The Hamilton Bulldogs opened their American Hockey League pre-season with a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Marlies at Burlington’s Central Arena.
Playing before a full house of 1,400, the Bulldogs found themselves trailing 3-0 at the end of the first period. Alex Foster (shorthanded), Colin Murphy and John Mitchell gave Toronto the edge with their goals within a span of just over three minutes on Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs rebounded in the second period with goals from Francis Lemieux and Corey Urquhart 32 seconds apart.
Loic Lacasse replaced Bulldogs’ starting netminder Cedrick Desjardins to start the third period. Darryl Boyce scored what became the winning goal for the Marlies at the 3:56 mark of the final frame. Hamilton pulled within a goal when Ryan Russell scored at 15:39 of the third period.
Lemieux had a three-point night for the ‘Dogs and Urquhart had two points. Desjardins stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced while Lacasse turned aside five the six pucks he handled. Justin Pogge made 18 saves from 21 shots. Neither team (Hamilton 0-6, Toronto 0-3) scored on the power play.
Hamilton’s next pre-season game is on Friday (Sept. 28) at 7:35 p.m. when they travel to Rochester to take on the Americans. The Bulldogs wrap up their pre-season schedule the following afternoon 4 p.m. against the Americans at Hagersville Arena.
The Bulldogs’ home opener for regular season play is set for Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. against Rochester.