HAMILTON, ON — Well, after 19 years, AHL hockey in Hamilton is now over.
The Hamilton Bulldogs finished their regular season in a shootout at the FirstOntario Centre on Saturday night against the Lake Erie Monsters in front of 10,326 loud fans. It was an exciting game, but the Bulldogs came up short in their first shootout of the season.
The match marked the final game of AHL hockey in the City, as the team is relocating to St. John’s, Newfoundland for the 2015-16 season.
The Lake Erie Monsters opened the scoring with a goal from Cody Corbett who tucked the puck behind Bulldogs goaltender Brandon Whitney.
Shortly after the Corbett goal, the Bulldogs got one back to tie the game courtesy of Eric Tangradi.
The Bulldogs entered the first intermission tied, 1-1, with the Monsters. However, the second period would see much more action.
In the middle frame, TJ Hensick buried his 19th goal of the season giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. But then the Monsters responded on the power play after Stefan Fournier went off for too-many men and Stefan Elliott notched the tying goal.
Lake Erie’s goal scoring did not end there, as they regained the lead.
Freddie Hamilton scored his 11th goal of the 2014-15 campaign on the power-play just after the Monsters tied the game.
At this point, the Bulldogs were really pressing hard for a tying goal, but they finished the period down by one after forty minutes of play.
The Bulldogs were able to tie the game about five minutes into the frame with Christian Thomas blasting one by Calvin Pickard after a nice pass from Sven Andrighetto.
The Bulldogs and Monsters did not find the score sheet in the final exciting 15 minutes of the period, which saw several chances at both ends of the ice, so 60 minutes was not enough and the game needed an overtime period.
The overtime period did not have a goal scorer, but let me tell you this: That overtime period was the entertaining seven minutes of hockey I have watched this season. The Bulldogs had over five chances to end the game in overtime but Pickard stopped everything, including a sprawling glove save. It’s unfortunate, the game needed to be decided in the shootout, where the Monsters came out on top.