STATEMENT FROM HAMILTON BULLDOGS REGARDING REPORTS OF RELOCATION
HAMILTON, ONT. – The Hamilton Bulldogs issued the following statement today in regards to the reports of the relocation of the team:
“We are aware of the reports but at this point nothing is official. We don’t want to add to the speculation with unconfirmed and inaccurate information. What we can tell you is that Michael Andlauer has been committed to our community, the fans and hockey in the city of Hamilton for over a decade and that will not change moving forward. We have no further comment at this time.”
BULLDOGS TO BATTLE ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS IN MARY’S CUP PRE-SEASON SERIES
Three-game series takes place in Newfoundland and Labrador from October 2nd – October 5th
Hamilton Bulldogs Media Release
HAMILTON, ON – The Hamilton Bulldogs announced today that the team will travel to Newfoundland and Labrador to compete in the Mary’s Cup pre-season series against the St. John’s IceCaps. The ‘Dogs will play three exhibition games as part of the series, which runs from Thursday, October 2nd until Sunday, October 5th.
The series begins on Thursday, October 2nd at 5:30 p.m. EST at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor before the club travels to the town of Gander for a 5:30 p.m. EST game on Friday, October 3rd at the Gander Community Centre. The series concludes in St. John’s at the home of the IceCaps, Mile One Centre, on Sunday, October 5th at 2:30 p.m. EST.
“The Hamilton Bulldogs are excited to face off against the St. John’s IceCaps in the Mary’s Cup,” said Hamilton Bulldogs President Stephen Ostaszewicz. “This exhibition series will allow us to see how our club matches up against the defending Eastern Conference champions and it affords us a chance to bond as a team in a unique setting while preparing for the season ahead.”
The Bulldogs open their 19th American Hockey League season on Saturday, October 11th as they visit the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena for 7:05 p.m. game. The ‘Dogs will return to Hamilton for their 2014-2015 home opener at FirstOntario Centre against their archrival the Toronto Marlies on Friday, October 17th at 7:30 p.m.
Hamilton Bulldogs 2014-2015 season tickets, flex tickets and group tickets are on sale now. Starting as low as $10 per game, we have great packages available for you to enjoy more Hockey Unleashed! For more information, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com.
Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM 900 CHML, on www.900chml.com or watch live on www.ahllive.com. Watch select games live in high definition on Cable 14.
HAMILTON, ON – If the expectations of this year’s Hamilton Bulldog team is to bring a more exciting brand of hockey to Copps Coliseum than the squad that finished in the American Hockey League’s basement last season, consider opening night a success. The Bulldogs took an aggressive style of play to the St. John’s IceCaps right from the start, skating to a 3-2 win on the strength of two shorthanded goals in the team’s season and home opener.
The Bulldogs started their season on a strong note as, while killing a penalty, Mike Blunden and Greg Pateryn broke in on a 2-on-1. The former set one on a tee for the latter, who put his full weight into blasting one past veteran netminder Eddie Pasquale. But the IceCaps would battle back on another man advantage, when an Andrew Gordon point shot found its way through a maze of bodies and beat Dustin Tokarski cleanly.
Hamilton’s lead was restored early in the second. Fresh out of the box, Blunden again joined a rush of a very aggressive Bulldog penalty kill, receiving a feed from Joonas Nattinen and firing a wicked wrister just under the bar from the top of the face-off circle. Nattinen – starting the season on Hamilton’s fourth line – had a good hard-working game, engaging physically and generating offensive chances.
A ‘Dogs powerplay generated multiple chances for the home team to extend their lead, and a Magnus Nygren rocket beat Pasquale, but found post and stayed out. After a Joel Chouinard shot met the same fate, a gassed unit was left to defend against Ryan Schnell joining a counterattack out of the box, and defenseman Ben Chiarot was allowed to skate right in on goal to shelf a backhander over Tokarski’s shoulder.
Nygren had another chance to bag a goal in his North American regular season debut, when he charged the net out of the box, but his redirection of a Patrick Holland centering dish met Pasquale’s extended pad. It seemed Nygren barely left the ice in the second, playing eleven minutes attributed to strong performance, a Nathan McIver misconduct, and getting caught on a couple of long shifts.
Another shorthanded rush in the third period’s opening minutes saw Holland break in one-on-one. A slick move around the Ice Caps defender gave him an open shot on Pasquale, who only managed to get a piece of an off-speed snap that trickled into an empty cage.
The Bulldogs looked to be in good position to hold on to their advantage heading to a powerplay with just over six minutes to go, but it proved fruitless, and Mike Blunden was guilty of a lazy accidental hook at centre ice moments after its expiry. During the delayed call, Tokarski was forced to stretch out the left leg to rob a St. John’s skater on the doorstep, one of his 33 stops on the night.
Hamilton’s penalty killers would do the work from there, aggressive and on puck carriers throughout the night. Gabriel Dumont first killed significant time skating the puck around the neutral zone, and then Justin Courtnall picked off an Ice Caps’ pass, driving hard to the net and forcing Will O’Neill to take a hooking call. With the net empty for an extra attacker, St. John’s did buzz at 5-on-5, but Tokarski was again solid in preserving the opening night victory.
The Bulldogs return to action right away Saturday night, as they host the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins at Copps Coliseum.
Hamilton Bulldog lines:
Sven Andrighetto – Martin St. Pierre – Patrick Holland
Mike Blunden – Gabriel Dumont – Louis Leblanc
Erik Nystrom – Ben Duffy – Akim Aliu
Justin Courtnall – Joonas Nattinen – Nick Tarnasky
Joel Chouinard – Greg Pateryn
Drew Schiestel – Darren Dietz
Magnus Nygren – Nathan McIver
1. Mike Blunden
2. Patrick Holland
3. Eddie Pasquale
Hardest Working Bulldog: Greg Pateryn
Honourable mentions to Magnus Nygren, Dustin Tokarski, and Joonas Nattinen
HAMILTON, ON – “We need to get back to .500. That’s our goal for Christmas,” is what Cedric Desjardins told a small media scrum following a Hamilton Bulldogs victory back on December 11th. With the team having won only one game in four attempts between then and tonight, the clock was ticking; Hamilton’s record stood two games below .500 with just two games remaining till December 25th, leaving no margin for error. And on this night, it was not to be, with the team coming up short offensively once again and dropping a 2-1 decision to the St. John’s Ice Caps.
The standout for the ‘Dogs in this game was Brendan Gallagher who converted a no-look Olivier Fortier pass into a highlight reel goal – his 9th marker of the season. Nathan Beaulieu also had a strong game, but was unable to keep his points-streak alive. Desperately searching for more offense, coach Sylvain Lefebvre even shifted Patrick Holland to the blueline – where he plays on the man advantage – beside Beaulieu, but it did not produce the desired results.
Unfortunately, despite outshooting the Ice Caps 27-25, the sputtering Hamilton offense was all too familiar of a scene. The lack of a dynamic scoring veteran forward has hurt the club as it is forced to rely on rookies and secondary players to lead the charge. The team is particularly lacking down the middle, forced to convert wingers to the center position on its top units. There is hope general manager Marc Bergevin will seek to replace Darryl Boyce, who was released early from his PTO, with a player who better fits such a role, but it was easier to find one last summer than it will be mid-season – even during an NHL lockout.
“We have to realize what kind of team we are. We’re not a team with a bunch of 50-goal scorers. We have to outwork teams,” said Gallagher on a night where he was the only one to bulge the twine. This may be true, but Hamilton is also a team with a young defense core who could use a few cushion-y leads to develop in a less pressure-packed environment than the current one where it seems any single mistake can end a game.
The loss drops the ‘Dogs to 10-13-1-2, the furthest they’ve been from their goal of a .500 record in two weeks courtesy of their third defeat in a row. Development is a work in progress for this young squad, and the fact that the injury list on this night included Aaron Palushaj (shoulder), Blake Geoffrion (head), Mike Commodore (groin), Greg Pateryn, and Frederic St. Denis (flu) isn’t helping get the team in getting back into the win column.
The injury situation on defense allowed the newly-signed Cody Wild to make his Hamilton debut, and he didn’t look out of place, jumping in the rush at times and nearly contributing to an equalizer in the third after crashing through the crease. He took a spot on the second powerplay unit with Brendon Nash.
The ‘Dogs will have to keep taking this season one game at a time, growing and learning with each bump and bruise along the way. They won’t have much time to dwell on this defeat, however, as they’re back in action for a final pre-Christmas match-up tomorrow evening.