‘Dogs in high spirits with win over Philadelphia Phantoms

Corey Urquhart, called up by the Hamilton Bulldogs, isn’t letting his opportunity to prove himself slip away.

On Saturday night, Urquhart, who has been playing in the East Coast Hockey League with the Cincinnati Cyclones this season, scored one goal and added an assist, as the Bulldogs doubled the score, 4-2, on the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Urquhart, who had 40 points in 43 games with the Cyclones, also had an assist in Friday’s 6-5 overtime win against the Chicago Wolves.

Hamilton has now extended it points streak to a season-high nine games. While improving their record to 30-18-2-2, the Bulldogs sit in second place with 64 points, five back of the division leading Rochester Americans and three up on the Manitoba Moose going into Sunday’s games. Hamilton plays Rochester on Sunday.

Urquhart, with three American Hockey League games to his credit prior to his recall on Feb. 5, got the crowd of 6,263 spectators excited, when he intercepted a pass behind the Phantoms’ net and found an open Andrei Kostitsyn, who snapped home his 19th goal of the season. Kostitsyn’s counter stretched his point-streak to eight games (Jan. 20– Feb. 10) with 14 points (7-7).

Kyle Chipchura, Francis Lemieux, and Urquhart, with his first AHL goal, completed the Hamilton scoring.

Stefan Ruzicka and Matt Ellison had the Philadelphia markers. Both Phantoms’ goals were scored on the powerplay.

The first two periods ended in ties, 1-1 and 2-2, before Lemieux’s third goal of the season would stand as the winner. Philadelphia pulled goaltender John DeCaro for the extra attacker, hoping for the equalizer. Although it didn’t hurt them, Hamilton failed to find the empty net, hitting the crossbar and then the post on the original shot.

Bulldog Jean-Philippe Cote tied Chris Hajt for the franchise record for all-time games played by a defenseman at 227.

Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves on 23 shots for the Bulldogs, picking up his 15th win while DeCaro stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced in his season debut for the Phantoms.

On Friday night, Corey Locke scored the game-winning goal with 13 seconds left in overtime for the 6-5 win over the Wolves.

Also scoring for Hamilton were Kostitsyn (with two), Matt D’Agostini (with two goals 39 seconds apart), and Cote.

D’Agostini missed the franchise record for the two fastest goals in a game by only four seconds, which was set by Michel Riesen against the Hershey Bears on Feb. 21, 2001. With only six seconds remaining in the opening period, D’Agostini gave the ‘Dogs a 2-1 lead on a 5-on-3 power play. Then, only 33 seconds into the middle stanza, he scored another power-play goal to increase Hamilton’s lead to 3-1.

Scoring for the Wolves, who rallied from a 4-1 and 5-2 deficits, were Brett Sterling, Derek MacKenzie (shorthanded), Andy Delmore, Colin Stuart, and Alex Bourret.

Yann Danis picked up the goaltending win for Hamilton.