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Hamilton shuts out AHL-leading Abbotsford

Peter Mccabe/The Globe and Mail

Cedrick Desjardins made 24 saves as the Hamilton Bulldogs upset the Abbotsford Heat 3-0 in American Hockey League action Saturday.

Desjardins, making just his fourth start of the year, picked up his first shutout of the year and the 15th of his AHL career.

Patrick Holland, Steve Quailer and Louis Leblanc scored for Hamilton (7-9-2), who won for just the third time in their last 10 games. However, the win allows them to crawl out of the league basement.

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Abbotsford (13-3-4) lost a game in regulation for the first time on home ice this season but are still two points up on Syracuse for top spot in the AHL.

Danny Taylor meanwhile made 24 saves in net for the Heat.

Holland opened the scoring, finishing off a solo effort by Brendan Gallagher. Gallagher fought off a check behind the net and centred to Holland who one-timed it past the glove of Taylor at 4:23 in the first period.

Holland was a Calgary Flames draft pick in 2010 and notched 109 points in the Western Hockey League last season but was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens in the Mike Cammalleri trade.

The game opened up in the second half of the first period. Perhaps the best chance to score was when two Heat defenders collided in their own zone giving Hamilton a two-on-one in tight, but Taylor stopped Darryl Boyce on two attempts.

Desjardins made a huge save while his club killed a penalty to Gallagher. Ben Street centred the puck to Tyler Ruegsegger right in front but Desjardins squeezed his pads together, preserving his team's one-goal lead.

After T.J. Brodie was sent off for roughing early in the third period Hamilton padded their lead. Stefan Chaput's shot from the face-off circle was kicked right to Quailer in front of the net where he tucked it around Taylor's outstretched pad.

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It was a rare goal conceded by Abbotsford's penalty killing unit, which ranks first in the league.

A couple minutes later Chaput had another dangerous shot from a similar spot but this time it wrung off the near post and out.

Hamilton made it 3-0 on a strange goal. Leblanc threw the puck toward the net from the sideboards and it seemed to deflect off of Heat defenceman Joe Callahan's skate and in at 4:37.

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