With the two lowest-scoring teams in the AHL squaring off on Tuesday, a shutout was a distinct possibility.
That scenario did indeed play out, and the Abbotsford Heat found themselves on the wrong end of it, falling 2-0 to the Hamilton Bulldogs to open a seven-game road trip, their longest of the season.
Bulldogs goalie Dustin Tokarski stopped all 27 shots the Heat sent his way, and Joey Tenute’s goal at 18:48 of the second period stood up as the game-winner. Louis Leblanc rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation.
Abby goalie Leland Irving stopped 21 of 22 shots.
The defeat marked the ninth in 10 games for the Heat, who now find themselves in a precarious position in the playoff picture. They currently hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference at 27-24-8 for 62 points. But the ninth-place Rochester Americans (29-22-3, 61 points) and the 10th-place Oklahoma City Barons (27-21-7, 61 points) have five and four games in hand on the Heat, respectively, and both boast better points percentages than Abbotsford.
The Heat now gear up for a three-games-in-three-days gauntlet – they play Friday at Rochester, Saturday at the Toronto Marlies, and Sunday back in Rochester.