Fortier registers first pro career hat trick

The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Toronto Marlies 5-1 on Sunday afternoon (Dec.12) in front of 5,817 fans. Olivier Fortier scored his first professional hat trick while Max Pacioretty scored his American Hockey League-leading 17th goal to win the game for the ‘Dogs.

Hamilton scored at 6:14 of the first frame with a power-play goal. Pacioretty dished the puck to David Desharnais, who was stationed in the right corner. Desharnais centered the puck to Fortier, who snapped a shot to beat goaltender Jussi Rynnas.

Joey Crabb potted the tying goal for the Marlies at 14:06 of the opening period. Christian Hanson carried the puck over the blue-line before dishing a cross-ice pass to Crabb. Crabb’s shot deflected off a Hamilton player’s stick and past goalie Curtis Sanford.

Hamilton regained the lead 80 seconds into the second period. Andrew Conboy fired a shot on net that was stopped by Rynnas. The rebound bounced onto the stick of Justin Hodgman, who accidently fired the puck into his own net.

Fortier notched his second goal of the game at 10:27 of the period. Mathieu Carle took a slap-shot from the point that hit off the blocker of Rynnas. The rebound landed on the stick of J.T. Wyman who poked it through the goaltender’s pads. The puck stood still on the goal-line before Fortier banged it into the net.

The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 4-1 at 16:27. Desharnais carried the puck the length of the ice before dropping it back to Carle who fired a shot that went off of Rynnas’ head. Desharnais picked up the rebound and slid it to the other side of the net where an open Pacioretty was positioned for the tap-in.

Fortier notched his hat-trick 46 seconds into the third period. Brendon Nash sent a pass along the blue line to Carle, who blasted a shot from the point. Rynnas made the save but the rebound bounced onto the stick of Fortier, who whacked the puck past the goaltender.

Hamilton outshot the Marlies, 39-35.

The Bulldogs play their final home game before Christmas on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. when they welcome the Houston Aeros to Copps Coliseum.