By Dale Lamontagne, Hamilton Bulldogs Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report
HAMILTON, ONT — The Hamilton Bulldogs (1-0-1) took on the Rockford IceHogs (1-1-0) on Saturday night at FirstOntario Centre, in the team’s second and final game of the opening weekend. The Bulldogs suffered a 3-2, 3-on-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies on Friday and they were hoping to get back on the winning note against the IceHogs on Saturday. Hamilton could not pull off a win as they were defeated 2-1 in 3-on-3 overtime for the second consecutive game to move to a record of 1-0-2.
Hamilton started the first period on a positive note, scoring the game’s first goal on a 2-on-1 rush led by Nick Sorkin and T.J. Hensick with Christian Thomas netting his first goal of the season. The remainder of the period would feature back-and-forth play with the Bulldogs given two power-play opportunities, but they failed to convert. The IceHogs penalty-killing unit didn’t waste any time dumping the puck out of the zone during the Bulldogs advantage and Hamilton struggled to re-gain the offensive zone.
Like Hamilton in the first period, the IceHogs started the second on a good note and managed to find their way onto the scoreboard with Joakim Nordstrom dragging the puck around Bulldogs netminder Mike Condon and potting the goal.
The first fight of the game came at the 12:58 minute mark of the second period with T.J. Brennan and Drayson Bowman dropping the gloves. The combatants exchanged a few words after a check behind the net before beginning the bout.
Hamilton’s Sven Andrighetto later went off for tripping and Rockford was awarded their first power-play of the game. Moments after the call, it looked like Rockford scored, but it was waived off for goaltender interference and the game remained tied. After 60 minutes the teams would head to overtime.
For the second consecutive night, the game needed extra time and the 4-on-4 overtime rule did not decide the game, so it was up to the new 3-on-3 rule to kick in for a very short period of time.
Right away, Condon had to make a good glove save during the 3-0n-3, as there was a ton of ice that created multiple odd man rushes. Moments after the big glove save, Peter Regin picked up a loose puck in Condon’s crease and was able to net the goal to give the IceHogs the victory.
It was a tough loss for the Bulldogs, who managed to pick up two points this weekend, as they dropped both games (Toronto & Rockford) in the new 3-on-3 overtime format. This is something the ‘Dogs will need to work on. Head coach Sylvain Lefebvre said after the game that the team will need to keep practising so that the guys will eventually become more accustomed to the new AHL rule.
BULLDOGS HOCKEY REPORT PLAYER OF THE GAME – ERIC TANGRADI
Tangardi was named the Dan Lawire Insurance Premium Player of the Game for the Bulldogs tonight. The forward created multiple chances for the ‘Dogs and made a handful of blocked shots.
The Bulldogs are back in action on Friday as they travel to Toronto to take on rival Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum. The team’s next home game will be on Saturday when they host the San Antonio Rampage at FirstOntario Centre.