The Hamilton Bulldogs and the Rochester Americans open their American Hockey League playoff round tomorrow (Thursday, April 19).
The best-of-seven opening series gets underway with the first two games in Rochester. Game two goes Saturday before the series comes to Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum for games three and four on Sunday (April 22) at 6 p.m. and then on Tuesday (April 24) at 7.30 p.m.
Should the Calder Cup playoff series go beyond four games, the teams return to Rochester for game five on April 26 with game six scheduled for April 28 (Saturday) in Hamilton at 7 p.m. A seventh game would be played in Rochester on April 30.
Hamilton completed regular season play with three games in three nights, winning two, but losing the last game to Rochester. That loss gave the Amerks second place and home ice advantage for the playoffs.
To start the end-of-season games, goaltender Carey Price stopped 27 of 28 shots in his professional debut to lead the Bulldogs to a 3-1 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins at Copps.
Duncan Milroy (24), Andrei Benoit (10), and Jonathan Ferland (23) scored for the Bulldogs. Scoring for Grand Rapids was Jonathan Ericsson with former Bulldog Danny Syvret of Milgrove drawing an assist.
Price is a first-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens.
In the game, Benoit set a regular season franchise record for Bulldogs’ defensemen with his fourth game-winning goal of the season. Benoit also moved into a tie with Craig Millar and James Sanford with 10 goals during the regular season. Milroy moved into a tie for a franchise record with Michel Riesen for 26 career powerplay goals.
The following night, in Grand Rapids, Dan Jancevski scored two goals to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-2 win over the Griffins.
Also scoring for Hamilton were Milroy and Eric Manlow. Grand Rapids got goals from Kyle Quincey and Jonas Johansson.
Yann Danis made 23 saves on 25 shots for the Bulldogs to earn his 23rd win of the season and 70th career AHL victory.
Hamilton wrapped up the regular season losing 2-1 to Rochester. The Bulldogs finished with a 43-28-3-6 record.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring with Maxim Lapierre scoring while Hamilton was killing a penalty.
Rochester got goals from Clarke MacArthur and Mark Mancari.
Price,in his second AHL start, was named the game’s third star by stopping 29 of 31 shots. Rochester’s Craig Anderson made 25 saves on 26 shots.
Ryan O’Byrne, Jancevski, Kyle Chipchura and Corey Locke appeared in their 80th games of the season, the only Bulldogs to play in every contest this season. Jancevski becomes the first Bulldog to reach the mark twice, having played all 80 games for Hamilton in the 2004-05 season.