Press release

Weekly Preview: Bulldogs Prepare to Host Wild, Rival Marlies

Winners of seven of their past eight games, the Hamilton Bulldogs will look to stay hot with two home games this week.

(Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)

Hamilton Bulldogs Weekly Release

HAMILTON, ON. — On Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Bulldogs will host the Iowa Wild (American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild) at FirstOntario Centre at 7:30 p.m. in the final contest between these two teams this season. The ‘Dogs are 2-1-0-0 against the Wild so far in 2014-15.

On Friday, Feb. 13, the Toronto Marlies (AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) will visit Hamilton for the final time this season in the ‘Dogs annual ‘Pink in the Rink’ night at FirstOntario Centre at 7:30 p.m. So far in 2014-15, Hamilton holds a record of 6-2-1-0 against Toronto.

Tuesday, Feb. 10 vs. Iowa Wild, FirstOntario Centre, 7:30 p.m. – AHL Live, AM900 CHML

Friday, Feb. 13 vs. Toronto Marlies, FirstOntario Centre, 7:30 p.m. – Cable 14, AHL Live, AM900 CHML

(All statistics include games through Sunday, Feb. 8)

Record: 23-18-6-0, 52 points … Home: 11-11-3-0, 25 points … Road: 12-7-3-0, 27 points … Standings: T-2nd North Division, T-8th Western Conference … Last 10 games: 7-3-0-0 … Longest winning streak: 6 (Jan. 16 – Jan. 31) … Longest losing streak: 3 (Oct. 25 – Oct. 29; Nov. 7 – Nov. 13; Jan. 10 – Jan. 14) … Leading scorers: F Charles Hudon (47 GP 12-29-41), F T.J. Hensick (47 GP 12-24-36), F Gabriel Dumont (40 GP 12-15-27) …Goaltenders: Mike Condon (27 GP 15-9-3, 2.02 GAA, .934 Save %, 3 SO), Joey MacDonald (18 GP 7-8-3, 3.02 GAA, .899 Save %, 0 SO) … Power play – Home: 13-for-102, 12.7 per cent, 24th AHL … Road: 9-for-78, 11.5 per cent, 24th AHL … Overall: 22-for-180, 12.2 per cent, 28th AHL … Penalty killing – Home: 76-for-89, 85.4 per cent, 10th AHL … Road: 72-for-82, 87.8 per cent, T-5th AHL … Overall: 148-for-171, 86.5 per cent, 7th AHL … Goals for per game: 2.68, 20th AHL … Goals against per game: 2.57, T-10th AHL

IOWA WILD (Affiliation: Minnesota Wild) – Head Coach: John Torchetti … Record: 17-30-1-1, 36 points … Home: 8-15-0-0, 16 points … Road: 9-15-1-1, 20 points … Standings: 5th West Division, 15th Western Conference … Leading scorer: F Tyler Graovac (46 GP 16-18-34) … Leading goaltender: John Curry (21 GP 8-10-0, 2.78 GAA, .917 Save %, 0 SO) … Power play: 29-for-175, 16.6 per cent, 16th AHL … Penalty killing: 134-for-174, 77.0 per cent, 30th AHL … Goals for per game: 2.37, 26th AHL … Goals against per game: 3.31, 29th AHL … Last 10 games: 3-7-0-0 … All-time series: 3-2-0-0 … Last season: 1-1-0-0 … This season: 2-1-0-0 …First-round NHL picks: F Zack Phillips (Minnesota Wild, 2011), D Jonathon Blum (Nashville Predators, 2007) … Ontario-born players: F Tyler Graovac (Brampton), F Zack Mitchell (Orangeville), F Marc Hagel (Hamilton), F Kurtis Gabriel (Newmarket), D Alex Gudbranson (Orleans), D Danny Syvret (Millgrove)


TORONTO MARLIES (Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs) – Head Coach: Gord Dineen … Record: 19-18-9-0, 47 points … Home: 10-8-5-0, 25 points … Road: 9-10-4-0, 22 points … Standings: 4th North Division, 12th Western Conference … Leading scorer: F Connor Brown (46 GP 12-22-34) … Leading goaltender: Christopher Gibson (24 GP 10-11-3, 2.47 GAA, .921 Save %, 1 SO) … Power play: 20-for-157, 12.7 per cent, 26th AHL …Penalty killing: 160-for-198, 80.8 per cent, 26th AHL … Goals for per game: 2.28, 28th AHL … Goals against per game: 2.70, 14th AHL … Last 10 games: 4-3-3-0 … All-time series: 55-44-8-8 … Last season: 6-6-0-0 … This season: 6-2-1-0 … First-round NHL picks: F Tyler Biggs (Toronto Maple Leafs, 2011), F William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs, 2014), D Stuart Percy (Toronto Maple Leafs, 2011) … Ontario-born players: F Greg McKegg (St. Thomas), F Spencer Abbott (Hamilton), F Josh Leivo (Innisfil), F Sam Carrick (Markham), F Ryan Rupert (Grand Bend), F Patrick Watling (Sault Ste. Marie), F Jamie Devane (Mississauga), F Connor Brown (Toronto), D Matt Finn (Toronto), D Stuart Percy (Oakville)

Feb. 9 – D David Makowski assigned by Hamilton Bulldogs to Wheeling Nailers

Feb. 9 – F Gabriel Dumont assigned by Montreal Canadiens to Hamilton Bulldogs

Feb. 8 – D Bobby Shea recalled by Hamilton Bulldogs from Wheeling Nailers

Feb. 8 – D Bobby Shea assigned by Hamilton Bulldogs to Wheeling Nailers

Feb. 7 – D Bobby Shea recalled by Hamilton Bulldogs from Wheeling Nailers

Feb. 5 – F Jacob de la Rose recalled by Montreal Canadiens from Hamilton Bulldogs

Feb. 5 – G Mike Condon signed by Montreal Canadiens to two-year contract extension

Feb. 4 – F Jacob de la Rose assigned by Montreal Canadiens to Hamilton Bulldogs

Feb. 2 – F Jacob de la Rose recalled by Montreal Canadiens from Hamilton Bulldogs



F Connor Crisp – Upper body (Day-to-day)

D Darren Dietz – Lower body (Day-to-day)

F Jack Nevins – Upper body (Two weeks)

D Magnus Nygren – Concussion (Out indefinitely)

Tuesday, Feb. 10: Morning skate – 10 a.m. – FirstOntario Centre

Wednesday, Feb. 11: Practice – 11 a.m. – FirstOntario Centre

Thursday, Feb. 12: Practice – 10 a.m. – FirstOntario Centre

Friday, Feb. 13: Morning skate – 10 a.m. – FirstOntario Centre

Saturday, Feb. 14: Practice – 11 a.m. – FirstOntario Centre

Sunday, Feb. 15: Practice – 9 a.m. – FirstOntario Centre

Monday, Feb. 16: No morning skate

Tuesday, Feb. 17: Practice – 10 a.m. – FirstOntario Centre
Note: Practices and morning skates are closed to the public, unless otherwise specified.

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 – IOWA 5 @ HAMILTON 3

FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, Ont.

Iowa Goals: Jonathon Blum (2), Zack Phillips, Brady Brassart, Kurtis Gabriel*

Hamilton Goals: Daniel Carr (2), Jarred Tinordi

Goaltending: Iowa: Darcy Kuemper (3 GA, 23 SV) / Hamilton: Joey MacDonald (4 GA, 20 SV)
Power Play: Iowa: 0-for-2 / Hamilton: 0-for-0
* – Game-winning goal

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 – HAMILTON 4 @ LAKE ERIE 0

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

Hamilton Goals: Daniel Carr (2)*, Nick Sorkin, Charles Hudon

Lake Erie Goals: N/A

Goaltending: Hamilton: Mike Condon (0 GA, 34 SV) / Lake Erie: Calvin Pickard (4 GA, 22 SV)
Power Play: Hamilton: 0-for-3 / Lake Erie: 0-for-2
* – Game-winning goal



(1st Star – 5 pts, 2nd Star – 3 pts, 3rd Star – 1 pt)

Player Points
1. Mike Condon 41
T2. Sven Andrighetto 25
T2. Daniel Carr 25
4. Gabriel Dumont 24
5. Charles Hudon 23
6. T.J. Hensick 18
7. Christian Thomas 8
8. Eric Tangradi 6
T9. Mac Bennett 5
T9. Jake Dowell 5
T9. Joey MacDonald 5
T9. Davis Drewiske 5
T9. Jacob de la Rose 5
T14. Michael Bournival 4
T14. Darren Dietz 4
T14. Nick Sorkin 4
T17. Greg Pateryn 3
T18. Nathan Beaulieu 2
T18. Maxime Macenauer 2


(Hardestworking Hamilton Bulldogs player)

Player Selections
1. Charles Hudon 8
2. Gabriel Dumont 4
T3. Mac Bennett 3
T3. Greg Pateryn 3
T3. Mike Condon 3
T3. Jarred Tinordi 3
T7. Eric Tangradi 2
T7. Davis Drewiske 2
T7. Christian Thomas 2
T7. Drayson Bowman 2
T7. Sven Andrighetto 2
T7. Darren Dietz 2
T13. Joey MacDonald 1
T13. Jack Nevins 1
T13. Maxime Macenauer 1
T13. Magnus Nygren 1
T13. Nick Sorkin 1
T13. Michael Bournival 1
T13. Dustin Tokarski 1
T13. T.J. Hensick 1
T13. Jacob de la Rose 1
T13. Daniel Carr 1
T13. Bryan Allen 1



Bulldogs flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit


The Bulldogs will host their annual Bowling with the Dawgs event on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at Splitsville Entertainment (1525 Stone Church Rd. East). Meet and bowl with your favourite players starting at 6 p.m.! Bowling with the Dawgs is presented by the Bulldogs Foundation in support of the Dawgs Breakfast Program. Contact Brett Varey at for more information or to register now!



Join your Bulldogs on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. as they welcome the Toronto Marlies to FirstOntario Centre for the last time this season! Don’t miss your chance to bid on our Pink in the Rink game-worn specialty jerseys to raise funds for the Juravinski Cancer Centre. Pink in the Rink is sponsored by Shopper Drug Mart.


Spend Family Day with the Bulldogs! Your favourite team will host the Utica Comets on holiday Monday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.



Are you new to camping and want to learn the basics? Come spend the night at FirstOntario Centre with Parks Canada. On Feb. 28, Parks Canada’s Learn to Camp event will feature fun-filled, family-friendly activities for up to 60 participants. Join us for the afternoon and evening to learn the basics of setting up a campsite, campfire activities and sleeping in a tent. For the evening, sit back and enjoy an action-packed hockey game as the Hamilton Bulldogs face off against the Charlotte Checkers at 7 p.m. Dinner, game tickets and breakfast are included. For more information or to book your spot, call 1-888-773-8888 or email


Every weekend Bulldogs game offers a great promotion! Every Friday home game is Y108 $3 Beer Night, with $3 beers until puck drop and live music in the Molson Canadian Hockey House. Saturdays will once again be Family Night, featuring special meal offers courtesy of Maple Lodge Farms. And every Sunday will be the Kids’ Game, with post-game autographs and skate for children aged 14 and under.

If the Bulldogs win on a weekday night (Monday to Thursday) at home, everyone in attendance at that game will receive a free ticket voucher to the next weekday night game. If the ‘Dogs win their last weekday game of the season, everyone in attendance can redeem their voucher on Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday, April 18.



Fans can get all their Bulldogs merchandise at or during home games at the “Dawg House” store, located behind section 114 on the concourse level at FirstOntario Centre. There are several great items fans can purchase to show off their Bulldogs pride, including hats, t-shirts, jackets, replica jerseys, foam fingers and other select novelty items.


Watch the Bulldogs while they’re on the road with AHL Live! Now you can watch all the best hockey action from wherever you are…live on your computer or smartphone. AHL Live online is the only place where you can catch every game, from every AHL team, all season long! Visit for more information.

Watch 16 Bulldogs games this season live in high definition on Hamilton’s Cable 14, including every single Friday night home game! Cable 14 will also carry March 28’s road game when the ‘Dogs visit the Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum at 3 p.m. For more information, visit



Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM900 CHML or on Play-by-play announcer Matt Holmes calls the action for all regular season and post-season games and is joined by colour commentator Al Craig for home games. AM900 CHML broadcasts feature a pre-game show hosted by Rick Zamperin and post-game show hosted by Anthony Urciuoli.

IceCaps game report

Recap – Wild vs Bulldogs: Tinordi Scores But ‘Dogs Win Streak Ended by Iowa

Brandon Taylor / Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club
(Photo by Brandon Taylor / Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club)

By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report

HAMILTON, ON — The Hamilton Bulldogs (22-18-6) entered Friday’s contest on a six-game winning streak and they were looking to extend that streak to seven games with yet another game  against the Iowa Wild (17-29-2), the American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. But the Bulldogs could not muster up a win, and the Wild would take this one by a score of 5-3.

Game Rundown

The Bulldogs opened the scoring with four minutes to go in the first period, thanks to Daniel Carr who scored his tenth of the season after receiving a pass from Sven Andrighetto in front of Darcy Kuemper, beating him over the shoulder to make it 1-0.

The Carr goal would be the lone tally of the period and the Bulldogs would enter the intermission up 1-0.

In the second period, Jarred Tinordi extended the Bulldogs lead to 2-0 with a point shot right off the faceoff. That was his first goal of the 2014-15 AHL season.

Shortly after the Tinordi goal, the Wild got on the board with Jonathan Blum scoring from the slot, beating Bulldogs netminder Joey MacDonald.

With only two minutes to go in the middle frame, Zach Phillips scored for Iowa to tie the game, 2-2, beating MacDonald.  After two periods of play, the Bulldogs and Wild were tied 2-2.

Just a minute and 29 seconds into the final period, the Wild took a 3-2 lead with Brady Brassart sniping a shot, top corner past MacDonald.

At the 13:41 mark, Charles Hudon fed Carr with a nice pass down low, where he scored to tie the game.  It was Carr’s second goal of the game and 11th of the season.

Mid-way through the period, the Wild took their second lead of the game, with Kurtis Gabriel shooting the puck top corner right over MacDonald’s glove side. It was a goal MacDonald would like to have back but it was one of those nights.

The Wild sealed the deal with 58 seconds left scoring an empty net goal.

With this loss, it now ends the Bulldogs winning streak at six games. It was a nice run but the Bulldogs need to gear up for the weekend where they take on Lake Erie on Saturday and then the Wild again on Tuesday.

Press release

Bulldogs Hudon Shares MVP Honours at AHL All-Star Classic

‘Dogs forward notches three goals, one assist to pace Western Conference All-Stars to 14-12 victory

(Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)
(Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)

Hamilton Bulldogs Media release

UTICA, N.Y. – Hamilton Bulldogs forward Charles Hudon notched three goals and one assist and was named co-most valuable player of the American Hockey League All-Star Classic as he led the Western Conference All-Stars to a 14-12 victory over the Eastern Conference All-Stars at Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, N.Y. on Monday evening. Utica Comets goaltender Jacob Markstrom shared the MVP honours with a 16-save performance in the first period of the game.


Hudon’s first of three goals on the night came at 15:02 of the first period when he streaked into the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot that beat St. John’s IceCaps goaltender Connor Hellebuyck low blocker side.

The Hamilton rookie’s second goal of the evening was scored at 9:10 of the second period when he was sprung on a breakaway by Charlotte Checkers defenceman Ryan Murphy, then dangled Manchester Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube in tight before firing the puck top shelf.

Less than six minutes later, Hudon completed the hat trick with a one-handed, backhand deke reminiscent of Peter Forsberg’s legendary shootout goal from the 1994 Winter Olympics. Oklahoma City Barons forward Andrew Miller and Rockford IceHogs defenceman T.J. Brennan were credited with assists.

Hudon completed his four-point night with a first assist on the Western Conference’s 14th and final goal of the night, scored by Adirondack Flames forward Drew Shore. Flames forward Emile Poirier had a second assist on the play.

In his first season as a pro, Hudon has recorded 36 points (11 goals, 25 assists) and 40 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Bulldogs in 2014-15. The 5-10, 184-pound forward currently leads all AHL rookies in points and sits tied for sixth overall in league scoring. The 20-year-old Alma, Que. native was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the fifth round (122nd overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

The Bulldogs will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 30 when they’ll visit the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa at 8 p.m. The ‘Dogs return home on Friday, Feb. 6 when they’ll host the Wild at FirstOntario Centre at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit

Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM 900 CHML, on or watch live on Catch every Friday night home game live in high definition on Cable 14.

IceCaps news Press release

Bulldogs Sign Forward Jake Dowell to One-Year Contract


MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Bulldogs have signed forward Jake Dowell to a one-year American Hockey League contract for the 2014-2015 season.

Dowell split 2013-2014 between the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and its AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild. In one regular season game with Minnesota, the 29-year-old recorded no points and no penalty minutes. In 57 regular season games with Iowa, the Eau Claire, Wisconsin native registered 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) and 56 penalty minutes.

A veteran of eight professional seasons, Dowell has participated in 462 NHL and AHL regular season games combined. In 305 career AHL regular season games with the Iowa Wild, Houston Aeros, Rockford IceHogs and Norfolk Admirals, the 6’0”, 204-pound forward has compiled 93 points (33 goals, 60 assists) and 386 penalty minutes. In 157 career NHL regular season games with the Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks, he has recorded 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) and 133 penalty minutes. In 2013-2014, he was the recipient of the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the player who best exemplified qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey, voted on by the league’s players, coaches and media.

Before turning pro, Dowell played four seasons with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s University of Wisconsin Badgers. In 159 career games with Wisconsin between 2003 and 2007, he recorded 90 points (42 goals, 48 assists) and 218 penalty minutes. As an amateur, he won an NCAA national championship with Wisconsin in 2006 and an International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-20 Championship with the United States in 2004.

Dowell was originally selected by the Blackhawks in the fifth round (140th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.



Down on the Farm – ‘Dogs Continue Hot Streak

By Dan Kramer, Senior Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

HAMILTON, ON – The Hamilton Bulldogs may have had their winning streak snapped last weekend, but they remained hot, posting a 2-1-0 record over an always-difficult three games in three nights stretch.

With a 19-15-4 record on the season, they currently sit 7th in the AHL’s Western Conference, and the 7-1-1 record they’ve put up in their past nine games has earned them some separation from the pack of teams lying just below the playoff cut-off (though those clubs do all hold games in hand).

Sunday’s win over the Iowa Wild marked the season’s halfway point for the team, and with that a measurable improvement over where they were last season at this time, with eleven more points in the standings.

Every week, we’ll look at three players who have impressed or are moving up in the depth charts, as well as three players struggling with their games at this junction.


Photo: Kathy K., All Habs Hockey Magazine
Photo: Kathy K., All Habs Hockey Magazine

Sven Andrighetto: The Swiss rookie’s stats have been modest since returning from injury in mid-December (one goal and six points in eleven games), but on a team starved for offensive threats, the 20-year old has become a primary catalyst. Nathan Beaulieu may have scored the game-winner on Sunday, but the play was truly all Andrighetto, as he craftily weaved his way through the offensive zone before releasing a howitzer from the point. Admittedly, Beaulieu’s rebound goal was still from a tough angle requiring an accurate shot to finish the play off, but it was certainly never there for him without Andrighetto’s magic. The former Rouyn-Noranda Huskie finished the game with three shots, but was a constant presence in the attacking zone, just as he had been the night prior despite finishing that game with no points and a -2 rating. Despite his small stature at 5’9”, if the Canadiens are looking for a scoring winger to call up, it should be Andrighetto’s turn to make his NHL debut.

Gabriel Dumont: Another forward who has elevated his game of late is one well known to Montreal Canadiens fans. A second player likely held back by his height limitations (5’10”) with the number of undersized forwards already in Montreal, Dumont and linemate Mike Blunden have become a heart-and-soul pair for the ‘Dogs, being used in starring roles in all game situations. After surprising point totals last season, Dumont started this year slowly, but has picked up his production with four goals and two assists in his past seven games – including a highlight reel marker to open the scoring on Sunday. Unlike Andrighetto – a more one-dimensional offensive winger – Dumont is a three zone player, and as important as his goal was, the team drew even more inspiration from a big third period shot block while killing a penalty in a one-goal match. Dumont retreated to the dressing room in considerable pain, but limped his way back to the bench minutes later, despite the fact that he wasn’t going to play another shift on the night. If the Habs are looking to fill a fourth line role from down in Hamilton, Dumont should be the one making the trip.

Nathan Beaulieu: For a player who knows he’s never going to be a shutdown defenseman in the National Hockey League, Beaulieu’s early season output was mildly concerning. Beaulieu boasts incredible skating ability and off-the-charts raw talent. He is capable of taking over a hockey game, which we saw frequently in Hamilton towards the end of last season. This year, his intensity and focus have waned at times, but if the last five games are any indication, he seems to be putting things together. Taken away from usual partner Greg Pateryn – the Dogs’ number one d-man and a player with offensive ability of his own – to be paired with the more defensive Morgan Ellis has contributed to Beaulieu opening his game up. The product of this is points in four of the last five games (two goals and three assists), with a tougher outing and minus three rating in Saturday’s loss to Rochester. These are the kind of inconsistencies you have to live with as a trade-off for a player like Beaulieu, and as long as he can keep being good four nights out of five the rest of the way, he’ll be close to NHL-ready by season’s end.



Patrick Holland: I’ve made it no secret that I’m a fan of Holland’s game, but his 2013-14 campaign hasn’t built off the successes he enjoyed late last season. Despite playing with skilled offensive linemates Martin St. Pierre and Sven Andrighetto regularly, Holland has managed only one goal and four assists in 16 games since the start of December. He has lost the spot he frequently patrolled at the point on the top powerplay to a combination of Christian Thomas, Martin St Pierre, and even Mike Blunden at one point Sunday (that is, when the ‘Dogs despite to split Nathan Beaulieu and Greg Pateryn), despite being on a similar point-per-game pace to his rookie year. To Holland’s credit, he has rounded out his game well. As witnessed during his brief stint with the Canadiens, he is smart in his own end and a willing candidate to get in the lanes and block shots. It’s certainly not unthinkable for him to develop into an Adam Hall-type down the road, but he’ll have to start producing in order to earn another ticket back to Montreal.

Darren Dietz: Like Jarred Tinordi, Dietz had a strong training camp in Montreal, only to see things fall apart early on in the regular season. For Tinordi, his play began to go south once confronted with tougher competition on a nightly basis, while it was an injury that derailed a good start to the year for Dietz. Tinordi is gradually finding his groove on Hamilton’s top D pairing, but Dietz has lost his battle for a top four position to Morgan Ellis, finding himself instead on a third pair, most frequently with Joel Chouinard. A threat from the point in juniors – he led all Canadian Hockey League defensemen with 24 goals last year – Dietz is still seeking his first marker at the professional level, having recorded just four assists in 22 games, and having his powerplay minutes cut. No reason to panic over a twenty-year old pro rookie, but Dietz’s path to the NHL seems a little longer than those who watched him in exhibition play might have guessed.

Photo: Bradley Kalpin
Photo: Bradley Kalpin

Robert Mayer: Goaltending has been likely the biggest reason for Hamilton’s success of late, meaning it’s no coincidence that Mayer was in Europe on loan for the Spengler Cup during a big portion of it. After nearly wrestling away the starting job from veteran Cedric Desjardins last season, Mayer was given every opportunity to challenge Dustin Tokarski for ice time by coach Sylvain Lefebvre early on this year. Mayer’s play has been wildly inconsistent, and while there was hope that a brilliant performance in the Spengler Cup final that led his club to victory might give him renewed confidence, the 24-year old’s return to Copps Coliseum marked the end of a six-game win streak for the ‘Dogs, while seeing his save percentage on the season dip below .900. It’s not to say the loss to Rochester was Mayer’s fault, but the significant separation between he and Tokarski (who has allowed only seven goals total while winning his past six starts) is becoming more and more evident. It certainly makes one question yet another of Marc Bergevin’s moves this past summer, being to give Mayer a two-year deal while only signing Tokarski for one (though perhaps that was the netminder’s own preference). Easy to repair the mistake of signing a mediocre AHL netminder of course, but still an odd assessment of player talent.

The Bulldogs will allow some other clubs to play out games in hand this weekend, as they have only a single opponent. Saturday, the Utica Comets visit Hamilton in a game the ‘Dogs can’t afford to lose if they believe themselves to be in serious contention for a playoff position, as the Comets currently sit a distant 15th place in the Western Conference. Tickets are available at

IceCaps game report

Beaulieu’s Gordie Howe Hat Trick Powers Bulldogs [with POST-GAME AUDIO]

By Dan Kramer, Senior Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

POST-GAME AUDIO: Nathan Beaulieu | Sylvain Lefebvre

HAMILTON, ON – The Hamilton Bulldogs’ welcome home from a 4-0-0 road trip wasn’t a happy one Saturday, dropping a decision to the Rochester Americans, but the warriors from the Hammer got back in the win column Sunday by outworking the Iowa Wild. Goals from Gabriel DumontNathan Beaulieu, and an empty netter from Nick Tarnasky supported a strong night of work from Dustin Tokarski to earn a 3-1 victory.

The Bulldogs started the night off on a strong note when the initial shift by the line of Christian ThomasMaxime Macenauer, and Louis Leblanc drew a penalty to Hamilton-native Marc Hagel (brother of former Bulldog Kyle Hagel). The powerplay buzzed for the first minute, with Sven Andrighetto getting the best chance on a deflection of a Martin St. Pierre centering pass, but Johan Gustafsson resisted and the game remained scoreless.

In addition to his scoring the opening goal, a Gabriel Dumont shot block in the final minutes was a key play that helped preserve the Hamilton victory. (PHOTO: HAMILTON BULLDOGS)
In addition to his scoring the opening goal, a Gabriel Dumont shot block in the final minutes was a key play that helped preserve the Hamilton victory. (PHOTO: HAMILTON BULLDOGS)

Hamilton continued to press as the far better team in the opening stanza. A strong forecheck from Thomas created a turnover, and the winger himself narrowly missed tapping in the rebound of a Louis Leblanc half-pass half-shot.

One of the few Iowa scoring chances in the first came with the man advantage while Macenauer sat in the box for interference. A miscue between Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi left former Bulldog Tyler Murovich alone in the slot, but his one-time attempt was stymied by a sprawling Dustin Tokarski. The Wild carried the momentum through the rest of the powerplay, and moments later captain Jake Dowell‘s shot beat Tokarski but found pipe.

With the penalty killed, the Bulldogs returned to the attack. Martin St. Pierre led a rush that drew a Corbin Baldwin hooking penalty, and early on in the powerplay, it was St. Pierre again spotting Gabriel Dumont at the side of the goal. Dumont showed quick hands, spinning around and flipping the puck over to his forehead before lifting a shot over Gustafsson for a 1-0 lead – a deserved advantage as the home side led 18-8 on the shot clock.

The Bulldogs looked to continue their dominance in the second, and it was again the line of Thomas, Macenauer, and Leblanc that almost extended the lead. Thomas picked off a puck behind the Wild net and spotted Leblanc all alone in front of Gustafsson, but the winger fanned on his wide-open scoring attempt.

Beaulieu came out post-game wearing a military helmet, awarded nightly to Hamilton's best player of the game by its previous keeper. (PHOTO: DAN KRAMER | ALL HABS)
Beaulieu came out post-game wearing a military helmet, awarded nightly to Hamilton’s best player of the game by its previous keeper. (PHOTO: DAN KRAMER | ALL HABS)

That same shift, Macenauer picked up his second minor penalty of the game, this one in the offensive zone for a trip, in a moment that seemed to swing the game’s momentum around a bit. Iowa’s puck movement on the powerplay was again crisp, and a perfectly-executed give-and-go between Warren Peters and Marc Hagel left the latter with an easy tap-in for a tie game, drawing applause from his hometown friends and family in the crowd.

Key for the Bulldogs was to not fall into the same trip they had a night before, being to play a strong first half, but then sit and watch as the visitors slowly took over after the midway mark. Sven Andrighetto showed there was still fight in the ‘Dogs on this night, as he and Patrick Holland battled hard on the forecheck, before Andrighetto himself worked magic with the puck, weaving around the offensive zone and firing a hard shot from just inside the blueline. His attempt was stopped by Gustafsson, but the rebound came right out to Nathan Beaulieu who ripped it over falling bodies and just under the bar to restore the lead.

A scary moment shortly after the go-ahead marker, as Jim McKenzie boarded Patrick Holland from behind in the Hamilton end. Holland lay on the ice for about a minute following the hit, as Beaulieu was quick to drop the gloves with McKenzie in his defense. Holland was eventually able to get up, leaving the ice under his own strength and returning to action in the third period, while for Beaulieu, the fight completed a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

The period’s final minute saw the Bulldogs with another penalty to kill as Joonas Nattinen was given the only minor from a large scrum. Heavy pressure from the Wild forced Tokarski to be on top of his game, and the 24-year old was up to the task with numerous key pad saves.

The first half of the third saw both sides squander powerplay opportunities after looking so sharp in periods one and two. During one Bulldog kill, Gabriel Dumont blocked a heavy point shot with his foot and retreated to the dressing room under great distress. He would return to the bench minutes thereafter sporting a noticeable limp, and remained seated there the rest of the night.

Hamilton had a glorious chance to put the game away late in the period, as Nick Tarnasky and Joonas Nattinen swarmed the crease with the puck behind a fallen Gustafsson, but somehow the pair was unable to find the vacated cage.

Tarnasky would redeem himself in the game’s final minute, however. After two key face-off wins from Martin St. Pierre, the hulking forward pressed the Iowa defense with a forecheck, scooping a bobbled puck into the net with the goalie out for an extra attacker. Tarnasky’s ninth drew him even with Louis Leblanc for the team lead in goals.

Coach Sylvain Lefebvre indicated post-game that the Dumont shot block was a big lift to his players that helped carry them through the final minutes. “We know what Dumy’s all about. He’s an inspiration to all the players here. He plays hard every night. To block that shot, sometimes you like to think it’s a game changer. It’s as big as a goal sometimes,” credited the team’s bench boss.

“Yesterday we let the game slip away from us, so today we were on a mission,” summarized one of the night’s heroes, Nathan Beaulieu.  Beaulieu has now amassed two goals and three assists in five games in the month of January, and he owes his personal success to satisfaction with his defensive game, which has allowed him to open up his play on a more regular basis. “The first half of the year, I was focused on the defensive half of my game. Now I can jump in a little more and start putting up some numbers.”

Hamilton’s star offensive rearguard came out post-game wearing some unusual headgear. When asked about it, he explained that it was awarded every game to the team’s best player, chosen by its previous wearer. His claim that the tradition had been going on for two years was met with skepticism from the assembled journalists, which led him to clarify, “I’m the only one that actually wears it cause it only fits my head. I have a small head.” Ironic if you consider what some in the media have made of Beaulieu, but he has been nothing but a professional on and off the ice of late as a key contributor to the Bulldogs’ current run.

With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 7-1-1 in their past nine games and avoided the plague of their early season: following up every win streak with a slide of equal length. The team begins the second half of their 2013-14 AHL season at home next Saturday, January 18th, against the Utica Comets.