‘Dogs losing streak in AHL ends with win over Marlies

Hamilton’s four-game losing streak in the American Hockey League is over, but it didn’t end without the Bulldogs giving it the old college try to shoot themselves in the foot.

Bulldogs Yann Dani pounces on loose puck. (Photo: Ron Bernardo)
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The Copps Coliseum scoreboard showed a final 6-4 result in Hamilton’s favour over the visiting Toronto Marlies. What it didn’t show was that the Bulldogs had enjoyed a 4-1 lead at one point and needed Duncan Milroy’s empty net goal to insure Hamilton’s second win of the season against four defeats.

On the positive side of Wednesday night’s ledger, the Bulldogs did not allow the Marlies to score a shorthanded, which has been Hamilton’s nemesis the past few games. And Hamilton bounced back from being down a goal after the Marlies opened the scoring in the first period with Chris Harrington’s powerplay tally.

Hamilton responded with four straight goals. Ajay Baines, Corey Locke, and rookie Mikhail Grabovski in the first period, and Andre Benoit (powerplay) in the second period gave the Bulldogs a 4-1 advantage.

Hamilton’s Maxim Lapierre is airborne trying to avoid Chris Harrington’s check. (Photo: Ron Bernardo)
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Grabovski’s and Benoit’s goals were their first of the season. Locke scored his fourth of the year and leads the team in that department.

The Marlies, who are North Division tenants with the Bulldogs, weren’t about to give up and remembered how last Friday they beat the Bulldogs in the waning minutes when they scored the game winning goal while playing shorthanded.
Kris Newbury, Harrington, with his second of the night and third on the year, brought Toronto to within a goal, 4-3, before the final period was half over.

Matt D’Agostini gave the Bulldogs a two-goal cushion at 12.50 only to have Erik Westrums’s fifth goal of the year 32 seconds later narrow the lead to a goal again.

That setup Milroy’s goal at 18.51 when the Marlies pulled goalie Jean-Francois Racine in favour of the extra skater.
Racine stopped 27 of the 32 shots he faced while Yann Danis was good on 29 of the 33 shots he saw.

Milroy also had two assists for a three-point night. Maxim Lapierre was named the Hardest Working Bulldog of the Game, a selection he’s scooped in all five home games to date.

Bulldogs hit the road for Texas, plating in Houston on Friday night and in San Antonia on Saturday night. Their next home game is Friday (Nov. 3) against the Syracuse Crunch at 7.30 p.m.