Lamoureux, Heat complete sweep vs. Bulldogs
J.P. Lamoureux and the Abbotsford Heat completed a massive weekend sweep of the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday, blanking the visitors 2-0 before 4,963 fans at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
Lamoureux started in goal in place of Leland Irving, who left with a groin injury in the first period of Friday's 3-2 win over Hamilton. The Grand Forks, North Dakota native stopped all 21 shots the Bulldogs fired his way en route to his second shutout of the season.
Heat defenceman Chris Breen supplied the major highlight during a scoreless opening period, leveling Bulldogs forward Alexander Avtsin with a huge open-ice hit at the Abbotsford blue line.
Greg Nemisz opened the scoring at 9:03 of the second period, snapping a shot past Hamilton goalie Drew MacIntyre on a Heat power play. Tyler Ruegsegger, signed to a tryout contract by the Heat on Friday morning, picked up his second assist in as many games on the play.
Lamoureux did his best work in the third period, making a highlight-reel stop on Bulldogs forward J.T. Wyman on the breakaway.
Gaelan Patterson secured the victory with an empty-net goal with 55 seconds remaining.
• With Irving unable to go on Saturday, the Heat signed local goalie instructor Andy Nielsen to serve as Lamoureux's backup.
• The Heat (34-26-4-5, 77 points) finish the weekend where they began it – in sixth place in the North Division. But they've strengthened their playoff prospects, having drawn to within two points of third-place Hamilton (36-26-1-6, 79 points).
• The Heat hit the road this week for a Friday-Sunday set against the division-leading Manitoba Moose. The Vancouver Canucks' affiliate is tops in the North with 82 points, but they're just five up on the Heat, who also have a game in hand.