The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Peoria Rivermen 5-2 in front of 3,121 fans at Copps Coliseum. Mathieu Darche recorded two goals to lead the ‘Dogs to the American Hockey League victory on Sunday (Nov. 1).
Darche opened the game’s scoring at 7:51 of the first period. Yannick Weber blasted a shot on net that was saved by Peoria goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop was unable to control the rebound allowing Darche to bang the loose puck into the net. Ben Maxwell also earned an assist on the goal.
The Rivermen tied the game at 9:00 of the second stanza. While on a 2-on-1, Lars Eller elected to pass to Nicholas Drazenovic. Drazenovic used a forehand-to-backhand move before depositing the puck behind goaltender Curtis Sanford.
The ‘Dogs regained their lead at 2:44 of the final frame. Darche fed the puck up the middle of the ice to Brock Trotter, to spring the forward on a successful breakaway.
Derek Armstrong tied the game 2-2 three minutes later while on the power play. Eller’s initial shot was stopped by Sanford but Armstrong whacked at the rebound to beat Sanford.
Darche recorded his second goal of the game at 13:12. Playing 4-on-4, Weber’s point shot was rejected by Bishop. Darche picked up the rebound before firing a shot past the blocker of Bishop. The Bulldogs fourth goal came at 13:43. J.T. Wyman received a pass from Sergei Kostitsyn before skating behind the net and sending the puck out where it bounced off a Peoria defender’s skate and into the net.
Shawn Belle sealed the win for Hamilton at 18:06. Chad Anderson sent a pass to Russell, who skated in on a 2-on-1 with Belle. Russell sent a saucer pass to Belle, who snapped a shot into the top corner of the net.
Hamilton outshot their visitors, 33-28.
The Bulldogs travel to Montreal to host the Binghamton Senators at Bell Centre on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.