Steve Kelly, who spent parts of two seasons with Hamilton, helped do in his former team on Monday afternoon when the Syracuse Crunch handed the Bulldogs a 6-3 setback. Kelly, who skated with the Bulldogs more than a decade ago, scored two goals to lead the Crunch to their American Hockey league win.
Kelly opened the scoring just 1:49 into the first period when he directed a Mike York pass behind Hamilton goaltender Marc Denis. Seven minutes later the Crunch had a 2-0 lead when Kevin Harvey scored.
Ben Maxwell cut Syracuse’s lead to one with a power-play marker at 12:23. Yanick Weber sent a pass to Olivier Latendresse, who relayed to Maxwell. Maxwell waited patiently before rifling a shot past Syracuse goaltender Dan LaCosta. The goal extends Maxwell’s point streak to seven games.
The Crunch regained their two-goal lead while on the power play at 3:32 of the middle frame. Kelly was stopped twice by Denis before he jammed the puck under the goaltender for his second goal of the game. Syracuse took a 4-1 lead at 15:57 when Harvey’s shot was tipped by Ryan Garlock into the net.
Weber cut the Crunch’s lead in half at 4:44 of the third period. Yanick Lehoux fed Weber, who fired a shot past LaCosta. Two minutes later the ‘Dogs pulled to within one goal. Ryan Flinn hammered a shot that was stopped by LaCosta but Mike Glumac put the rebound behind LaCosta.
Syracuse scored its fifth goal at 11:59 when Aaron Rome’s point shot bounced off a Hamilton defender and past Denis. Syracuse added an empty net marker at 18:58 when Craig MacDonald fired a shot from Syracuse’s zone and into the empty goal.
Denis faced 35 shots in the Hamilton net while LaCosta handled 27.
The Bulldogs return to Hamilton to battle the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday (Jan. 21) for a 7:30 p.m. match-up at Copps Coliseum.