The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the St. John’s IceCaps 4-0 on Friday night in the AHL’s return to St. John’s for their first regular season game since 2004-2005. Nathan Lawson stopped 40 shots for the shutout while Joonas Nattinen and Philip DeSimone scored their first professional goals.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring at 8:28 of the first period on the power play. Brian Willsie took a shot which was stopped and then the puck bounced out to the slot to Joonas Nattinen, who picked up the rebound and buried a backhand past St. John’s starting goaltender David Aebischer.
The ‘Dogs doubled their lead to make the score 2-0 at 1:34 of the second stanza on the power play on a goal by Dany Masse. Brock Trotter snapped a shot from close range which Aebischer stopped and the rebound came out to Masse who put the puck through the five-hole of Aebischer. Hamilton scored their third goal of the game on the power play at 12:07 of the middle frame. Brock Trotter wristed a shot which Aebischer stopped and then Philip DeSimone scooped up the rebound and wired the shot into the roof of the net.
The Bulldogs increased their margin to 4-0 on an unassisted tally by DeSimone at 1:17 of the third period, which was his second goal of the game. The centre skated down the wing and ended up behind the net where he fired the puck out in front from behind the goal line. The puck bounced off a skate of an IceCaps defender and deflected past Aebischer. Nathan Lawson stopped all 40 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
The Bulldogs will play the second of back-to-back games in St. John’s against the IceCaps tomorrow night at 6:00 P.M. EDT. They will then return home to Copps Coliseum for a game against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday October 18th at 7:30 P.M. EDT. All regular season Hamilton Bulldogs games can be heard live on AM 820 CHAM beginning with a pre-game show 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.