Down three games to one, the Abbotsford Heat beat the Americans 3-1 last night at home to cut their lead to three games to two. The Heat built off the momentum of a first period where they outshot the Americans 19-6 and outscored them 2-1, and David Van der Gulik gave Abbotsford a two-goal lead midway through the third period after Jason Jaffray missed on a penalty shot in the second in his first game back from injury. The Heat went 0-5 with the man advantage and goalie David Shantz made eighteen saves.
Van der Gulik had this to say about his first goal of the post-season:
"It was exciting and nerve racking and those are the games you want to show up for and I think everyone in that locker room committed as a team [to show] that we can beat any team."
Since returning to the lineup, Brett Sutter is the leading playoff scorer for the Heat with two goals and two assists in five games, while Mikael Backlund has tallied one goal and three assists. Mitch Wahl has two assists in four playoff games and there is still no appearance of prospect Gaelen Patterson on the stat sheet after rumours that he had joined the team surfaced a couple days ago when his Saskatoon Blades were eliminated from the WHL playoffs.
The series shifts back to Rochester for game six on Sunday afternoon.
The Hitmen also wrapped up their series against the Wheat Kings last night [Recap], winning game five by a score of 6-1 and will play either the Tri-City Americans or the Vancouver Giants for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. As Brandon is the host city for this year's Memorial Cup, they still advance. Brandon Kozun, a sixth-round draft pick of the L.A. Kings, is the Hitmen's leading playoff scorer with 7 goals and 26 points in 18 games played and goalie Martin Jones, also a member of the Kings organization, was named the Eastern Conference's MVP.