Mayers survives 46-shot barrage in Bulldogs win

Syracuse, NY – Hamilton Bulldogs goaltender Robert Mayer came within minutes of earning his first American Hockey League shutout while leading the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 4-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday (Dec. 10).

Mayer’s shutout bid ended at the 17:57 mark of the final period when Dan Sexton’s fifth goal of the season gave the Crunch their only goal.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring 6:14 into the game. Philip DeSimone converted on Gabriel Dumont’s tape-to-tape pass, beating Syracuse goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. This was DeSimone’s team-leading sixth goal of the season. Five minutes later, Dany Masse roofed a loose puck following linemate Aaron Palushaj’s shot from the slot, giving the ‘Dogs a 2-0 lead to end the first period.

Syracuse started the second period on a power play as Palushaj was called for roughing with 18:54 left in the first period. But Palushaj redeemed himself seconds after his penalty ended, pushing the puck past former Bulldog Drouin-Deslauriers on a breakaway goal at 1:01.

Hamilton’s took its 3-0 lead into the final frame, although Syracuse led 28-21 in shots after 40 minutes.

Midway through the third period, Gabriel Dumont put the Bulldogs up 4-0 after deflecting Frederic St-Denis’ point shot while Hamilton had a man advantage. Crunch fans chose this moment to toss their stuffed toys onto the ice in Syracuse’s annual Tired Teddy Toss event, similar to the one Hamilton fans did at Copps Coliseum the night before.

Syracuse’s hard work finally translated into a goal when Sexton scored with 2:03 left to play.

The final tally on the shot clock favoured Syracuse, 46-29.

A crowd of 5,429 took in the game.