Rookie Mitch Wahl tallied three points – including his first two AHL playoff goals – and David Shantz made 26 saves in net as Abbotsford evened up the North Division Finals with a 4-1 win over Hamilton at the Entertainment & Sports Centre on Thursday.

The best-of-7 series is now deadlocked at two games apiece, with Game 5 to be played on Saturday night in Abbotsford. The Heat’s win guarantees that the teams will return to Hamilton for Game 6 on Monday.

Fellow Heat rookie Lance Bouma also tallied his first professional goal in the victory, opening the scoring at 12:44 of the first period.

A second-round draft pick (48th overall) by the Calgary Flames in 2008, Wahl picked up an assist on Bouma’s goal.

The Bulldogs made it a 1-1 game midway through the second period when Ryan Russell notched his third of the playoffs, but Wahl converted a power play just 1:41 later to put Abbotsford on top for good.

Wahl provided insurance 3:26 into the third period, and David Van der Gulik tacked on another marker later in the frame.

Heat defenseman Matt Pelech finished with two assists and was plus-3 on the evening, and Shantz improved to 6-4 this postseason with the victory.

North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. N3-Abbotsford Heat

Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 29 – Abbotsford 3, HAMILTON 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – HAMILTON 3, Abbotsford 1
Game 3 – Tue., May 4 – Hamilton 3, ABBOTSFORD 2
Game 4 – Thu., May 6 – ABBOTSFORD 4, Hamilton 1
Game 5 – Sat., May 8 – Hamilton at Abbotsford, 10:00
Game 6 – Mon., May 10 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30

Hamilton 0 1 0 – 1
Abbotsford 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-

1, Abbotsford, Bouma 1 (Bancks, Wahl), 12:44.

Penalties-St. Denis Ham (holding), 10:05; Pelech Abb (cross-checking), 13:10; Pelech Abb (charging), 15:38.

2nd Period-

2, Hamilton, Russell 3 (Palushaj, Stevenson), 13:18.

3, Abbotsford, Wahl 1 (Sutter, Lammers), 14:59 (pp).

 Penalties-Meyers Abb (slashing), 3:15; Seabrook Abb (roughing), 8:33; Vernace Ham (roughing), 13:27.

3rd Period-

4, Abbotsford, Wahl 2 (Pelech), 3:26.

5, Abbotsford, Van der Gulik 4 (Pelech, Cunning), 14:35.

Penalties-Benoit Ham (high-sticking), 0:56; Stevenson Ham (goaltender interference), 3:58; White Ham (roughing), 9:49; Sutter Abb (roughing), 9:49; White Ham (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:50; Backlund Abb (roughing), 15:00; Belle Ham (interference), 19:11; Henry Ham (roughing), 19:58; Pelech Abb (roughing), 19:58.

Shots on Goal-Hamilton 7-11-9-27. Abbotsford 12-6-11-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Hamilton 0 of 5; Abbotsford 1 of 5.
Goalies-Hamilton, Desjardins 6-4-0 (29 shots-25 saves). Abbotsford, Shantz 6-4-0 (27 shots-26 saves).
A-2,631
Referees-Chris Ciamaga (41).
Linesmen-Chris Carlson (52), Trevor Boudreau (60).