Hamilton Bulldogs, paced by a goal, which would stand as the game-winner, and three-assists from Corey Locke posted their third straight American Hockey League win on Saturday night.
Second-place Hamilton used the 4-1 win over the Syracuse Crunch to keep pace with division leading Rochester Americans who routed Binghamton Senators, 10-4. The Amerks have a six-point cushion, and a game in hand, over their Western Conference’s North Division rivals from Steeltown.
The Hamilton win sets up the Bulldogs next game, Wednesday in Winnipeg, against the third-place Manitoba Moose. Hamilton is in front of the Moose by two points.
On Saturday in Syracuse, Hamilton overcame a one-goal deficit in the first period. Bulldogs’ goalie Jaroslav Halak was beaten by Geoff Platt, who scored on the powerplay with just under four minutes left in the period. Halak then locked the door on the Crunch and stopped the next 28 shots, earning first star recognition.
Matt D’Agostini, Locke, Jean-Philippe Cote (with his first of the season), and Mathieu Biron provided the unanswered Bulldogs goals for the team’s 17th win of the season.
Hamilton was again the benefactor of the Montreal Canadiens-San Jose Sharks trade which brought Biron to the Bulldogs when Patrick Traverse was sent to the West Coast team.
Since the National Hockey League teams swapped players, Biron has registered three points, one goal and two assists, in his first two games.
Andrei Kostitsyn, who assisted on Biron’s goal, extended his scoring streak to four games. He has registered 11 points (3-8) during that run.