ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – David Desharnais had two goals and added an assist as the Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Abbotsford Heat 4-0 in American Hockey League action Saturday.
P.K. Subban and Brock Trotter had the other goals for the Bulldogs(49-16-9) while Hamilton netminders Curtis Sanford and Cedrick Desjardins combined for the shutout.
“It was an important game,” said Desharnais. “We might play those guys in the playoffs so we wanted to make sure they know its not going to be easy if they face us and that’s what happened tonight.”
Subban opened the scoring nearly four minutes into the first, one-timing from Desharnais past Heat starter David Shantz.
Desharnais doubled the lead at 16:42 on the power play and scored his second at 2:46 of the second, again with the man advantage.
It was a physical affair right from the get-go, culminating in Heat coach Jim Playfair being ejected early in the second period.
The rough play started early in the first as Garth Murray and Ryan White dropped the gloves. Moments later Heat (34-26-11) forward David Van Der Gulik was assessed a double-minor for roughing as he jumped Bulldogs defenceman Yannick Weber trying to engage him in a fight.
As Van Der Gulik’s four-minute penalty expired he picked up another four minutes – two for boarding and two for roughing as things boiled over in front of the Heat net.
The opening period also Sanford leave the game with a twisted ankle.
Desjardins, who picked up the win Friday night, came in for relief of Sanford.
Watt continued his physical play in the second running over Desjardins, making no attempt to avoid the Hamilton goaltender.
The Heat tough guy received a five-minute major for charging and was ejected from the game for arguing the call afterward.
Playfair was also ejected for arguing the Watt penalty. Playfair didn’t go without a fight breaking two sticks on the side of the Heat bench before leaving.
“It was the wrong call by the referee,” said Playfair. “I think J.D. Watt is making a play, their goaltender comes out into the (faceoff) circle, (Watt) got pushed by a defenceman and (the goaltender) went down.
“By no means did he try and run this goaltender to deserve a five minute major so I disagreed with it and that’s it.”
Trotter scored the other for the Bulldogs who finished the night 3-for-9 with the man advantage.
Abbotsford went 0-for-6 on the power play.
“It’s never easy playing from behind against a team like that,” said Heat defenceman Keith Seabrook. “We’ve got to have better starts and, at least if we’re not going to score any, we can’t let them get any in our net.”
Sanford made five saves for the win, while Desjardins stopped the remaining 16 in relief.
Shantz made 21 saves in the losing cause.