The Hamilton Bulldogs dropped a 9-2 decision to the Crunch on Saturday night (Dec. 15) in Syracuse. The loss drops Hamilton’s record to 8-12-0-5 on the season and marks the worse American Hockey League defeat for the club since Nov. 23, 2002 when the Bulldogs were shutout 8-0 in Binghamton by the Senators.
Syracuse struck early, scoring first at the 2:35 mark of the opening period and taking a 3-1 lead into the second period.. Brett Motherwell ‘s first-career AHL goal opened the scoring followed by Joakim Lindstrom at 13:17 and Steven Goertzen at 16:37.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard with only 1:05 remaining in the opening period when captain Ajay Baines registered his first goal of the season.
In the middle stanza, the Crunch potted three more goals to take a 6-1 lead. Andrew Murray (1:09), Tom Sestito (4:37), and Andrei Plekanov (9:00) were the goal scorers for Syracuse. After Murray’s goal at the 1:09 mark, Yann Danis replaced ‘Dogs starting netminder Cedrick Desjardins between the pipes for Hamilton for the remainder of the period.
Desjardins returned to the Bulldogs net at the start of the third frame. Greg Stewart tallied his fourth goal of the season for Hamilton at 4:23 of the third period to make the score 6-2. The Crunch added three more goals in the third period. Adam Pineault scored at the 6:41 mark before Zenon Konopka collected two goals at 8:54 and 18:52. Lindstrom added an assist on each of Konopka’s goals, picking up his fifth and sixth points (1-5-6) of the game.
The Bulldogs went 0-for-8 on the power play, while the Crunch were 2-for-5 with the man advantage. Despite the lop-sided score, Syracuse only out shot Hamilton 37-to-36 in the game.
On Friday night, the Bulldogs were 4-3 shootout losers to the Griffins in Grand Rapids.
Corey Locke scored two goals and moved into a tie with Tomas Plekanec for second place on the Bulldogs all-time scoring list.
Scoring for the Griffins were Brett Engelhardt, Kyle Quincey, and Jonathan Ericsson in regulation time. In addition to Locke’s two goals, Eric Manlow scored for the visiting Bulldogs.
Locke (61-115-176) is now tied with Plekanec (71-105-176) for second place on the Bulldogs all-time scoring list, and needs four points to overtake Brain Swanson (71-108-179) and become Hamilton’s all-time leading scorer.