After a promising home-ice, season opening win two weeks ago, it’s been downhill for the Hamilton Bulldogs since then.
Toronto Marlies skated to a 5-4 win over the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum Friday night to hand Hamilton its third straight American Hockey League defeat.
And for the second time in three games, a shorthanded goal did the Bulldogs in.
Hamilton’s record is now 1-3 in the Western Conference’s North Division and leaves them in fifth place, three back of the Manitoba Moose who have played three more games.
Marlies needed just over three minutes of the first period to open the scoring when Brad Leeb scored the first of two shorthanded goals Toronto would put behind netminder Yann Danis. But less than a minute later Mathieu Roy, on the powerplay, would even the score with his first marker of the season and the first of three straight Hamilton goals.
Maxim Lapierre, with Roy picking up the assist, and Corey Locke, would score to give Hamilton a 3-1 to start the second period.
Taking a page from the Bulldogs, Marlies scored three unanswered goals, with Leeb, this time on the powerplay, recording his second of the night, followed by Colin Murphy and Jeff Corey.
Just 15 seconds into the final period Locke’s second of the night and third on the year, would again bring Hamilton on even terms 4-4, with their visitors.
That would last just over six minutes when Erik Westrum, with Leeb sharing an assist for his third point of the evening, would score the game winner while Hamilton had the man advantage.
Goalies Danis and Mikael Tellqvist each faced 33 shots with 4,017 spectators looking on. Leeb, Westrum and Locke were the games three stars and Lapierre was named the Hardest Working Bulldog.
Hamilton will go after its second season win tonight when the Peoria Rivermen drop by Copps for a 7 p.m. start.