The Hamilton Bulldogs finished their 2009-10 American Hockey League regular season schedule on a winning note, even though they lost.
Despite losing 3-2 to the Toronto Marlies in a shootout on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum, the Bulldogs earned a point, setting an AHL record for points earned on the road in a season. Hamilton recorded its 60th road point and in the process the Bulldogs broke 31 franchise records and tied six during the campaign.
Hamilton has also set a franchise record for fewest goals against in a season as they surrendered 182 goals, breaking the record of 191 that was set by the 2002-03 and 2003-04 team.
Hamilton also broke the club record for fewest power-play opportunities allowed as they were only down a man 355 times, bettering the record of 367 set by the 2003-04 team. P.K. Subban’s rating of +46 is also a franchise record for plus/minus rating by a Bulldogs player and defenceman as he surpassed the mark of +34 that was set by Marc-Andre Bergeron in 2002-03.
Saturday’s setback came less than 24 hours after the Bulldogs downed the Syracuse Crunch, 3-2, in overtime.
The ‘Dogs opened Saturday’s scoring at 9:59 of the first frame. Chad Anderson received the puck from Hunter Bishop before skating down the right side boards. And firing a shot on net that beat goaltender James Reime.
Bishop gave Hamilton a 2-0 lead at 18:01. Anderson gave the puck to Bishop, who skated down the right side of the ice and faked a pass before snapping a shot past the blocker of Reimer.
The Marlies got on the scoreboard at 3:52 of the final frame. Phil Oreskovic received the puck from Ryan Stokes before blasting a slapshot towards the net. Richard Greenop redirected the shot past goaltender Robert Mayer and into the back of the net.
Alex Foster tied the game at 18:32 of the final frame. Phillippe Paradis sent the puck to Foster, who was stationed in front of the net. Foster jammed the puck underneath Mayer and across the goal line.
Neither team could score in the overtime period, sending the game to a shootout. All five Hamilton shooters could not beat Reimer while Paradis scored on Mayer in the fifth and final round to win the game for Toronto. The shootout was the Bulldogs 14th this season, tying the franchise record for most shootouts in one season.
Hamilton was outshot, 30-18, while 5.782 watched the game.
The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Crunch 5-4 in Syracuse. Cedrick Desjardins broke the franchise record for most wins in a season as he earned his 29th of the year surpassing Yann Danis’ mark of 28 that was set in the 2004-05 season. The Bulldogs five goals tonight also set a new club record for most goals scored on the road in one season as they have netted 140 goals on the road this year, surpassing the mark of 135 set in 2002-2003.
The Crunch opened the scoring 31 seconds into the game. Tyler Murovich received the puck from Nick Holden before deking past a couple of Bulldogs players. Murovich then backhanded the puck between the legs of Desjardins.
The ‘Dogs tied the game seven minutes later. Alex Henry gave the puck to J.T Wyman, who skated up the right side boards before cutting across the front of the net and backhanding the puck through the pads of goaltender Dan Taylor.
Maksim Mayorov gave the Crunch a 2-1 lead at 11:37. David Liffiton dished the puck to Mayorov, who was stationed at the right side of the net. Mayorov flipped the puck past Desjardins and into the net.
The Bulldogs tied the game at 14:41 of the first frame. Anderson sent the puck to Bishop, who fed a pass to Ryan Russell. Russell backhanded a shot past Taylor into the top of the net. Wyman gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead at 3:17 of the second stanza. He stripped the puck off a Syracuse player in the right corner before skating towards the net and backhanding a shot past Taylor.
Syracuse tied the game 3-3 at 19:44 of the middle frame. Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman recovered the puck from a failed clearing attempt before sending a pass to Mayorov, who blasted a one-timer past Desjardins.
Mayorov scored his hat-trick goal at 9:28 of the final frame. Michael Ratchuk fed a pass to Mayorov who raced down the middle of the ice. Mayorov snapped a shot past Desjardins.
Hamilton tied the game 4-4 at 17:56 of the third stanza. Ryan White fired a shot on net that was stopped by Taylor. Aaron Palushaj jammed the puck underneath the goaltender pads and into the net. Shawn Belle earned the second assist.
With the teams tied at four, the game went into overtime. Belle received the puck from Wyman before blasting a shot towards the net. Grant Stevenson redirected the shot past Taylor and into the net to win the game for the ‘Dogs at the 1:37 mark of overtime.
Hamilton outshot the Crunch, 41-22.
The Bulldogs begin the 2010 Calder Cup playoffs on Thursday (April 15) with at Copps Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. against either the Manitoba Moose or Abbotsford Heat.