Jaroslav Halak turned aside 32 of the 33 shots he faced to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 3-1 win over the Manitoba Moose on Thursday night at Copps Coliseum. The win gave Hamilton five of a possible six points in their three-game set versus Manitoba, and improved the ‘Dogs record to 10-12-1-5 on the season.
Hamilton jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 12:31 of the first period when Ryan Russell potted his first-career American Hockey League goal and point. Jonathan Ferland and Marvin Degon each earned an assist on the goal.
Manitoba evened the score 1-1 exactly 56 seconds into the middle frame when Mike Keane scored his third goal of the season on a breakaway. Jimmy Sharrow drew the lone helper on Keane’s goal.
The Bulldogs took a 3-1 lead with two second-period goals just 63 seconds apart. At 14:30 of the frame, Mathieu Aubin registered his first tally of the campaign when he fired in a rebound over the shoulder of Moose netminder Drew MacIntyre. Hamilton then scored their third goal of the game at the 15:33 mark courtesy of Mathieu Biron’s first goal of the season. Pavel Valentenko and Corey Locke earned assists on Biron’s power-play goal.
There was no scoring in the third period as the Bulldogs held on for a 3-1 win.
Locke’s assist in the second period was his 179th (62-117-179) career point as a Bulldog, tying him with Brian Swanson (71-108-179) as Hamilton’s all-time leading scorer.
Three Bulldogs (Russell, Aubin and Biron) collected their first goals of the season in the game.
The Bulldogs went 1-for-4 with the man advantage and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The ‘Dogs return to action tonight (Dec. 28) when they travel to Blue Cross Arena in Rochester to take on the Americans. They return home to Copps Coliseum on Saturday (Dec. 29) for a tilt with their North Division rivals the Toronto Marlies at 7:00 p.m.