Two goals from Kyle Chipchura and a goal and two assists from Jonathan Ferland powered the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 5-3 win over the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday night.
The win allowed the 13-9-0-1 Bulldogs to move two points ahead of the Manitoba Moose and into second place in the American Hockey League’s North Division. The loss left the 6-12-2-2 Marlies in fifth place in the six team division.
The Bulldogs will be tested on Friday night when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton visits Copps Coliseum. The 17-4-1-1 Penguins are tied for first place in the AHL’s East Division.
Friday’s game is also the Bulldogs annual stuffed toy toss. Spectators are asked to bring any new stuffed toy which they can throw unto the ice after Hamilton’s first goal. All stuffed animals will be donated to local not-for-profit groups in the Hamilton area and will be distributed to families in need for Christmas.
On Tuesday night at the Ricoh Centre, the Marlies opened the scoring on a 5-on-3 power play when John Mitchell notched his third goal of the season.
The Bulldogs evened the score when Ferland posted his seventh goal of the season. Hamilton had just killed off the Marlies two-man advantage with Ferland and Matt D’Agostini stepping out of the penalty box. D’Agostini picked up a loose puck at centre ice and sent Ferland in alone on a breakaway to beat Marlies goalie Jean-Francois Racine.
The teams exchanged quick goals in the second period with Hamilton taking a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal on Mikhail Grabovski’s sixth tally of the campaign at the 12:46 mark. Toronto answered just 42 seconds later when Brett Engelhardt tied the score.
At 18:34 of the middle stanza, Hamilton’s leading scorer, Duncan Milroy, registered his eleventh goal of the season.
Marlies forward Erik Westrum tied the game at three early in the final frame with his eighth goal of the season.
Chipchura completed the Bulldogs scoring with his two, including one into an open net. The Bulldogs rookie now has five goals.
Bulldogs goaltender Yann Danis picked up the win stopping 37 of the 40 shots he faced. Marlies goaltender Jean-Francois Racine stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced while suffering the loss.