Frank Sinatra may have loved New York, immortalized in his signature song “New York, New York”, but it appears that the Hamilton Bulldogs may have a different opinion when it comes to playing hockey games against some of their rivals from the Empire State, as they split a pair of games this past week vs the Rochester Americans and the Syracuse Crunch.
The Bulldogs didn’t get off to a good start when they travelled to Rochester on November 10. They made the trip without goaltender Curtis Sanford, who was at home with his wife as she was expecting to give birth to their third child. Robert Mayer was recalled from the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL to back up Cedrick Desjardins but did not arrive before the game started. As a result, the Dogs had to dress Darren McConaghy, the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, to serve as the backup goalie to Desjardins until Mayer showed up at some point during the game.
Things went from bad to worse very quickly. Rochester, by the midway point of the game, was sitting comfortably on a 3-0 lead and would go on to defeat Hamilton by a final score of 4-1. The Bulldogs would also have to contend with the loss in this game of their leading goal-scorer, Mathieu Darche, who suffered a separated shoulder injury and is expected to be out of action for 4-6 weeks.
The single Bulldogs goal was scored on the powerplay at 3:22 of the 3rd period by Mike Glumac. It was his first goal of the season and his 300th career AHL point. The goal was assisted by Ben Maxwell and David Desharnais, who was participating in his first game of the season after injuring his foot during the preseason.
Saturday, November 14 saw the Bulldogs return to the Dog Pound at Copps Coliseum to host the Syracuse Crunch in the only meeting between the two hockey clubs this season. Mike Glumac would pick up where he left off in Rochester by scoring two goals against Syracuse in the first period at 6:40 (on the power play) and at 14:40. Desharnais also got in on the action once again by assisting on Glumac’s second goal and scoring one of his own 58 seconds into the second period to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead at that point. Glumac would return the favour by assisting on that goal.
Ryan Russell would do all the scoring in the third period when he fired two goals of his own into the Syracuse net at 4:31 and 6:19 to cap the win for the Bulldogs as they crunched the Crunch by a final score of 5-1. Ben Maxwell and Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on both of Russell’s goals. Maxwell also picked up a third assist, helping out on Glumac’s first goal back in the opening period.
Brock Trotter would join in on the scoring by getting two assists on Glumac’s second goal and the Desharnais goal.
Cedrick Desjardins once again started between the pipes and picked up the win, his fourth of the season.