For the second time in as many nights, the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Manitoba Moose 5-4 on Wednesday at Copps Coliseum. Aaron Palushaj, who netted the game winning maker in the shootout decision, also counted a goal and two assists in regulation time to lead Hamilton to the American Hockey League victory before 2,842 fans.
The Moose opened the scoring at 1:50 of the first frame. Mario Bliznak passed the puck to Tommy Maxwell, who was positioned on the right side boards. Maxwell released a shot that trickled through the pads of goaltender Robert Mayer.
Palushaj tied the game less than four minutes later. Max Pacioretty dished the puck to Palushaj, who was positioned at the left faceoff dot. Palushaj fired a shot which bounced off the leg of a defender and past goaltender Tyler Weiman.
The ‘Dogs took a 2-1 lead at 8:13 with a power-play marker. Frederic St. Denis blasted a shot from the point and into traffic. Pacioretty redirected the puck past Weiman and into the net.
Manitoba tied the game with 38 seconds left in the period. Cody Hodgson won a faceoff in the Hamilton zone, sending the puck to Bill Sweatt who snapped a shot past Mayer. Ryan Russell gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead 43 seconds into the second stanza. Palushaj carried the puck into the Moose zone before sending a pass to David Desharnais. Desharnais slid the puck across the front of the goal to Russell, who tapped it into the net. Sweatt scored his second goal of the game at 13:11 of the period. Sweatt skated into the Hamilton zone before snapping a shot that bounced off a Bulldogs defender and back back onto his stick. He reloaded and released a second shot to beat Mayer.
The visitors took a 4-3 lead at 16:18. Jeff Tambellini sent the puck to Nolan Baumgartner, who blasted a shot from the point that sailed through traffic and into the top of the net. Hamilton tied the game at 9:23 of the final frame. St. Denis sent a pass to Mathieu Carle, who skated over the blue line into Manitoba territory. Carle blasted a shot that squeaked between the pads of Weiman.
Neither team could score in the extra period, which sent the game into a shootout. Palushaj, Russell and Alexander
Avtsin scored while Mayer stopped three of four Manitoba shooters to earn the win Hamilton.
The ‘Dogs travel to Montreal as they host the Binghamton Senators at Bell Centre for a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday (Nov. 5).