Rookie Sergei Kostitsyn’s goal and three assists led the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 5-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Sunday (Oct. 28) at Copps Coliseum. The win snaps the ‘Dogs three-game losing skid and improves their American Hockey League record to 4-4-0-1.
Hamilton opened the scoring at 7:47 of the first period when Kostitsyn notched his third goal of the season. Eric Manlow and Pavel Valentenko, who picked up his first-career AHL point, earned helpers on the goal. The Bulldogs added to their lead just 57 seconds into the middle frame when Corey Locke potted his third goal of the campaign. Janne Lahti chipped the puck over to Locke who batted it out of mid-air and into the IceHogs net to the delight of the 3,810 paying customers.
At 6:33 of the period, Rockford cut Hamilton’s lead to 2-1 courtesy of Troy Brouwer’s third goal of the season.
The ‘Dogs responded five minutes later when Marvin Degon recorded his first goal as a Bulldog. Degon one-timed a Kostitsyn pass off the post and behind goalie Corey Crawford.
The IceHogs were awarded a penalty shot at 8:20 of the second period but ‘Dogs netminder Jaroslav Halak turned aside the effort by Martin St. Pierre.
The Bulldogs scored with 36 seconds left in the period when Jonathan Ferland tipped in his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Degon and Kostitsyn had assists on the power-play goal.
Kostitsyn then earned his fourth point of the night by chipping in an assist on Ryan O’Byrne’s first-career regular season AHL goal at 14:39 of the final frame. (O’Byrne had two goals in the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs.) Locke picked up his third point on the night with an assist on the goal.
Halak turned aside 35 of 36 shots in the win for the Bulldogs, while Crawford stopped 26 of 31 shots.
Hamilton was 2-for-7 with the man advantage while Rockford was 0-for-3 on the power play.
The Bulldogs return to action on Friday (Nov. 2) at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Syracuse Crunch at Copps Coliseum.