Locke leads ‘Dogs to win in Cleveland

Corey Locke had two goals and an assist to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 4-1 win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday night at the Quicken Loans Arena. With the win, Hamilton finishes the season with a 7-0-0-1 record in eight games versus Lake Erie and improves to 36-33-3-7 through 79 games.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring for the seventh time in their last eight games when Corey Locke’s slap shot beat Monsters’ netminder Mike Wall at 12:38 of the first period. Jonathan Ferland and goaltender Cedrick Desjardins earned assists on Locke’s 29th tally of the campaign.

Wyatt Smith responded for Lake Erie on the power play just 46 seconds after Hamilton’s goal to even the score 1-1. Derek Peltier and T.J. Hensick combined to set up Smith’s goal that was scored at 13:24 of the opening frame.

At the 3:32 mark of the middle stanza, the ‘Dogs potted a power-play maker of their own to restore a one-goal lead at 2-1. Locke fed a cross-ice pass to Matt D’Agostini who blasted home his 23rd goal or the season.

The ‘Dogs were awarded a penalty shot at 14:48 of the third period when Kyle Chipchura was hauled down on a breakaway. Chipchura then walked in all alone on Wall and fired wrist shot into the back of the net to give Hamilton a 3-1 lead.

Locke iced the game for the Bulldogs with a shorthanded empty-net marker at 19:27 of the third frame to make the score 4-1. With the goal, Locke became the first ‘Dog to score 30 goals in a season since Michael Ryder (34) and Jason Ward (31) each hit the mark during the 2002-2003 season.

Between the pipes, Desjardins stopped 37-of-38 shots for Hamilton to earn the win. At the other end of the ice, Wall made 29 saves on 32 shots in a losing effort for Lake Erie.

On special teams, the Bulldogs went 1-for-2 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.

The ‘Dogs return to action tomorrow evening (Sunday, April 13th) at 5:00 p.m. when they travel to the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter in Syracuse to take on the Crunch in their final game of the 2007-2008 American Hockey League season.

Scoring Summary:

1st Period:
1. HAM – Corey Locke-29 (Jonathan Ferland, Cedrick Desjardins) – 12:38
2. LEM – Wyatt Smith-17 (Derek Peltier, T.J. Hensick) – 13:24 (pp)

2nd Period:
3. HAM – Matt D’Agostini-23 (Corey Locke, Jean-Philippe Cote) – 3:32 (pp)

3rd Period:
4. HAM – Kyle Chipchura-10 (ps)
5. HAM – Corey Locke-30 (unassisted) – 19:27 (en.sh)

Hamilton: 1-1-2–4
Lake Erie: 1-0-0–1

Hamilton: 12-12-9–33
Lake Erie: 16-10-12–38

Hamilton: Cedrick Desjardins (38 shots, 37 saves)
Lake Erie: Mike Wall (32 shots, 29 saves)

Power Play:
Hamilton: 1-for-2
Lake Erie: 1-for-8

Attendance: 15,408