The Hamilton Bulldogs earned their first win in seven games, defeating the visiting Rochester Americans 3-2 on Saturday night in American Hockey League action.
Playing in front of 4,166 spectators, the Amerks got on the scoreboard first when Derek Whitmore pushed Marcus Foligno’s rebound behind goaltender Nathan Lawson at 4:47 into the first period. Whitmore’s 11th goal of the season was also his fifth in his last four periods against the ‘Dogs.
But the ’Dogs solid effort throughout the first period paid off when Mike Blunden scored the team’s first goal in more than 120 minutes at 18:46. Then, with 2.8 seconds left in the first instalment, Mark Mitera got his first goal as a Bulldog, snapping a 13-game pointless streak and a 20-game goalless streak by potting in Brian Willsie’s rebound past goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
Hamilton killed a 1:05 double penalty early in the second period, allowing only two shots on goal in that stretch. Hamilton hit a few posts midway through the second but the Americans would be the next to score. With 5:43 left in the period, a nice series of passes led to a goal by Colin Stuart, tying the game 2-2.
At 9:16 in the third period, Joonas Nattinen’s second goal of the year – unassisted – would stand as the winner.
Hamilton had a slim 28-25 advantage in shots on goal.
The Bulldogs continue their home stand on Tuesday (Dec. 6), at 7:30 p.m. when they face the Adirondack Phantoms at Copps Coliseum.
All Hamilton Bulldogs’ games can be heard live on AM 820 CHAM or on www.hamiltonbulldogs.com, or seen live on www.ahllive.com beginning with the Pioneer Pre-Game Show 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.