By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report – Twitter @Dale_Bulldogs
HAMILTON, ON — The Hamilton Bulldogs kicked off their second half of the 2014-15 American Hockey League regular season at the FirstOntario Centre in front of 2,125 fans in a rare Wednesday night game that resulted in their third straight loss on home ice.
The Admirals opened the scoring at FirstOntario Centre after Triston Grant attempted to pass the puck in front of the Bulldogs net for a teammate, but instead defenceman Darren Dietz accidentally scored on his own net after the puck deflected off his skate and in past Mike Condon.
Jacob De La Rose was called for a holding penalty giving the Admirals a good chance to extend their lead by two goals. And they did just that.
On the power-play with 3:35 to go in the period, Milwaukee went up 2-0 thanks to Austin Watson who shot the puck into an open net beating Condon on the blocker side.
But the Bulldogs luck turned with a couple minutes left in the period.
The Bulldogs got a nice power-play opportunity shortly after the Admirals second goal of the game, with Felix Girard going to the box for tripping. But the ‘Dogs continued their struggles on the man advantage, and did not get on the scoreboard in hopes of cutting the Admirals lead in half.
But just as the Bulldogs power-play ended, Daniel Carr blasted a shot from the point beating Magnus Hellberg five-hole to make it a 2-1 Admirals heading into the first intermission.
The middle frame was a very fast-paced period which saw only one penalty, and that would go to Milwaukee’s Girard for interference. But the Bulldogs still trailed the Admirals 2-1 despite only four shots on net. Condon had to stop eight for Hamilton, after the Bulldogs made some cough ups in their own zone, giving the Admirals quality scoring chances.
Unlike the second period, the third would get off to a more interesting start with the Admirals extending their lead to 3-1 with Zach Budish scoring an odd goal in front after the puck bounced up and off of Condon and in.
Midway through the period, Darren Dietz deked his way through the Ads’ defenders tucking away the puck past Hellberg but was waived off as the goaltender was pushed into the net.
The Bulldogs pulled Condon and would have the extra attacker out there to help the ‘Dogs offense get back into the game, but they were not successful with the Admirals netting an empty net goal.
The Bulldogs continue their season long seven game homestand on Friday as they host the Grand Rapid Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.