Another game or another series?
That’s the situation facing the Hamilton Bulldogs today (Monday) when they travel to Winnipeg for Game 6 of their American Hockey League divisional final.
Hamilton leads the best-of-seven affair with the Manitoba Moose 3-2, thanks to Sunday’s 3-1 win at Copps Coliseum. A win in Winnipeg will give the Bulldogs the series. Manitoba could force a seventh and deciding game in the North Division series with a win. That game would be played Wednesday (May 16) in Winnipeg.
The winner of this post-regular showdown advances to play the awaiting Chicago Wolves in the Western Conference finale.
Playing before a paltry 1,703 spectators on Sunday, Hamilton got goals from Dan Jancevski, Mathieu Biron, and Ajay Baines, who was awarded a goal when he was tripped up while on a breakaway. Baines was racing toward a net vacated for an extra attacker when he was hauled down with time virtually expired. The time of his goal was at the 20:00 mark of the final period.
Corey Locke had two assists for the ‘Dogs.
After a scoreless first period, Bulldogs defenceman Jancevski notched his first goal of the playoffs when his shot from the point beat netminder Drew MacIntyre at the 9:29 mark of the middle stanza. Mikhail Grabovski and Locke earned assists.
Fifty-four seconds into the third period, Biron gave Hamilton a 2-0 lead with the game’s eventual winning goal on the power play. Receiving a pass from Locke, the defenceman took a slap shot from the point that found the back of the net. Jonathan Ferland also assisted on Biron’s second tally of the playoffs.
The Moose cut the Bulldogs lead in half when Brandon Reid registered his first goal of the post-season at 10:26 of the final frame.
Price was credited with stopping 36 shots, for his eighth win of the post-season, while Manitoba’s MacIntyre stopped 25 of 27 shots.
The Bulldogs went 1-for-4 on the powerplay, while the Moose were 0-for-7 with the extra-man.