The Hamilton Bulldogs continued their points streak this last week with five wins and an overtime loss against a group of Western Conference teams, advancing their season standings to 6-0-1-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL) and currently sit in 3rd place in the North Division with 14 points.
On October 16, the Dogs triumphed in overtime 4-3 in Peoria, Illinois in a game vs the Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis Blues affiliate). Hamilton scored once in each regulation period with goals by Mathieu Darche, Ben Maxwell, and Tom Pyatt. The Bulldogs had the lead in the game 3-2 until the Rivermen scored late in the 3rd period to force the overtime. The extra period ended only 16 seconds after it started when Mathieu Darche scored his second goal of the night to win the game for the Bulldogs. Recording assists in the victory were Marc-Andre Bergeron (3), Andre Benoit, Ryan Russell, Yannick Weber, and Sergei Kostitsyn. Curtis Sanford was once again in goal to get the win.
The next day, the Baby Habs travelled to the Windy City to face the Chicago Wolves (Atlanta Thrashers affiliate). Cedrick Desjardins received his first start of the season in this game and also picked up his first win as the Bulldogs defeated the Wolves 5-4. Hamilton goals were scored by Brock Trotter, Sergei Kostitsyn (2), Ben Maxwell, and Ryan Russell. Assists were by Mathieu Darche, Tom Pyatt, Mike Glumac, Marc-Andre Bergeron, J.T. Wyman, P.K. Subban, and in addition to their goals, assists by Sergei Kostitsyn and Ryan Russell.
The Hamilton Bulldogs returned home to the ice at Copps Coliseum on October 19 for the first of two consecutive games vs the Manitoba Moose. The Dogs would play this game without their leading points scorer as he, Marc-Andre Bergeron, was recalled to the Montreal Canadiens the day before.
Playing the Bulldogs in Hamilton hasn’t proven to be very lucky for the Moose (Vancouver Canucks affiliate). Their record was 10-22-2-2 in the regular season games they had played at Copps Coliseum leading up to this game. This one was to remain scoreless until the two teams traded goals in the 3rd period to take the game to overtime. The Bulldogs should have won this game, outshooting the Moose 32-18, but it was the shot by Manitoba player, Nolan Baumgartner, at 2:49 which deflected off of Yannick Weber’s skate and took a crazy bounce past a sprawled Curtis Sanford to give the Manitoba Moose a 2-1 OT victory. The lone goal for the Bulldogs was scored by Ryan Russell, assisted by Andre Benoit and Brock Trotter. Ryan White was awarded a penalty shot in the first period but failed to score. This game was also the first time that Curtis Sanford has faced his former team as a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs.
The following night, October 20, the two North Division teams played again in the rematch game. This time the Hamilton Bulldogs would skate away with a 4-1 win. Cedrick Desjardins made 14 saves as the Dogs outshot the Moose 29-15. Mathieu Darche scored two goals, including the 200th of his career in the AHL. The other two Hamilton goals were scored by Ryan White and Tom Pyatt. Assists were by Brock Trotter (2), J.T. Wyman, Andre Benoit, Mike Glumac, along with White and Pyatt once again.
October 23rd saw the Dogs travel to San Antonio Texas, home of the Rampage, the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.
More famously, San Antonio is home to the Alamo, the historical site of the 1836 siege by Mexican troops against Texas soldiers during the Texas Revolution. Several weeks after the attack on the Alamo Mission, the Texans, needing revenge, defeated the Mexican Army, ending the Revolution.
In some strange way, the Hamilton Bulldogs have also needed to obtain revenge. This comes as a result of the upheaval which occurred during this past off-season by Jim Balsillie’s attempt to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes NHL franchise and move them to Hamilton. And what better way to extract that vengeance than by blowing out the Coyotes farm team in their own building by a score of 3-0. Curtis Sanford once again got the shutout, his second of this season, while the three Bulldogs goals were scored by Tom Pyatt, Ben Maxwell, and Mathieu Carle.
Following this victory in the Texas desert, the Baby Habs hopped on the stagecoach and travelled from San Antonio to Austin, where they continued their south-western road trip, this time facing the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars affiliate). The Bulldogs won this game 2-1 in a shootout, which extends their points streak to eight games and makes the Hamilton Bulldogs the only team in the American Hockey League which has not lost a game yet in regulation time.