Lacasse overcomes jitters to earn first ever AHL victory

Four unanswered goals in the second period gave the Hamilton Bulldogs a come-from-behind win and goalie Loic Lacasse earned his first American Hockey League win in his first ever AHL game. The goals wiped out a 3-0 lead Syracuse established in the first period and Hamilton skated away with the 4-3 victory in front of 4,041 fans at Copps Coliseum on Friday evening (Jan. 2).

Lacasse, called up from the East Coast Hockey League’s Cincinnati Cyclones, to replace Marc Denis, summonsed by the National Hockey League Montreal Canadiens, got off to a shaky start, allowing two goals before the game was two minutes old.

The Crunch opened the scoring 45 seconds into the first period. Aaron Rome beat Lacasse and just over a minute later, Steve Kelly cashed in. John Vigilante gave the Crunch a 3-0 lead with a power-play marker at 18:57.

Hamilton started its rebound with three goals in less than two minutes, including back-to-back power plays at 11:46 and 12:28 of the second period. Yanick Lehoux skated behind the net before sending a pass to Thomas Beauregard, who took a shot that slid through the legs of Syracuse goaltender Dan LaCosta. Mike Glumac then scored at 12:28. David Desharnais started the play with a pass to the point where Ben Maxwell was stationed. Maxwell hammered a shot that sailed through traffic before being tipped by Glumac into the net.

Hamilton tied the game at 13:26. Ryan White skated into the Syracuse’s zone on a 3-on-1. He sent a pass to Shawn Belle who faked a shot before returning the puck to White, who banged it past a sprawling LaCosta.

Beauregard scored his second goal of the game, again with the man advantage, at 18:55. Brock Trotter sent a pass to Beauregard who broke in alone on the goal and after a few dekes he beat LaCosta.

Lacasse finished the night stopping 21 of 24 shots while LaCosta turned aside 35 of 39 Hamilton shots.

The ‘Dogs return to action tonight (Saturday) at Copps at 7 p.m. for their first ever match-up against the Iowa Chops.