’Dogs guns ablazin’…but too many blanks

The Hamilton Bulldogs were defeated for the second straight outing, this time a 5-3 setback on Wednesday night at Copps Coliseum. The Bulldogs made a spirited rebound late in the American Hockey League affair, scoring two goals but the Monsters replied with a pair of their own to seal the victory.

Lake Erie opened the game’s scoring at 16:58 of the first frame. Mike Bartlett located the puck in a scrum in front of the net and lifted it over the right shoulder of Hamilton goaltender Curtis Sanford.

The Bulldogs tied the game at 17:49 of the period while on the power play. Andre Benoit received the puck from Yannick Weber before dishing a pass to Ben Maxwell. Maxwell skated past two Monsters’ defenders before firing a backhand shot that beat Lake Erie goaltender Tyler Weiman.

Lake Erie took a 2-1 lead at 3:32 of the middle frame when Matthew Ford beat Sanford. Brian Willsie, who had a three-point night, gave the Monsters a 3-1 lead seven minutes later.

With just 2.16 left in the game, Benoit scored to cut the lead to 3-2 while the Bulldogs were playing shorthanded. With Brock Trotter in the penalty box, Benoit fired a Ryan Russell rebound past a sprawled Weiman. But at 18:39, T.J. Hensick restored Lake Erie’s two-goal lead while on the power play.

Ryan White gave Hamilton renewed hope with a goal at 19:08 when he one-timed a Brock Trotter pass past Weiman.

The ’Dogs hopes dimmed for good when Ford added his second goal, an empty net marker, at 19:43 to seal the win.

Hamilton outshot their guests 44-23.

The Bulldogs will host the Rochester Americans on Friday (Jan. 15) at 7:30 p.m. at Copps Coliseum.