Hamilton Bulldogs posted a season-high five straight wins with their 2-1 shoot-out victory over the Phantoms in Philadelphia on Friday night.
Duncan Milroy gave the Bulldogs a chance to win the game when he scored the equalizer with just 2:37 left in the game. Philadelphia had a protected the 1-0 lead from 14:39 of the opening frame when Nolan Baumgartner scored his fifth goal of the season on the powerplay before 8,500 spectators.
Astonishingly, Hamilton had only one shot on Phantoms’ goaltender Michael Leighton in the first period but rebounded to outshoot Philadelphia 10-7 in the sandwich session.
Hamilton kept the momentum in the third period, outshooting the Phantoms 13-12 with Milroy picking up his team-leading 21st goal by converting an Andrei Kostitsyn rebound to force overtime.
Kostitsyn proved to be the shootout hero scoring twice to improve Hamilton’s record to 28-18-1-1. The North Division second-place Bulldogs gave themselves a little more separation from the Manitoba Moose who fell 3-2 to the Chicago Wolves and sit in third place four points back of Hamilton, 58-54.
First place Rochester Americans, with 67 points, were 6-1 winners over the Toronto Marlies.
Kostitsyn is now 14-for-26 in career shootout attempts for Hamilton. Ryan Potulny scored for the Phantom in the shootout.
Hamilton netminder Jaroslav Halak faced 30 shots in the game and stopped five of the six shootout attempts for his 14th win on the season.
Halak, a rookie in the AHL, leads all goaltenders with a 1.80 goals-against average and six shutouts.
The Bulldogs are back in action tonight when they play the Penguins at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The 7.05 p.m. game can be heard on 820 CHAM with a pre-game show at 6.45.
Hamilton’s next home game is Wednesday (Feb.7) when the Chicago Wolves visit.