’Dogs take two-game lead in conference final

The Hamilton Bulldogs will take a 2-0 lead in games when they travel to Austin for the resumption of their best-of-seven conference final with the Texas Stars on Wednesday (May 19).

Hamilton scored a 3-1 win on Sunday in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference final at Copps Coliseum. Brock Trotter had two assists while Curtis Sanford stopped 22 of 23 shots.

After a scoreless first period, Hamilton broke the ice just 28 seconds into the second stanza while on the power play. Trotter received a pass from David Desharnais before dishing the puck across the ice to Ryan Russell. Russell one-timed a shot past the glove of goaltender Matt Climie for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

The Bulldogs scored what would prove to be the winning goal at 4:52 of the period. Trotter carried the puck into the Stars’ zone before dropping a pass behind himself for Alex Henry, who hammered a slapshot past Climie for his second goal of the playoffs.

The Stars got on the scoreboard at 17:40 of the frame. Andrew Hutchinson passed the puck to Warren Peters, who was positioned behind the net. Peters sent the puck to the front of the net, where it bounced off the leg of a Bulldogs’ defender and past Sanford.

The Bulldogs regained a two-goal lead at 10:59 of the final frame. Grant Stevenson and Mike Glumac skated into the Bulldogs’ zone on a two-on-one. Stevenson dished the puck over to Glumac, who one-timed a shot to beat Climie.

Hamilton outshot Texas, 30-23 before 2,897 onlookers.