By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report
HAMILTON, ONT — On Friday, the Hamilton Bulldogs played their first game of three game weekend set against the American Hockey League leading team, Utica Comets, and defeated them by a score of 3-0 – in a game that was well deserving of a win.
Tonight, the Bulldogs played their second game in two nights against the Lake Erie Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche at the FirstOntario Centre, and were defeated by a score of 2-1.
The first period came to an end at the FirstOntario Centre with a scoreless game. However, there was a ton of action and good scoring chances.
It didn’t take long for another scary incident to happen. This time, involving Connor Crisp, who was checked from behind by Daniel Maggio and that would spark a scrum with Joe Finley and Darren Dietz defending their teammate. Crisp then went off to the dressing room.
Surprisingly, Maggio did not receive a game misconduct and only went off for two minutes for roughing. But when he made his return to the ice after serving the minor penalty, Bulldogs forward Jack Nevins dropped the gloves with him and Nevins would have the advantage by landing a handful of punches and bringing him down to the ice. The crowd then loudly cheered and both players continued to chirp each other from the penalty box.
Fast forward two periods and we saw forty minutes of hockey played in Hamilton and still, there was no goal scoring.
It’s quite clear that the Monsters are not making many friends in Hamilton. Why? Well because they were hitting players way too many times from behind and the refs still did not kick a player out for it. Crisp, who was hit from behind in the first period, did not return and that raised a few eyebrows.
Putting the shenanigans to the side, there were a few good scoring chances for both teams, and the Monsters did score, but it was waved off due to a hand pass. So the game remained scoreless. For a time, at least.
But in the third period, the first official goal of the game came just 28 seconds into the frame, thanks to Joey Hishon who scored the nice breakaway goal giving the Monsters a 1-0 lead over the Bulldogs.
So in the third period we finally saw some scoring action and this time, the Bulldogs answered with rookie Charles Hudon slapping home a beautiful one timer to make it a tie game. It was Hudon’s 11th goal of the season, too.
With 3:15 to go, the Monsters then took a late 2-1 lead thanks to a goal from Trevor Cheek who scored from inside the slot with a crowded net in front of Mike Condon.
The Bulldogs called a timeout with a minute or so left and Condon sat on the bench for the extra attacker, but they could not find the back of the net and the Monsters held on for the 2-1 win on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. as they host the Oklahoma City Barons, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.