Bulldogs’ shutout comes in front of record “home” crowd

The Hamilton Bulldogs blanked the Adirondack Phantoms 5-0 in front of a franchise record regular season “home” crowd of 15,529 at Bell Centre in Montreal. The previous record to attend a Bulldogs’ regular season American Hockey League home game was 15,119, set on March 26, 2004.

The shutout was the Bulldogs’ 11th of the year and Cedrick Desjardins’ sixth, tying the franchise mark for most shutouts by a goaltender in one season.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring with what would stand as the winning goal at 18:25 of the first period. Brock Trotter received the puck from David Desharnais before firing a shot that was stopped by Adirondack goaltender Johan Backlund. Backlund could not control the rebound, which Tom Pyatt stuffed into the net.

The ‘Dogs took a 2-0 lead 46 seconds into the middle frame. Ryan Russell sent a pass to Desharnais, who was positioned in front of the net. Desharnais waited patiently before tapping the puck to Trotter, who one-timed a shot past Backlund.

Trotter added his second goal of the game at 19:13. He stripped the puck off an Adirondack player at the right side of the net before spinning around and releasing a shot to beat Backlund.

Grant Stevenson got Hamilton’s fourth goal at 9:59 of the final frame with a shorthanded marker. Pyatt and Stevenson had a 2-on-1 break with Stevenson converting a pass into a goal. The ‘Dogs completed their scoring at 15:09 with a power-play marker. Pyatt received the puck from Andre Benoit while positioned at the top right faceoff circle and fired the puck past Backlund.

Hamilton outshot the Phantoms, 20-16.

The Bulldogs return to Copps Coliseum for a game against the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday (Feb. 24) at 7:30 p.m.