By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report
HAMILTON, ON — The Hamilton Bulldogs entered Friday’s contest against the Rochester Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) having lost their last match on Wednesday against the Adirondack Flames in overtime by a score of 5-4. Entering Friday’s matchup, the Bulldogs sit second in the North Division with a record of 28-21-9, good enough for 65 points. Rochester, however, is last in the North with a record of 24-29-6, for 54 points.
Friday’s game at FirstOntario Centre, however, had a similar outcome just like Wednesday’s tilt, with Hamilton losing, again. The Americans were able to defeat the ‘Dogs by a score of 3-1.
The Americans saw their first solid scoring opportunity eight minutes into the first as the Amerks’ shot the puck at Bulldogs goaltender Joey MacDonald and it squeaked right behind him, almost over the red line. But defenceman Davis Drewiske cleared the puck. Close call.
Towards the end of the first period, an odd situation occurred. A sheet of glass on the Americans bench shattered and delayed the game for about 15 minutes. Rochester’s backup goaltender Tim Boron nearly took a puck to the head and left briefly to clean the glass off himself.
Moments later, the game entered the first intermission scoreless.
At the 7:35 mark in the second period, TJ Hensick scored a goal but it was waved off because it was kicked in. The play was not reviewed and the game remained scoreless.
The second period picked up it’s intensity and saw the Bulldogs direct eight shots on goal (for a two period total of 23.) The Bulldogs came close to scoring on their power-play towards the end of the period, but time expired. The ‘Dogs entered the third with 40 seconds remaining on the man advantage.
The Americans started the third period on a good note as they would take the first lead of the game, thanks to Evan Rankin who squeezed the puck by Joey MacDonald on a 2-on-1 pass.
Seconds after the Americans goal the Bulldogs tied the game after a bullet of a shot from Greg Pateryn at the blueline which went through traffic in front past Matt Hackett.
The Americans struck again to take their second lead of the night with Chad Ruhwedel netting the goal after Joey MacDonald saved a point shot, but created a rebound and was found out of position. That was Ruhwedel’s his eighth goal of the season.
The Americans sealed the deal with an empty net goal with seven seconds left in the period.
- Three Stars: 3. Greg Pateryn (HAM) 2. Matt Hackett (RCH) 1. Chad Ruhwedel (RCH).
- Premium Player: Davis Drewiske