The Hamilton Bulldogs were cracked by the Crunch.
Looking to extend their win streak to six games and their point streak to 13 games, the Bulldogs were on the short end of a 5-3 result in Syracuse on Monday night.
Despite the loss, Hamilton remains in second place in the American Hockey League’s North Division, with a record of 33-19-2-2. Hamilton sits three points back of the Rochester Americans and one point in front of the Manitoba Moose.
Hamilton won its fifth game on Sunday in Hershey, downing the Bears 5-2.
Hamilton can avenge Monday’s loss to the Crunch on Friday night when Syracuse visits Copps Coliseum for a 7:30 p.m. game. That will be the Bulldogs last home stand for 26 days. With the Canadian Men’s Curling Championships and a Disney on Ice show moving into Copps, the Bulldogs will hit the road and won’t return to their York Boulevard/Bay Street home until March 21 when Rochester visits.
Hamilton will play nine road games and one “home” game in Montreal at the Bell Centre, home of the Canadiens.
On Monday, the night started out on a promising note when Andrei Kostitsyn opened the scoring for the Bulldogs at 1:31 of the first period. His goal, assisted by Matt D’Agostini and Mikhail Grabovski, extended his personal point streak to 11-games.
But it was downhill after that with Syracuse scoring three consecutive goals to close out the opening period leading 3-1. Joakim Lindstrom (4:32), Zenon Konopka on a power play (11:06) and Geoff Platt (19:19) gave the Crunch the edge.
Syracuse went ahead 4-1 when Lindstrom popped his second of the night just past the midway mark of the second stanza.
Worse than that goal was the injury to the Bulldogs’ goaltender, Yann Danis, on the play. He was replaced by rookie netminder Cedrick Desjardins who made his AHL debut. Desjardins was called up from Cincinnati after Jaroslav Halak was summonsed by the Canadiens.
With the Bulldogs on a five-minute power play in the third period, the sides exchanged special teams goals. Corey Locke scored his first of two goals at 1:24 only to have that nullified by a Curtis Glencross short-handed effort just 41 seconds later to put the Crunch up 5-2.
Locke completed the scoring with his 17th goal of the season. Kostitsyn added an assist on the goal and now has 20 points (9-11-20) in his last 11 games.
Corey Urquart picked up one assist for his eighth point in seven games since his recall from Cincinnati.
Danis made 14 saves on 18 shots before he by Desjardins at 14:36 of the second period. Turning aside 11 of the 12 shots he faced, Desjardins was near perfect in his first-career AHL action. Ty Conklin stopped 28 of 31 shots to record his third win of the season.
The game was watched by a crowd of 5,186.