The Hamilton Bulldogs could advance to the Calder Cup final with a win at home on Monday night.
The Bulldogs are back in the driver’s seat of the American Hockey League’s Western Conference final following Saturday night’s 3-0 blanking of the Texas Stars. The win lifted the Bulldogs into a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven affair with Game 6 having a 7.30 p.m. puck drop at Copps Coliseum.
Texas seemed prepared to take control of the final after winning the last contests, at home, to overcome a Hamilton lead of 2-0 in games. Both Texas wins were scored in overtime.
David Desharnais had a goal and an assist while Curtis Sanford stopped all 23 shots he faced to give Hamilton its victory.
The Bulldogs used a powerplay to open the scoring at 13:22 of the first frame. Desharnais dished the puck to Shawn Belle, who fired a shot towards the net. The puck came loose and onto the stick of Ryan Russell, who tapped a shot past the glove of goaltender Matt Climie for his seventh marker of the playoffs.
The ‘Dogs added their second goal at 3:37 of the second stanza. Alex Henry’s point shot was stopped by Climie but the rebound bounced onto the stick of Mike Glumac, who was positioned in the slot. Glumac rifled a shot past Climie for his 11th goal in the post-season.
Desharnais completed the scoring at 15.33 the middle stanza. Belle, with his second helper on the night, sent a pass up the middle of the ice to Aaron Palushaj, who gave the puck to Desharnais. Desharnais snapped a shot over the left shoulder of Climie.
Hamilton outshot the Stars, 33-23. Attendance was 5,020.
Monday’s game will be shown on Cable 14 and available on TALK 820 radio.