Close twice, but no cigar for AHL Bulldogs

The Hamilton Bulldogs were edged 4-3 by the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night at Copps Coliseum, leaving them with a lost weekend. On Friday night they were 5-4 shootout losers to the visiting Rochester Americans. The two setbacks left the Bulldogs with an American Hockey League record record of 4-6-0-3.

On Saturday, the Wolves jumped to a 2-0 lead courtesy of two Brett Sterling goals. Chicago opened the scoring on the power play at 8:25 and Sterling tallied again at 12:04 of the frame.

At 18:10 of the opening frame, Hamilton cut Chicago’s lead to one goal when Greg Stewart potted his first-career AHL counter. Jonathan Ferland drew the lone assist.

‘Dogs forward Eric Manlow registered his second goal of the season at 3:28 of the middle stanza to tie the game 2-2. Marvin Degon setup Manlow who blasted a shot over the right shoulder of Wolves’ netminder Fred Brathwaite.

Hamilton took the lead at 15:27 of the second frame when Janne Lahti banged in a loose puck at the side of Chicago’s net. Corey Locke earned an assist on the goal and took sole possession of third place on the Bulldogs all-time scoring list with 166 points (57-109-166), surpassing Peter Sarno who posted 165 points (42-123-165). Locke needs 14 points to overtake Brain Swanson (71-108-179) and become Hamilton’s all-time leading scorer.

The Wolves stormed out of the gate in the third period with two goals in a span of 1:26 to take a 4-3 lead. Fifty seconds into the frame Jesse Schultz scored his seventh goal of the season to tie the game at three. Chicago’s Andre Deveaux then scored the game’s eventual winning goal at the 2:16 mark.

The Bulldogs were 0-for-4 on the power play while the Wolves went 1-for-2 with the man advantage.

Yann Danis turned aside 34 of 38 shots in a losing effort for Hamilton, while Braithwaite made 29 saves on 32 shots to earn the victory.

On Friday night, the ‘Dogs got off to a roaring start. taking a 4-0 lead highlighted by Duncan Milroy’s goal and three assists, including his 150th career AHL point. With two goals in the first period, Hamilton took a 2-0 lead. Cory Urquhart and Milroy were the marksmen. Maxim Lapierre’s team leading seventh goal of the season increased the ‘Dogs lead to 3-0 at 1:30 of the middle stanza.

Hamilton then made the score 4-0 at 12:07 of the second frame when D’Agostini notched his fourth goal of the campaign on the power play.

Rochester got on the scoreboard at 17:51 of the second period courtesy of Marc-Andre Gragnani’s first goal of the season. The unassisted goal came on the power play. With three goals in a span of 3:38 in the third period, the Americans evened the score 4-4. Dylan Hunter (3:09), Stefan Meyer (6:21) and Marek Zagrapan (6:47) tallied the goals.

After a scoreless overtime, the game went to a shootout. Stefan Meyer and Mark Mancari scored in the shootout for the Amerks, lifting Rochester to the 5-4 win. The ‘Dogs were 0-for-4 in the shootout.

The Bulldogs and Americans were each 1-for-5 on the power play.

Between the pipes, Jaroslav Halak made 15 saves on 19 shots in a losing effort for Hamilton, while Rochester’s Adam Dennis recorded the win with 28 saves on 32 shots and four saves against as many shooters in the shootout.

The Bulldogs return to action on Friday, Nov. 16th at 7:00 p.m. when they travel to the Hartford to take on the Wolf Pack. Hamilton’s next home game is on Friday, Nov. 23, at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Toronto Marlies at Copps.