By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report
HAMILTON, ONT — It was a pretty special night in Hamilton, as the Bulldogs hosted the Rochester Americans on toy toss night, in support of the CHML, Y108 and 953 Fresh FM Children’s Fund, that will deliver the toys to children in need just in time for Christmas – and that always draws a good crowd.
As noted above, tonight was a pretty special night at First Ontario Centre for the toy toss, and the Bulldogs had several chances in the opening period to score a much anticipated goal that would trigger the toy toss madness. But however, they failed to convert.
Every shot and every chance the Bulldogs had to score, the fans got louder, and louder anticipating a goal. But the Bulldogs did not get one, so fans would have to wait for the second period.
The second period would be a lot more special.
Hamilton’s forward Daniel Carr scored the first goal of the game and triggered the toy toss extravaganza, which lasted a good ten minutes with Bulldogs personnel cleaning up the thousands of wrapped teddy bears. It was quite the scene to witness.
Several minutes after the Bulldogs scored the first goal of the game, the Americans evened it up with a goal coming from Johan Larsson.
Moments after Larsson’s goal that tied things up for Rochester, they took the lead after Dan Catenacci deflected the puck in front, beating Mike Condon.
On Hamilton’s penalty kill, Condon made a huge cross-crease save that kept the game at 2-1 Rochester.
The Bulldogs were able to tie things with with 3:49 left in the second period after T.J. Hensick tapped in the loose puck that was sitting on the blueline after Drayson Bowman shot a puck off Nathan Lieuwen, which trickled behind him.
The Bulldogs were rolling at this point, and Jacob De La Rose had a wonderful chance to give the ‘Dogs the lead after receiving the puck at the top of the circle and firing a slap shot that would land right in the chest of Lieuwen.
With just 17 seconds remaining, Hensick came down the wing and chipped a weak shot past Lieuwen. That was Hensick’s second goal of the game and Hudon’s second assist of the night.
The third period was a lot more physical than the first two with players getting involved in after whistle scrums, and many more hits.
The Bulldogs played a good third period keeping their lead intact and they held on to take the win by a score of 3-2.