The Hamilton Bulldogs pulled through in overtime after another third period come back in a Tuesday night thriller. Canadiens’ prospect and third year veteran on the Bulldogs; Louis LeBlanc played what is possibly one of the best games of his career with the Bulldogs. Leblanc’s two helpers and the game-winning goal just over a minute into extra time allowed the Bulldogs to climb out of their losing streak and get their second win of the season.
The IceHogs got off to an early start in the first period, with a goal from Garrett Ross within the first thirty seconds. It wasn’t until late in the first when Nick Tarnasky put one right past Rockford’s goaltender to tie it up. They would end the first period tied at one.
The second period didn’t see much action on the goal side of things, but there were a lot of smart plays from both sides of the puck. Rockford would score the only goal to give them the edge going into the third period.
Sven Andrighetto, a rookie on the Bulldogs, would open the scoring in the third with an unassisted, short-handed goal to tie things back up. It wouldn’t take long for the IceHogs to answer, as Mark McNeill would put in back-to-back goals, with the first coming two minutes after Andrighetto’s. After Rockford’s two goals Andrighetto would come back with another to answer McNeill’s second, leaving the Bulldog’s with a deficit of one.
Hamilton pulled goalie Dustin Tokarski to add the extra man. The IceHogs shot at the open net, but the goal was disallowed, as an offside call followed. Tokarski was pulled yet again after the faceoff and Akim Aliu put in the final goal of the third period with just 18 seconds left on the clock. Aliu’s goal sent the IceHogs and Bulldogs into overtime. The goal, Aliu’s second so far this season, came at just the right time to give the Hamilton a chance for the win.
Just over a minute into overtime Leblanc would find the back of the net off the rebound. Collecting assists for the game-winning goal were Gabriel Dumont and Magnus Nygren. Leblanc’s goal gave the Bulldogs their second win of the season with a final score of 5-4 over Rockford.
The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize on any of their power plays but kept their penalty kill strong, as the IceHogs would only score once with the man-advantage.
Hamilton goalie Dustin Tokarski added another win to his stats, after making a total of 24 saves throughout the night.
The Bulldogs’ next game will be at Copps Colluium on Friday Night when they host the Rochester Americans in a 7:30pm game start. This is the second of four games this week as they’re on the road to play the Utica Comets Saturday, and back home for their second meeting with the Marlies Sunday.