Marc Denis earned his first shutout of the season and as a Bulldog as Hamilton defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 2-0 in their 2008-2009 season home opener on Friday night (Oct. 17). A crowd of 5,503 at Copps Coliseum witnessed the ‘Dogs third win in as many American Hockey League starts, marking the first time since 2002-2003 that the Bulldogs have opened the season on a three-game win streak.
Hamilton got on the scoreboard first at 15:05 of the opening frame on a goal by Ben Maxwell. Greg Stewart sent the puck to Maxwell whose shot beat Hartford starting goaltender Miika Wiikman.
The goal was Maxwell’s second tally and third point of the season earning him a three-game point streak.
The Wolf Pack nearly got on the board in the second stanza when they had a two-man advantage. Hartford peppered Denis with shots but they were denied on each one.
The game took a turn for the worst when P.A. Parenteau slammed Yannick Weber into the boards and earned a five-minute major penalty for boarding. The ‘Dogs capitalized while on the power play, when Yanick Lehoux banked a shot off Hartford defenceman Corey Potter’s skate at 12:10 in the final frame.
Between the pipes, Denis turned aside all 27 shots he faced to earn the shutout while Wiikman made 27 saves on 29 shots.
The ‘Dogs are hosts to the Norfolk Admirals tonight (Saturday) at 7 o’clock at Copps Coliseum.