on Saturday night in Abbotsford. The Heat’s win guarantees that the teams will return to Hamilton for Game 6 on Monday.
Fellow Heat rookie Lance Bouma also tallied his first professional goal in the victory, opening the scoring at 12:44 of the first period.
A second-round draft pick (48th overall) by the Calgary Flames in 2008, Wahl picked up an assist on Bouma’s goal.
The Bulldogs made it a 1-1 game midway through the second period when Ryan Russell notched his third of the playoffs, but Wahl converted a power play just 1:41 later to put Abbotsford on top for good.
Wahl provided insurance 3:26 into the third period, and David Van der Gulik tacked on another marker later in the frame.
Heat defenseman Matt Pelech finished with two assists and was plus-3 on the evening, and Shantz improved to 6-4 this postseason with the victory.
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 at Abbotsford, 10:00
Game 6 – Mon., May 10 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30