The Hamilton Bulldogs showed some offensive force in taking a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven American Hockey League North Division semi-final playoff affair, defeating the Manitoba Moose 8-2 on Saturday afternoon.
With 5,626 fans at Copps Coliseum, the eight goals tied a franchise record for most goals scored in a post-season game while breaking the franchise record for largest margin of victory in a post-season game.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring with a power-play marker at 6:32 of the first period. David Desharnais received the puck from P.K. Subban before skating into the Moose’s zone and snapping a shot over the blocker goaltender Cory Schneider. Andre Benoit also earned an assist on the goal.
With 50 seconds left in the period, the visitors tied the score Mario Bliznak backhanded the puck Cedrick Desjardins.
The ‘Dogs regained the lead at 2:24 of the second stanza. Desjardins sent a pass to Grant Stevenson, who raced down the left side boards and deep into Manitoba’s zone. Stevenson spun around before sending a shot to the front of the net where Ryan Russell tipped the puck past Schneider. Subban gave Hamilton a 3-1 lead at 8:50. While on a 5-on-3 power play, Brock Trotter sent the puck to the top of the right faceoff circle where Subban was stationed. He rifled a shot over the glove of Schneider and into the net. The ‘Dogs went up by three goals two minutes later on the power play. Mike Vernace received the puck from Shawn Belle while at the blue line. Vernace fired a shot toward the net and Mike Glumac deflected it past Schneider.
Trotter scored his first goal of the playoffs at 12:19. He stripped the puck off a Manitoba defender behind the Moose net before circling around the goal and backhanding the puck through the legs of Schneider.
Daren Machesney replaced Schneider in the Manitoba net following this goal.
Trotter added his second goal of the game with seven seconds left in the frame. Subban’s shot towards the net bounced off Desharnais and landed in front of Machesney. Trotter picked up the loose puck before flipping it over the netminder’s glove.
The Moose added their second goal of the game 38 seconds into the final frame. Tom Galvin’s initial shot was stopped by Desjardins but the puck bounced onto the stick off Dan Sexton, who sent the past a sprawled Desjardins.
J.T. Wyman scored on a penalty shot at 2:42 of the final frame to give Hamilton a 7-2 lead. Wyman skated in on Machesney before flipping a backhand shot past the goaltender. Alex Henry scored Hamilton’s eighth goal of the game at 13:44 while on the power play. Chad Anderson sent a pass to Henry, who was positioned at the point. Henry hammered a shot that sailed through traffic and past Machesney. This goal was the Bulldogs’ fourth power-play marker of the game.
Hamilton outshot the Moose, 37-30.
The Bulldogs travel to Winnipeg for Game 3 against the Manitoba Moose on Monday (April 19) with a scheduled 8:30 p.m. EST faceoff. Fans can listen to every ‘Dogs playoff game on radio station TALK 820.