The Hamilton Bulldogs have concluded their preseason, going undefeated in three games played against the Binghamton Senators (AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators). These neutral site games were held in various locations throughout the Province of Newfoundland, providing the Bulldogs players with an early opportunity for team bonding before the regular season gets underway on October 15th.
Following two days of practice drills, the Dogs defeated the Senators by a
final score of 3-0 in their first preseason game on Thursday, September 30 in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Robert Mayer made 36 saves in goal for the shutout victory while J.T. Wyman scored two goals and added an assist. The Bulldogs opened the scoring at 17:31 of the first period when Frederic St. Denis collected the puck at the blue line before snapping a shot towards the net. The puck bounced off of Wyman and past Binghamton starting goaltender Mike Brodeur (no relation to Martin Brodeur). At 3:01 of the second period, David Desharnais fired a shot from the blue line that once again banked off Wyman. The puck bounced past Brodeur and into the back of the net to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard. Aaron Palushaj sealed the victory at 17:53 in the 3rd period when he put his own rebound into the Binghamton net to finalize the score at 3-0.
In their 2nd pre-season game, on Saturday October 2nd, this time in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, the Bulldogs defeated the Sens
by a final score of 3-2. The goals in this one were provided by Gabriel Dumont
and Desharnais (2). Assisting on the Dumont goal was Olivier Fortier, while Palushaj and Mathieu Carle provided the assists on both of the Desharnais goals.
The following afternoon, on Sunday October 3rd, the Dogs and Sens traveled to Mile One Stadium in St. John’s, Newfoundland to wrap up their exhibition series. Since the departure of the former AHL St. John’s Maple Leafs and the subsequent departure of the QMJHL Fog Devils, the hockey faithful in St. John’s have been starved for a good hockey game and they would not go away disappointed following this one.
Hamilton opened the scoring in the 1st period with goals by David Desharnais and J.T. Wyman. Assists were by Aaron Palushaj and Mathieu Carle once again. But Binghamton was not going to sit idly
by and watch. They responded with two goals of their own to tie the game. The two teams then traded goals back and forth in the 3rd period to force the game into overtime.
The extra period solved nothing and what followed was an electrifying shootout which lasted nine rounds. Bulldogs goaltender Robert Mayer slammed the door shut, allowing only one shootout goal, while rookie prospect Alexander Avtsin and Dany Masse each tallied a goal to give the Dogs a 4-3 win.
The Bulldogs now return home to Hamilton to continue their training camp with daily practices until they take to the ice for real to start their 15th Season in the American Hockey League. The action gets underway on Friday October 15th.