This past week, the Hamilton Bulldogs continued to provide memorable moments for their fans, just as they have done all year long. They achieved their 50th win of the season, which sets a new franchise record for the most wins in a single season, and they also captured the Bud Poile Trophy as the regular season champions of the AHL Western Conference. The trophy is named after Norman “Bud” Poile, a winner of the Stanley Cup and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who played in the NHL from 1942-1950.
There are also some additional records which were set during the three games that were played this week, but more on those in a moment. First, it’s time once again to take a look at the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-Stars of the Month, this time for March.
Here are my picks…
1 – David Desharnais (4 Goals, 12 Assists)
2 – Brock Trotter (6 Goals, 6 Assists)
3 – Ryan Russell (6 Goals, 4 Assists)
And the Hamilton Bulldogs Goaltender of the Month goes to Curtis Sanford (6 Wins, 1 Loss)
On Thursday, April 1st, the Bulldogs welcomed the Toronto Marlies (affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) to their Dog Pound home at Copps Coliseum for the 11th of 12 matchups between the two rivals this season. With this game being held on “April Fools Day”, it’s possible that Toronto thought that this game might very well be a joke and that they, the Marlies, would leave at the end of the night with a win. Considering that the previous hockey game between these two teams back on March 20th ended in a 4-3 shootout loss for Hamilton, the
‘Dogs were not in the mood for practical jokes and they voiced their opinion as
such by defeating the Marlies by a final score of 3-2, and set the new record of 50 wins in a season in the process. Scoring the goals for the Bulldogs were Ryan White, David Desharnais, and J.T. Wyman. Assists would go to Frederic St. Denis and Andre Benoit (2).
Saturday, April 3rd had the Rochester Americans (affiliate of the Florida
Panthers) visit Hamilton for the tenth and final time this season. If the North Division rivals meet again before next season, it will be during the upcoming Calder Cup playoffs. The Bulldogs came into this
one with a 5-3-0-1 record against the Americans this season, but would be defeated in this one by a final score of 4-3 in a shootout. However, the loss was secondary because the one single point that the Bulldogs earned in this game was the one that they needed to clinch the Western Conference regular season championship title and the Bud Poile Trophy.
The following afternoon, on Sunday, April 4th, the Manitoba Moose (affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) skated out on to the ice for an Easter Sunday matinee game. This was the seventh of eight contests this season between Hamilton and Manitoba, and appears to be a playoff preview because if the standings remain the way they are in the North Division, the Bulldogs (1st place) and the Moose (4th place) will meet in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
Despite the fact that the Bulldogs players had to work on the Easter Sunday holiday, they received a good Easter dinner of delicious Moose meat when they defeated their Winnipeg counterparts by a final score of 6-2. The win gave the Bulldogs 112 points on the year which breaks the franchise record for most points earned in a season. David Desharnais also broke the franchise record for points by a Bulldogs player in a single season as he posted a goal and two assists in the win and now has 78 points on the year. With the win, Cedrick Desjardins has also tied the franchise record for most wins by a Bulldogs goaltender in one season with his 28th victory of the year, tying Yann Danis who had 28 in the 2004-2005 season.