Halak stars in net for Bulldogs to preserve win

Matt D’Agostini had a two-point night and Jaroslav Halak came within 1:14 of his second consecutive American Hockey League shutout as the Hamilton Bulldogs took a 2-1 win from the host IceHogs on Wednesday night (Jan. 2) in Rockford. Hamilton’s second straight win, improves the Bulldogs record to 12-14-1-5.

After a scoreless first period, D’Agostini gave Hamilton a 1-0 lead at 10:54 of the middle stanza. D’Agostini walked into Rockford’s zone and snapped a high wrist shot past netminder Corey Crawford. D’Agostini’s unassisted goal was his seventh of the season.

Less than three minutes later, the Bulldogs went up 2-0 when Mathieu Carle tallied his second goal of the campaign. D’Agostini picked up the lone assist.

With just 1:14 left in the third period, Troy Brouwer snapped Halak’s shutout streak at 143:53 and pulled the IceHogs within a goal with his team-leading 16th tally of the season.

Rockford out shot Hamilton 36-18 in the game and 16-4 in the third period.

Neither team was successful on the power play, as the Bulldogs were 0-for-2 and the IceHogs went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

The Bulldogs return to action at 7:30 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 4) when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins at Copps Coliseum.

Scoring summary

First period
(no scoring)

Second period
1. HAM – Matt D’Agostini-7 (unassisted) – 10:54
2. HAM – Mathieu Carle-2 (Matt D’Agostini) – 13:11

Third period:
3. RFD – Troy Brouwer-16 (Martin St. Pierre, Colin Fraser) – 18:46

Hamilton: 6-8-4–18
Rockford: 6-14-16–36

Attendance: 1,945