The Hamilton Bulldogs achieved a major milestone in the franchise’s 14-year history this week by winning their 500th regular season AHL game.
They came into the week with 498 wins and a quartet of games to be played against the Rochester Americans, Houston Aeros, and the Lake Erie Monsters. The Dogs would need all four games to reach their 500th victory as they split the week’s contests, losing two and winning two.
Tuesday, November 24 was the second of ten meetings between Hamilton and Rochester this season. All-time, the Amerks maintain the upper hand on the Bulldogs (with Hamilton having a record of 52-61-7-0-3 vs their North Division foe) and this game would be no different as the Baby Habs were defeated by a score of 5-2.
After a scoreless opening period, Rochester would get the only goal of the second period when a wicked wrist shot got behind Bulldogs starting goaltender, Curtis Sanford. The puck beat Sanford high to the glove side, hitting the top left corner of the net and came back out of the net so fast that there was question as to whether the puck had actually gone in or not. Even the goal judge was unsure and he didn’t put on the goal-light until
referee, Chris Ciamaga, signaled that the puck had indeed gone into the net.
The scoring floodgates would open in the third period, when Rochester scored two goals in a span of 47 seconds to take a 3-0 lead in the game.
The Bulldogs were looking for continued offensive support from their recently assembled line of Mike Glumac, David Desharnais,
and Brock Trotter. The trio has combined to score eight goals, twelve assists,
and 20 points since Desharnais’ return from his foot injury, and they attempted to keep the Bulldogs in the game. Mike Glumac cut the Amerks lead down to 3-1 when he scored 14 seconds later at 4:11, assisted by Desharnais and P.K. Subban.
Rochester would score again before P.K. Subban added the Bulldogs second goal at 18:19 on the powerplay. With the Americans now leading 4-2, Curtis Sanford was pulled for an extra attacker and Rochester capped off the game with an empty net goal to give them a 5-2 win.
The very next day, Wednesday November 25th, the Houston Aeros flew into the Dog Pound at Copps
Coliseum for the second and final meeting between the two this season. In their first meeting, Houston edged out a win by beating Hamilton 4-3 in a shootout. For this second game, Hamilton’s powerplay, which had scored in each of the Dogs previous seven games, would need to have a strong showing, as Houston possesses the best penalty killing unit in the AHL.
It was Houston’s powerplay, however, which converted into a goal at 1:09 of the third period to give the Aeros a 1-0 victory when all was said and done. Bulldogs goaltender, Cedrick Desjardins, did all he could do by stopping 24 of 25 shots to help his team, which has been hampered by a series of injuries and by a number of call-ups to Montreal, as the Canadiens have been experiencing their own injuries and have been beefing up their roster with Bulldogs players.
After being shutout by the Aeros, the Hamilton Bulldogs travelled to Cleveland, Ohio, for their upcoming games vs the Lake Erie Monsters on November 27 and November 28 where they did some shutting out of their own, beating the Monsters 4-0 and 3-0. This pair of games was the first and second of eight meetings between the North Division rivals this season. In 2008-2009, the Bulldogs took the season series 6-2-0-0, and all-time, hold a 13-2-0-0-1 record against Lake Erie.
In the first game, Ben Maxwell, Frederic St. Denis, Mathieu Carle, and Mike Glumac would do the scoring for the Bulldogs and both Hamilton goalies would share the shutout. Curtis Sanford started the game and stopped all 16 shots which came his way until he was forced to leave the game after the second period with muscle spasms in his back. Cedrick Desjardins took over for the third period and stopped all 8 shots he faced.
The following day, David Desharnais, Ryan Russell, and Brock Trotter did all
the damage, scoring a goal each. Cedrick Desjardins would stop all 32 Lake Erie shots, as the Bulldogs went on to record their 500th regular season win.