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The Hamilton Bulldogs slipped back to Earth this week, after dropping a pair of games to the Edmonton Roadrunners.  Some key flaws of this team were exposed, which cost them both games.  In the opener on Monday, a lack of discipline led to a 2-man advantage in the dying minutes for Edmonton, which they scored on to tie the game, and later win it in the shootout.  On Wednesday, the powerplay did Hamilton in, as they went 0/9 in the game, and failed to score on a 6-4 advantage late in the game; Edmonton wins 3-2 for the 2nd straight game.

The Goalie Carousel ends:

This week marked the return of G Dan Ellis, who missed last week’s action while representing Team Canada in the Loto Cup in Slovakia.  He allowed 3 goals in his Bulldogs return, but played solid nonetheless.  His return sent G Olivier Michaud back to Long Beach of the ECHL.

Roster Notes:

F Chris Higgins returned Monday from a foot bruise, and subsequently re-aggravated the injury and missed Wednesday’s game.  As a result, W Andrei Kostitsyn remained with the team past the 21st, the day he was supposed to leave for North Dakota to play in the World Juniors.  F Christian Larrivee, originally called up to play for Kostitsyn when he left, dressed in place of Higgins, but played a grand total of 1 whole shift, and almost set up a goal on that shift.

By the Numbers:

Andrei Kostitsyn has 6 goals so far this season, 3 of which have come vs the Roadrunners … Jason Ward’s goal on Wednesday was his first point in 9 games, while linemate Tomas Plekanec is pointless in 7 … Steve Ott is now on a 4 game point streak, while Gavin Morgan has points in 3 of 4.

“The Penalty is declined”:

It appears that the Hamilton Bulldogs would be better off to decline penalties vs the Edmonton Roadrunners, sparing them the embarassment of their futile PP.  This week, Hamilton was 0/14 in the 2 games, dropping their PP totals vs Edmonton this season to 0/45.  With this week’s results, Hamilton’s PP has dropped below the 10% efficiency range, falling to a paltry 9.4%.  Their results without the Edmonton games?  13%, which still puts them in the bottom 5 league-wide.

Shootout Stats:

The first game of the week saw Hamilton fall 3-2 in a shootout to Edmonton.  Hamilton continues to struggle in this aspect of the game, as they now have just 2 goals on 13 chances so far this season.

This Week

Tomas Plekanec   Miss
Corey Locke           Miss 
Duncan Milroy       Miss
Andrei Kostitsyn    Miss 

Season Results

Andrei Kostitsyn 1/2 (50%)
Corey Locke 1/3 (33%)
Duncan Milroy 0/3 (0%)
Tomas Plekanec 0/3 (0%)
Chris Higgins 0/2 (0%)

Goalie Zone:

Both netminders were credited with losses this week, but neither game could be blamed on them.  On Monday, Yann Danis was en route to being first star before allowing a late tying goal…on a 2-man advantage.  In the second game, Dan Ellis struggled at first in his return from Slovakia, but kept the Bulldogs in the game, but they just couldn’t score the timely goal, the story of their season.

The Infirmary:

D Mike Komisarek (hip surgery), out indefinitely
W Jonathan Ferland (concussion), out week-to-week
C Antti Miettinen (shoulder), out 8-10 weeks
C Benoit Dusablon (neck stinger), out indefinitely
C/W Chris Higgins (foot bruise), day-to-day

The Weekly Bulldogs Stat Pack:

Game Results:

December 20: Edmonton 3, Hamilton 2 (SO)
December 22: Edmonton 3, Hamilton 2

Week Record: 0-1-0-1
Season Record: 11-13-4-2 (7th in division, tied for 10th in conference-4 way tie)

Team Scoring Leaders:

Weekly Scoring Leaders

Steve Ott (2)
Andrei Kostitsyn (1)
Jason Ward (1)

Dan Ellis (1)
Corey Locke (1)
Gavin Morgan (1)
2 others with 1

Steve Ott (3)
Andrei Kostitsyn (1)
Jason Ward (1)
4 others with 1

Season Scoring Leaders

Corey Locke (8)
Tomas Plekanec (7)
Jason Ward (7)

Tomas Plekanec (10)
Duncan Milroy (9)
Trevor Daley (9)

Tomas Plekanec (17)
Corey Locke (16)
Jason Ward (13)
2 others with 13

Weekly Scoring Summary:

1) Ott (Morgan)
2) Kostitsyn (unassisted)
3) Ward (Ott, Locke)
4) Ott (Plante, Ellis)

Special Teams:

This Week:
Powerplay: 0/15 (0%)
Penalty Kill: 12/14 (85.7%)

This Season:
Powerplay: 16/169 (9.5%)
Penalty Kill: 123/149 (82.6%)

Upcoming Schedule:

December 27: Edmonton vs Hamilton
December 29: Hamilton vs Cincinnati
December 30: Hamilton vs Milwaukee
December 31: Hamilton vs Grand Rapids

ECHL Report

Week’s Long Beach Transactions:
Dec. 20: W Yuri Moscevsky placed on 7-day IR
Dec. 22: W Sergei Klyazmin assigned from Hershey (AHL)
Dec. 22: G Olivier Michaud assigned from Hamilton (AHL)

The Ice Dogs played a single game this week, defeating the Bakersfield Condors 3-2, a game in which Edmonton prospect G Chris Madden made 50 saves.  Cory Urquhart scored a goal in this one, as Long Beach improved their record to 13-8-3 on the season.

Player Reports:

C-Christian Larrivee (Long Beach) This Week: DNP Season:  17 GP, 2-3-5, -1, 6 PIMS
C-Cory Urquhart (Long Beach) This Week: 1 GP, G, +1  Season:  20 GP, 4-5-9, E, 4 PIMS
G-Olivier Michaud (Long Beach) This Week: DNP  Season:  4-7-1-2 record, 2.92 GAA, .912 SV%
D-James Sanford (Peoria) This Week: 3 GP, 1 A, 2 PIMS  Season:  17 GP, 2-7-9, -7, 14 PIMS
D-Matt Shasby (Long Beach) This Week: 1 GP, +1, 4 PIMS Season: 7 GP, 1-2-3, +4, 4 PIMS

Upcoming Schedule:*

December 27: Idaho vs Long Beach
December 29: Idaho vs Long Beach
December 31: Long Beach vs Victoria
January 1: Long Beach vs Victoria

Bulldogs Player of the Week:

Each week, one Hamilton player will be selected as the HabsWorld Player of the Week.  At the end of each month, you the fans will be able to vote on the Player of the Month.  A different player will be nominated each week.

This Week’s Winner: C Gavin Morgan (1 assist in 2 games, over 60% faceoffs).  An honourable mention goes to Steve Ott, who would have been nominated had he not been the player of the week from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.

December Weekly Winners:
November 28-December 4:
C Steve Ott
December 5-December 12: G Dan Ellis
December 13-December 19: C Corey Locke
December 20-December 26: C Gavin Morgan

Previous Monthly Winners (as previously selected:
G Yann Danis
November: C Tomas Plekanec


Don’t forget to vote in your favourite Bulldog player to the 2005 AHL All-Star Classic.  Unlike most ballots, you can only vote in one player at a time.  Click here to vote now.