The Hamilton Bulldogs got off to a slow start – only five shots on net in the opening period – and made a valiant recovery in third period but it wasn’t enough Friday night (May 13).
The visiting Bulldogs dropped the Western Conference opener, 2-1, to the Houston Aeros, who were outshot, 39-28, and have goaltender Matt Hackett to thank for the win. Game 2 in the American Hockey League’s best-of-seven playoff series will go Sunday (May 15) in Houston.
Houston opened the scoring at 14:52 of the first frame while on the power play. Casey Wellman collected the puck after it took an odd bounce off the glass behind the Bulldogs’ net. Wellman fed a pass to Chad Rau, who one-timed a shot past goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
The Aeros doubled the score at 2:59 of the second stanza. Jared Spurgeon relayed the puck up the middle of the ice to Jed Ortmeyer, springing him on a breakaway. The unimpeded Ortmeyer snapped a shot over MacIntyre’s glove.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard at 19:09 of the final frame. Frederic St. Denis blasted a shot towards the net that was tipped by J.T. Wyman. Houston starting goaltender Matt Hackett made the save but the rebound bounced out to the left side of the goaltender. Mathieu Carle whacked the puck up and over the pad of Hackett and into the net.
Hamilton missed scoring on four power play opportunities. The Bulldogs held the Aeros to just four shots in the final period while peppering Hackett with 20. One of Hackett’s stops was a flashy glove save on Nigel Dawes with 10.4 seconds left.
Sunday’s game has a 5:05 p.m. eastern time start. 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 third round home games will be available for $21.50. 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.