By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report
HAMILTON, ONT — The Hamilton Bulldogs entered this afternoon’s matinee having lost their last game to the same opponent, the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday, and tonight was no different. The Rampage sunk the Bulldogs by a score 5-2 in front of 2,299 fans. With the loss, the Bulldogs have yet to win a game on home ice this season.
The Bulldogs would find themselves down a goal after the first period of play, as Rampage forward Connor Brickley would net his second goal of the 2014-15 AHL season after he came flying down the wing, blasting the puck by Joey MacDonald‘s blocker side.
The power-play struggles continued for the Bulldogs in the first period. They had three opportunities on the man advantage but failed to get anything going as they could not get back in the offensive zone after the Rampage cleared the puck.
The first fight of the game came at the 8:09 minute mark, with Jack Nevins and Shane O’Brien dropping the gloves as Nevins laid a huge check on the veteran AHL defenceman O’Brien.
The Bulldogs started the second period with some good speed and they had multiple chances, but it wouldn’t end the way they wanted as the Rampage extended their lead to 4-1.
But the Bulldogs scored their first goal of the game as Christian Thomas chipped a shot that bounces off a defenseman and over goaltender Dan Ellis.
Shortly after the ‘Dogs got on the board, Jonathan Racine hit Charles Hudon from behind, causing the rookie forward to need some assistance getting off the ice. Hudon stayed on the bench and did not leave to the dressing room, while Racine got a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit.
The Rampage took the lead on 4-on-4, as Rocco Grimaldi scored the goal and then seconds later, McFarland ripped a shot past MacDonald after he flew down the wing.
The Rampage fourth goal of the game was also a nice one, as Wilson came down the wing and chipped a shot over MacDonald’s shoulder for a nice top shelf goal.
Towards the end of the period, Finley, Dowell and Nevins dropped the gloves with a few Rampage players causing a min-line brawl.
For the third period, the Bulldogs would score their second and only goal of the game with a nice point shot from Gabriel Dumont and Rampage goaltender Dan Ellis did not see the shot as he was screened.
The remainder of the period would see back and forth action, but the Rampage scored thier final goal of the game in the empty net. Wilson was credited with the goal and the Rampage would take the game by a score of 5-2.
Head coach Sylvain Lefebvre said froward Eric Tangradi is out with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day, while Magnus Nygren is has a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
The Hamilton Bulldogs will travel to Buffalo to take on the Rochester Americans at FirstNiagara Centre. The Bulldogs next home game will be also against Rochester at FirstOntario Centre for the Bulldogs annual school day game.