Hot-hand Grabovski bad news for Marlies

Mikhail Grabovski posted his first-career American Hockey League hat trick and added an assist to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a season-high seven goals and a 7-4 win over the Toronto Marlies on Friday night (Feb. 15) at Copps Coliseum. With the victory, the Bulldog’s improve their record to 24-21-1-5 on the season.

Grabovski opened the scoring with two goals in 17 seconds at 12:45 and 13:02 of the first period. On the first goal, Grabovski deked into the Marlies zone and fired a wrist shot over the blocker of netminder Justin Pogge. Grabovski then re-directed a point shot from Jean-Philippe Cote into Toronto’s net for the ‘Dogs quick 2-0 lead. Former ‘Dog Maxim Lapierre set the franchise record earlier this season for the quickest two goals by one player with two tallies in 10 seconds on Nov. 2 against the Syracuse Crunch.

But the Marlies rebounded with two of their own goals just 11 seconds apart to open the second period. Brent Aubin’s third tally of the season came at the 1:09 mark and at 1:20 of the frame Derrick Walser beat Bulldogs’ goaltender Yann Danis for his 14th goal of the campaign.

Toronto took the lead 11 minutes later when Aubin scored again. Hamilton pulled even at 16:06 of the middle stanza when Mathieu Carle blasted a slap shot from the blue line into the back of the Marlies net. It was Carle’s fourth tally of the campaign.

Matt D’Agostini notched his 14th marker of the season for the ‘Dogs at 1:05 of the third period but that was countered by Andy Wozniewski’s second goal this season at the 7:49 mark.

Grabovski then completed his hat trick by burying the game-winning goal at 9:03 of the third frame on the power play. Corso, who picked up his third assist of the night, and D’Agostini, who also registered his third point of the game, earned helpers on the 5-4 goal.

The Dog’s added some insurance markers with two more quick goals in the final period. Carle netted his second tally of the game while on the power play at 15:05 to increase Hamilton’s lead to 6-4. Ajay Baines then notched his fifth goal of the season just 15 seconds later to round out the scoring at 7-4.

With four tallies in the third stanza, the Bulldogs set a season-high for goals in one period. Hamilton had scored three goals in one period 10 times prior to Friday’s game.

Yann Danis made 24 saves on 28 shots for Hamilton while Pogge turned aside 27 of 34 shots.

The Bulldogs were 2-for-7 with the man advantage, ending an eight-game goalless drought on the power play, and went 3-of-3 on the penalty kill.

The defending Calder Cup Champion Hamilton Bulldogs return to action Saturday (Feb. 16) at 7 p.m. when they host the Lake Erie Monsters at Copps Coliseum.

Scoring summary

First period:
1. HAM – Mikhail Grabovski-1 (Andrew Archer) – 12:45
2. HAM – Mikhail Grabovski-2 (Jean-Philippe Cote, Matt D’Agostini) – 13:02

Second period
3. TOR – Brent Aubin-3 (David Ling, Alex Foster) – 1:09
4. TOR – Derrick Walser-14 (David Ling) – 1:20
5. TOR – Brent Aubin-4 (Michel Leveille) – 12:58
6. HAM – Mathieu Carle-4 (Daniel Corso, Jonathan Ferland) – 16:06

Third period
7. HAM – Matt D’Agostini-14 (Mikhail Grabovski, Daniel Corso) – 1:05
8. TOR – Andy Wozniewski-2 (John Mitchell, Colin Murphy) – 7:49
9. HAM – Mikhail Grabovski-3 (Daniel Corso, Matt D’Agostini) – 9:03 (pp)
10. HAM – Mathieu Carle-5 (Corey Locke, Duncan Milroy) – 15:05 (pp)
11. HAM – Ajay Baines-5 (Jonathan Ferland, Kyle Chipchura) – 15:20

Hamilton: 9-12-13–34
Toronto: 12-12-4–28

Attendance: 6,585