TORONTO – A two-goal effort from Olivier Fortier carried the Hamilton Bulldogs to a come-from-behind 6-3 win over the Toronto Marlies at the Air Canada Centre on Monday (Dec. 26). Joonas Nattinen and Gabriel Dumont each recorded two points for the Bulldogs in the American Hockey League contest which brought the third-place Bulldogs to within eight points of the North Division leading Marlies in the Western Conference.
The Marlies grabbed a 3-0 first period lead on the strength of early goals from Jerry D’Amigo, Joey Colborne, and Ryan Hamilton. The Marlies were leading 3-0 before the game six minutes old. Hamilton goalie Nathan Lawson was pulled after letting in three goals on five shots and replaced by Robert Mayer who stopped all 29 shots he faced in the Bulldogs rebound.
The Bulldogs scored their first goal at 2:35 of the middle stanza on a goal by Fortier. After receiving a pass from Nattinen, Fortier streaked down the right wing and snapped a shot from the right circle over the shoulder of goaltender Ben Scrivens. The Bulldogs added another marker at 5:19 on a goal by Ian Schultz. Mitch Wahl picked up the puck off a turnover at the left circle and feathered a pass to Schultz who wristed a shot over the shoulder of Scrivens. The ‘Dogs tied the score three minutes later on Fortier’s second goal of the game. Garrett Stafford picked off the puck at the blue line and passed it to Dumont who beat Scrivens.
Hamilton took the lead at 15:30 of the second period on a goal by Aaron Palushaj. After picking up the puck from Nattinen on the right wing boards, Palushaj walked out and backhanded the puck from the right circle over the glove of Scrivens.
Hamilton scored its fifth goal at 6:52 of the third frame on a goal by Dumont. Philip DeSimone fed a pass to Dumont who was stationed at the right circle. Dumont spun around and whipped a shot over the glove of Scrivens. Andreas Engqvist added an empty net goal at 19:58.
The Bulldogs return home to Copps Coliseum to face the St. John’s IceCaps on Wednesday (Dec. 28) at 7:30 p.m.