The Hamilton Bulldogs dressing room is looking more like the arrivals and departures lounge of an airport.
On Monday, the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens returned forward Andrei Kostitsyn to their American Hockey League affiliate. At the same time, the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, who have a working arrangement with the Bulldogs, recalled Zack Stortini.
In his 16 games with Hamilton this season, Stortini has scored six goals – and is looking for his first assist – to share the team lead in goals scored. The rugged 6-3, 230-pound forward has also added 60 penalty minutes to the stats sheet this season, his second full campaign in pro hockey.
The Elliot Lake native was drafted by the Oilers in the third round (94th overall) in the 2003 NHL entry draft. In his brief pro career with the former Toronto Roadrunners, Iowa Stars and Milwaukee Admirals, Stortini has registered 16 points (8-8) and 328 PIM.
The 21-year-old Kostitsyn should be in the Bulldogs lineup tonight when they welcome division rivals, the Manitoba Moose, to Copps Coliseum at 7.30.
In the four games he played with Montreal since his recall on Nov. 12, the right winger was held off the scoresheet although he did manage eight shots on net.
Prior to Montreal calling upon his services, Kostitsyn had eight points (1-7) with the Bulldogs and was showing a plus-five rating.
After tonight’s game the Bulldogs have three more home contests before taking to the road. The play the Rochester Americans on Saturday, 7 p.m., the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday, 4 p.m., and on Tuesday (Nov. 28), 7.30 p.m.