By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report
TORONTO, ONT — The Hamilton Bulldogs travelled down the 403 to Toronto to take on the Marlies for the second time this season. The Marlies spoiled the Bulldogs home opener at FirstOntario Centre exactly one week ago and tonight it was the Bulldogs with the victory, defeating the Marlies by a score of 4-1.
In the first period, the Hamilton Bulldogs would take the first lead of the game, as recently-recalled Nathan Beaulieu would score his first AHL goal of the season. Michael Bournival, who was also sent down this week by the Montreal Canadiens, was credited with the primary assist after he made a nice feed to Beaulieu. The young defenceman tucked the puck behind Marlies goaltender Antonie Bibeau.
The Bulldogs would see two power-play opportunities in the first period, but they struggled to get out of their own zone and to create scoring chances in the offensive zone. On top of that, the Marlies also had several chances on the penalty-kill. To be more specific, they had more chances down a man than the Bulldogs did up a body.
Hamilton goaltender Joey MacDonald faced 10 shots on goal in the opening period, and he made at least four big gloves saves to keep the Bulldogs up 1-0. MacDonald played a key period for the ‘Dogs, which allowed them to enter the first intermission up 1-0.
In the middle frame, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 3-0, with goals coming from Sven Andrighetto and Eric Tangradi. Andrighetto scored the Bulldogs second goal with a nice top shelf snipe two minutes into the period, and Tangradi scored his first as a Bulldog’ on the power-play, after he chipped the puck over Bibeau’s right shoulder.
MacDonald continued his strong play in the second period, and made two more nifty gloves saves, keeping Hamilton in the lead.
Towards the end of the period, both the Marlies and Bulldogs started to get under each others skin as there were multiple scrums with players ready to drop the gloves.
The remainder of the period saw a lot of back and forth play between the two clubs. The Bulldogs managed to outshoot the Marlies 11-5 in the second with a much stronger period offensively and defensively.
Moments after the third period started, Marlies forward Sam Carrick ran over MacDonald, causing his helmet to fly off his head. MacDonald showed some discomfort and was helped by the trainer, but was fine to continue the game.
The Marlies scored their first and only goal of the game on the power-play. Greg McKegg scored his first of the season as hhis inital shot snuck past MacDonalds glove side and into the net.
Charles Hudon then went off moments after the the Marlies power-play goal for slashing and this is when the game started to pick up. However, the Bulldogs killed off the minor with very little issue.
The game would now get intense with the Marlies producing multiple chances, but MacDonald was able to shut the door and Tangardi scored his second goal of the game with the empty net. 4-1 final for the Bulldogs who lost back-to-back games last weekend.
The season series between the 403 rivals is now at one a piece with 10 more games on tap this season.
The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow as they play host to the San Antonio Rampage at FirstOntario Centre.