Bulldogs have Stars in their eyes, drop 2-0 game to Iowa

The Hamilton Bulldogs were Star-struck on Friday night.

Steve Silverthorn, playing in his first American Hockey League game closed the door on the Bulldogs and backstopped the Iowa Stars to a 2-0 win over Hamilton at Copps Coliseum.

Silverthorn, called up from the Stars East Coast Hockey League affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, stopped all 32 shots the Bulldogs directed his way to earn his trio of AHL firsts – first game, first win, and first shutout.

Marius Holtet, with 1:15 left to play in the first period, and Vojtech Polak, just 2:25 into the middle period, scored the Stars goals.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to third place, one point back of the Rochester Americans and Manitoba Moose. The Moose jumped into a share of first place with the Amerks after taking two games from Rochester in Winnipeg.

That lays the groundwork for tonight’s game at Copps where the Amerks will visit for a date with the Bulldogs.

But the Bulldogs will be without the services of some key personnel. Mathieu Roy has been recalled by the Edmonton Oilers and Maxim Lapierre and Mikhail Grabovski.

This is the third time this season that Lapierre, 21, has been paged by the Canadiens. In four games with the Habs, he collected four points, including three goals (3-1-4) and posted a plus/minus rating of plus-5. The 6-foot-2, 197-pound forward, a native of Saint-Leonard, scored a goal in each of his last three games with the Canadiens, including the game-winner in a 5-2 victory in Buffalo, on Dec. 19. In 32 games with the Bulldogs this season, Lapierre, a Canadiens’ 2nd round draft pick (61st overall) in 2003, has registered 9 goals and 12 assists for 21 points. He totaled 55 penalty minutes and posted a plus/minus rating of plus-7.

Grabovski, 22, is in his first season in the AHL. Before Friday’s contest, the native of Potsdam, East Germany, held third place among Bulldogs’ scorers with 28 points, including 10 goals (10-18-28), in 35 games. The 5-foot-11, 183-pound forward has compiled 14 penalty minutes and has posted a plus/minus rating of plus 6. Grabovski, the Canadiens’ 4th pick (150th overall) in 2004, has yet to play a game in the NHL.

Roy, 23, was previously recalled by Edmonton on Dec. 13 but did not see any playing time before being returned to Hamilton on Dec. 26. The native of St-Georges, Quebec, has appeared in 31 games with the Bulldogs, registering 18 points (6-12-18) and 40 penalty minutes with an AHL fourth-best and team-leading plus-17 rating.

Roy played in his first and only NHL game with the Oilers on Feb. 12, 2006 versus the St. Louis Blues and was held scoreless. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound blueliner was drafted by Edmonton in the seventh round, 215th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.