The hunt continues.
Having bagged their Moose, the Hamilton Bulldogs are taking aim at Wolves for the trophy case. Hamilton finds itself in the American Hockey League semifinals after a heroic come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win that terminated the Manitoba Moose’s season. Hamilton took the best-of-seven affair 4-2 with the win Monday night in Winnipeg.
That puts Hamilton into the league semis, or Western Conference final, against the Chicago Wolves and the best-of-seven set opens Friday night in the Windy City. Game 2 will be a Sunday 4pm affair before the series comes to Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum for the third and fourth games, 7.30 pm. starts on Wednesday (May 23) and Friday (May 25). Game 5 if necessary the following night at 7 o’clock.
If other games are required, they would be played in Chicago on Monday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 30.
On Monday night, Eric Manlow stole the spotlight. He had two goals, including the game-tying tally in the third period and the overtime winner to give Hamilton the North Division final.
Corey Locke’s seventh goal of the post season, scored at 11.11 of the final period, ignited the Bulldogs who had struggled through most of the game.
Manitoba opened the scoring just 1:38 into the first period when Brad Moran registered his fifth goal of the series. The on a 5-on-3 power play at 4:07 of the middle stanza, the Moose took a two-goal lead with Brandon Reid’s second marker of the playoffs.
Locke got his goal when his initial shot hit the post and the puck bounced in after hitting Moose goaltender Wade Flaherty.
At 13:58 of the final frame, ‘Dogs veteran forward Manlow, whose goal scoring touch disappeared through most of the regular season, notched his third goal of the post-season to even the score 2-2. Michael Lambert ripped a hard shot that was stopped by Flaherty, but Manlow pounced on the rebound.
At 5.18 of the OT session, Manlow took a pass from Andrew Archer and took a fairly harmless looking shot on net that fooled Flaherty.
Between the pipes, Carey Price backstopped the ‘Dogs with 40 saves while Flaherty turned aside 22 shots.