The Hamilton Bulldogs have advanced to the American Hockey League’s North Division final after defeating the Oklahoma City Barons, 4-1, in Game 6 of their semi-final playoff on Sunday (April 24). Hamilton took the best-of-seven affair 4-2.
Nigel Dawes scored two goals while Frederic St. Denis scored the game-winner in the third period when Hamilton scored all its goals, two of those into a vacated net. The ’Dogs will meet either the Manitoba Moose or Lake Erie Monsters in the division final. Hamilton gets home ice advantage with the first two games set for Thursday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 4 p.m. at Copps Coliseum.
Following two scoreless periods, the Barons got on the scoreboard first at 2:10 of the final frame. Jake Taylor’s shot on net was stopped by goalie Drew MacIntyre. The rebound bounced onto the stick of Alexandre Giroux, who whacked it past MacIntyre and into the net.
Hamilton tied the game at 6:43. Aaron Palushaj received the puck from Dustin Boyd before centering a pass to Dawes, who was in the slot. Dawes one-timed a shot over the blocker of goaltender Martin Gerber and into the net. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead at 17:04 of the final frame while on the power play. St. Denis blasted a shot from the blueline after taking a pass from Mathieu Carle, who was at the right point. The puck sailed past Gerber on the blocker side.
Dawes added an empty netter at 19:15 before J.T. Wyman added another empty net 33 seconds later.
The visitors from Oklahoma City outshot their hosts, 25-19, in front of 2,684 fans.
Tickets for all Hamilton Bulldogs playoff home games are available at the Copps Coliseum Box Office, any Ticketmaster Outlet, online at www.ticketmaster.com or through charge-by-phone at 1-855-872-5000.