Friday Night – 3-2 victory over St. John’s:
The Hamilton Bulldogs hosted the St. John’s IceCaps (affiliate of Winnipeg) in their home opener Friday night. With two shorthanded goals the Bulldogs opened their season on a high note
with a 3-2 victory.
Newly-named alternate captain Greg Pateryn opened the scoring ripped one past Eddie Pasquale to score the first goal
(and shorthanded tally) of the season and put Hamilton on the board. It
only took about five minutes before the IceCaps could answer with a goal of their own
as Andrew Gordon scored his first of the year on the powerplay; it would stay
tied heading into the second.
Michael Blunden scored early in the second period
to restore the one goal advantage. Joonas Nattinen, playing his first game
since December 28th of last year, picked up an assist on the play. The lead wouldn’t last for long,
however, as Ben Chariot would find the back of the net to tie things up at two,
which is where the score stood heading into the third.
In the final frame, Patrick Holland, another returning Bulldog, came up the left side
on a break to score another shorthanded goal, giving the Bulldogs the lead.
That came just past the five minute mark but it held up as the winner. Holland
has had a knack for scoring game winners at home; last season he had a total of three game winners on home ice.
There were a total of 12 powerplays through out the contest (six apiece); Hamilton was unable to capitalize on any of their powerplays and managed to kill five of their six penalties
(while scoring a pair with the one-man disadvantage). Dustin Tokarski
picked up the win for the Bulldogs, making a total of 33 saves; his .943 SV%
from that game places him 8th in the AHL in that category and 14th in GAA.
Last season, Tokarski was 26th in the league in SV% (.909) and 13th in the
league in GAA (2.38).
Hamilton and the IceCaps, who played eight times last
season, won’t meet up again this years until the middle of December at home.
1) Michael Blunden
2) Patrick Holland
3) Eddie Pasquale
Next Game – Saturday
The Bulldogs (1-0-0,
2nd in the North Division) host the defender Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins
(1-0-1, 2nd in the Midwest Division) in their second game of the season, and second game on home ice
on Saturday night. The Griffins are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the
Marlies last weekend. Last year the Dogs and Griffins met up a total of 4
times, with the Dogs winning just once at the beginning of the season.
Grand Rapids forward Gustav Nyquist is currently 11th in league scoring with three points after
scoring a goal and three assists in their past two games.