Shootout spoils Bulldogs AHL home opener

With a franchise-record home-opener crowd of 10,923 watching, the Hamilton Bulldogs dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the Rochester Americans. In a pre-game ceremony at Copps Coliseum, the Bulldogs raised their 2007 North Division, Western Conference and Calder Cup championship banners, so those on hand had something to celebrate.

Rochester wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard when Marek Zagrapan scored at 1:50 of the first period of Friday night’s (Oct. 12) game.

‘Dogs rookie forward Sergei Kostitsyn evened the score with his first-career American Hockey League goal eight minutes later, taking a pass from Cory Urquhart.

The Americans tallied three goals restored their one-goal lead at 14:15 when Anthony Stewart beat Bulldogs’ starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

With two goals in the first 4:22 of the second period, Rochester went ahead 4-1. Tanner Glass tallied just 1:08 into the period and Stefan Meyer scored a power-play goal exactly 3:14 later to give the Americans a three-goal lead. That goal brought Yann Danis into the nets to replace Jaroslav Halak.

Maxim Lapierre pulled the ‘Dogs within two goals at 18:42 of the second frame for his third tally of the campaign.

In the third period, Matt D’Agostini posted two goals to tie the game and send it to overtime. Lapierre, who had three points on the night, and Jon Gleed combined to set-up D’Agostini at 2:43 of the final frame. Then at the 11:43 mark of the third stanza on the power play, Kostitsyn delivered a cross-ice pass to D’Agostini who fired home his third goal of the season to even the score 4-4.

After overtime solved nothing, the first 11 players were stymied on both sides in the shootout before MacArthur ended the game with the first and only goal of the shootout to give the Americans a 5-4 win.

In relief of Halak, Yann Danis stopped all of the 19 shots he faced for the Bulldogs while Adam Dennis made 41 saves on 45 shots for the Americans.

The Bulldogs next game will take place tonight (Saturday, Oct. 13) at 7:30 p.m. when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Lake Erie Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena. The Bulldogs next home game is set for Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. when they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack at Copps Coliseum.