The Hamilton Bulldogs are proving to be a very consistent team in the early stages of the season. For the second straight week, they compiled a 1-2 record, and signed another player to an AHL deal. Friday night, the Bulldogs couldn’t muster any offence, falling 4-1 to the Philadelphia Phantoms. The next night in Syracuse, the ‘Dogs won a game they barely had any business being in, a 3-2 OT win over the Crunch, a game in which Yann Danis made 44 saves. Sunday afternoon, Hamilton got the early lead, but couldn’t hold on, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Manitoba Moose.
Another week, another player signing an AHL contract with the Bulldogs. Last week it was Jason Ward, this week, Dan Focht. Focht is 6’6 and 240 lbs, and at 26 years old, is the elder statesman of the defence corps. Last season, Focht played with Pittsburgh, notching 2 goals and 3 assists in 52 games. He is currently an unrestricted free agent, after not being offered a contract by the Pens. In 3 games with the Bulldogs since his signing, Focht has an assist to go along with a +1 rating, and 11 PIMS (the team high this week).
Bulldogs Rumour Mill
Reports out of La Presse in Montreal state that W Pierre Dagenais asked to rejoin the Bulldogs earlier this week, but was denied by Hamilton management. The suspected reason is that there are already too many forwards on the team as it is, which leads us to the second rumour. The Bulldogs have not yet sent a player down after the Focht signing, but that may not be for long. Unconfirmed reports out of Hamilton have Cory Urquhart heading to Long Beach. He appears to be the logical choice, appearing in just 1 game this season, being a healthy scratch in the other 8.
Dogs of another kind
The Montreal Canadiens secondary minor league affiliate, the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the ECHL, began play this past week, and have gotten off to a good start, compiling a 2-1 record.. Unfortunately for Hab fans, it’s not because of the Canadiens prospects on the roster. C Christian Larrivee is -1 in 3 games, with just 1 shot on goal. G Olivier Michaud, the backup to Edmonton’s Chris Madden, is 0-1 with a 5.02 GAA and a .878 save percentage. Two Bulldogs tryout players are doing better, C Marco Rosa has 4 points (2-2-4) in 3 games, with a +3 rating and 11 SOG, while D Gary Zinck is pointless in 3 contests, but is +1 with a quartet of PIMS.
Once again, Hamilton had to play 3 games in as many nights, however, Dan Ellis got 2 starts instead of Yann Danis. In Ellis’ games, the Bulldogs lost both, being outscored 6-2. Danis’ lone start led to a win over Syracuse, a game in which he stopped 44 of 46 shots and earned first star in the process. Although Doug Jarvis has yet to name the #1 goalie, it seems evident who it will be. Danis is 4-1 (the loss coming in OT), with a 1.76 GAA and a .944 SV %. Ellis on the other hand is 0-4 (with one OT loss), with a 3.49 GAA and a respectable .901 SV%.
D Mike Komisarek (hip), out 2-4 weeks
D Jean-Phillipe Cote (shoulder), day-to-day
C Antti Miettinen (shoulder), out 5-6 months
C Benoit Dusablon (undisclosed), out indefinitely
The Weekly Bulldogs Stat Pack:
October 29: Philadelphia 4, Hamilton 1
October 23: Hamilton 3, Syracuse 2 (OT)
October 24: Manitoba 2, Hamilton 1
Week Record: 1-2-0-0
Season Record: 4-3-2-0 (4th in West)
Weekly Scoring Leaders
Season Scoring Leaders
Weekly Scoring Summary
1) Ward (Plekanec, Daley) PP
2) Morgan (Focht, Ott)
3) Locke (Thinel, Milroy) PP
4) Higgins (Thinel) OT GWG
5) Thinel (Higgins, Lambert)
Powerplay: 2/18 (11.1%)
Penalty Kill: 11/14 (78.6%)
Powerplay: 6/57 (10.5%)
Penalty Kill: 40/48 (83.3%)
November 2: Hamilton vs Cleveland
November 5: Cleveland vs Hamilton
November 6: Cleveland vs Hamilton
You are not reading a typo, the Bulldogs play the Barons 3, count ’em, 3 times this week.