The Hamilton Bulldogs have drawn first blood in the opening game of their North Division final playoff series with the Manitoba Moose.
Hamilton got a goal and an assist from Aaron Palushaj and two helpers from Dustin Boyd in defeating the visiting Moose, 4-1 in the American Hockey League contest Thursday night (April 28). Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is set for Sunday, 4 p.m., at Copps Coliseum.
The Moose opened the scoring at 5:10 of the first period. Alexandre Bolduc took a pass from Travis Ramsey before skating into the Bulldogs zone. He wristed the puck from just inside the blueline and it sailed over the blocker of Hamilton starting goaltender Drew MacIntyre. But MacIntyre would stop 19 others for the win.
Hamilton tied the game four minutes later. Andreas Engqvist fed a pass Ryan Russell who was positioned in front of the net. Russell one-timed a shot between the legs of goaltender Eddie Lack.
Palushaj would score the winner at 13:34 of the second stanza while Hamilton was on a powerplay. Mathieu Carle fed a cross-ice pass to Palushaj, who was at the left faceoff dot. Palushaj’s one-timer beat Lack.
Nigel Dawes, with his sixth goal of the playoffs, increased the lead with a power-play goal at 16:16. While positioned at the bottom of the left faceoff circle, Boyd received the puck from Palushaj before sending a no-look behind-the-back pass to Dawes, who one-timed the puck into the net.
J.T. Wyman added a shorthanded marker at 18:59. Boyd and J.T. Wyman skated into the Moose’s zone on a two-on-one. Boyd slid the puck to Wyman, who tapped the pass underneath Lack.
Hamilton outshot their guest, 37-20, before a meager crowd of 1,927.
All Hamilton Bulldogs playoff broadcasts on AM 820 CHAM will begin with a pre-game show 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
Tickets for all Hamilton Bulldogs playoff home games are available now for only $20.50! They can be purchased at the Copps Coliseum Box Office, any Ticketmaster Outlet, online at www.ticketmaster.com or through charge-by-phone at 1-855-872-5000.