Overtime loss stops Hamilton from taking three-game lead

Two come-from-behind efforts were not enough for the Hamilton Bulldogs on Wednesday night (May 19).

And the end results was a 5-4 overtime win for the Texas Stars which left the Bulldogs leading the American Hockey League’s Western Conference final, 2-1. The best-of-seven series resumes Friday in Texas.

Ethan Graham scored the overtime winner at 2:13 of the extra frame.

Hamilton opened the scoring at 4:44 of the first period. Andrew Conboy received the puck from Frederic St. Denis before firing a shot on net that was blocked by a Stars defender. The puck bounced onto the stick of Ryan White, who flipped it over Texas goaltender Matt Climie.

The Stars tied the game just less than six minutes later. Garrett Stafford blasted a shot that was stopped by goaltender Curtis Sanford. Sanford lost sight of the puck, which Perttu Lindgren scooped up before firing a shot that bounced off the crossbar, hit Sanford’s arm, and fell into the net.

Texas took a 2-1 lead at 12:46 of the second stanza with a power-play marker. Lindgren’s shot on net was stopped by Sanford. Jamie Benn grabbed the loose rebound and shovelled it underneath the pads of Sanford and into the net. Aaron Gagnon gave the Stars a two-goal margin at 17:18 while on the power play. Francis Wathier’s shot bounced off the leg of a Hamilton defender and Gagnon tapped it into the net.

Hamilton cut Texas’ lead to one goal at 18:20 of the middle frame. Ryan Russell intercepted the puck at the right side boards before centering a pass to the slot. Mike Glumac blasted a one-time shot that sailed over the right shoulder of Climie.

The Bulldogs tied the game 3-3 at 7:39 of the final frame. While on the power-play, David Desharnais dished a pass to Brock Trotter, who was positioned at the left side of the net. Trotter released a one-time shot that bounced off the arm of Climie and into the net.

Warren Peters gave the Stars a 4-3 lead at 15:01 of the third period. Raymond Sawada’s initial shot was stopped by Sanford, who was knocked over in the net. That allowed Peters to grab the puck and flick it over top of the down-and-out Sanford.

While on the power play, Russell tied the game at 18:27 of the final stanza. Trotter took a shot on net and Desharnais’s deflection was stopped by Climie. Russell batted the rebound into the net to set the stage for overtime.

Hamilton had a 35-34 edge in shots with 4,535 fans watching. Game 4 has an opening faceoff at 8:30 p.m. EST. Fans can listen to the game on radio TALK 820.