Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hamilton Bulldogs Keep Composure in 2-1 Win over Abbotsford Heat

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hamilton Bulldogs Keep Composure in 2-1 Win over Abbotsford Heat

Article excerpt

Hamilton Bulldogs keep composure in 2-1 win


HAMILTON - The Hamilton Bulldogs are focused on keeping their composure period by period as their season winds down.

Christian Thomas's second-period goal stood as the winner and Dustin Tokarski made 27 saves as the Bulldogs defeated the Abbotsford Heat 2-1 on Wednesday in the American Hockey League.

"Tonight we stayed composed, even when we thought we had another goal in the third period," said Hamilton head coach Sylvain Lefebvre. "We kept working, and we have to get used to playing those tight hockey games.

"That's what gets you to the playoffs, and that's what helps you win hockey games when you get there."

A post-season berth is far from Hamilton's grasp, however. The Bulldogs remain 10 points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with just 14 games to play.

Mike Blunden and Gabriel Dumont also scored for Hamilton (27-30-5).

Chris Breen had the lone goal for the Heat (34-23-7), who have lost 10 of their last 11 games. Aaron Dell stopped 36 shots.

Michael Bournival made his debut for the Bulldogs on Wednesday, having been sent to the team by the Montreal Canadiens a day earlier on a conditioning assignment.

After playing 50 games for Montreal in his rookie season, the forward suffered a concussion in a Feb. 6 game against the Vancouver Canucks, and was cleared for contact on March 14.

His insertion in the Bulldogs' lineup provided a much-needed boost to the top line, and the combination of Bournival, Sven Andrighetto and Thomas used its speed to great effect against the Heat in the first period.

Thomas was very pleased with the line's first game together, and felt comfortable playing alongside Bournival, who he came across several times at the junior level.

"It's always tough playing with a new guy, but (Bournival) fits in really well and brings a lot of speed," he said. "I've known him for a long time, and grew up playing with him at world junior camps.

"I've seen him quite a bit, and obviously he has some NHL experience. But he plays a hard game and that always helps your line."

Hamilton was getting the best of play, but it was Abbotsford that opened the scoring at 8:56. …

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