HAMILTON, ON – The Hamilton Bulldogs hadn’t scored in three consecutive games coming into tonight’s tilt with the Rockford Icehogs, and given Rockford’s far superior record, expectations were low. So when the ‘Dogs fell behind 1-0 less than two minutes into the first period, you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was the same old script repeating itself.
But on this night, the Bulldogs had some bite, finally snapping their drought on a controversial Patrick Holland marker. Holland deflected a Gabriel Dumont shot past Alec Richards, and though replay seemed to indicate the buzzer had sounded before the puck crossed the line, the goal stood, evening the score through 20 minutes.
Though they were outshot, Hamilton generated a number of quality chances in the first period, likely more than they had in their entire previous outing against the Toronto Marlies. Thus there was reason to be optimistic, and the team built a lead on a rare powerplay marker with Dumont tipping in a Frederic St. Denis point blast.
After Robert Mayer made a number of key quick reflex saves (35 total stops on the night) to keep Rockford from adding a second marker of their own, Olivier Fortier found a loose puck and open side of the net staring up at him off a Philipps Lefebvre centering play and buried his first of the season. That insurance marker was all the team needed, as Hamilton snapped a 3-game losing streak, posting just their second win in their last 10 outings. Dumont’s goal and assist make him easily the hottest ‘Dog offensively, particularly at home with the team’s previous game at Copps Coliseum being Dumont’s career night of three goals and five points.
Newest ‘Dog Jason DeSantis made his team debut, playing on a pairing with Jarred Tinordi, and was solid, logging big minutes in all situations. Hamilton is back in action tomorrow night at home again as they take on Lake Erie. Be sure to tune into Abe Hefter’s Locker Room show on Montreal’s CJAD 800 AM radio from 6 PM to 7 PM, as I’ll join him to tee up the game at 6:45 PM.
(feature photo courtesy of HamiltonBulldogs.com)