The Hamilton Bulldogs ended 2011 on a losing note.
The Bulldogs lost a 3-2 shootout loss to the Lake Erie Monsters in American Hockey League play on New Year’s Eve at Copps Coliseum. While the host Bulldogs were awarded a point for the shoot-out loss – their fourth this season – they remained in fifth and last place in the Western Conference’s North Division with 31 points. They sit one back of the Grand Rapids Griffins and three behind the third place Monsters.
The evening looked promising for Hamilton as they scored first but not until after a scoreless opening frame. Ian Schultz threaded a slot pass to Philippe Lefebvre, who beat goaltender Trevor Cann at 3:45 of the second period to snap a 20-game goalless streak with his second of the season.
It wasn’t until 4:09 of the third period when Patrick Bordeleau scored his first of the season by pushing a Zach Cohen rebound past ‘Dogs netminder Robert Mayer to tie the game. Cohen then earned his first goal of the season later in the period, making it 2-1 for the Monsters at 15.40. Hamilton, playing before 3,404 spectators, evened the affair with only 38 seconds left in the third period when Olivier Fortier netted his sixth of the season, assisted by Andreas Engqvist and Aaron Palushaj.
The shoot-out was forced after a scoreless overtime period. Engqvist scored for the Bulldogs while Patrick Rissmiller and Tyson Barrie cemented the win for the Monsters. Hamilton recorded a total of 31 shots on goal to Lake Erie’s 22.
The Bulldogs next take to the ice when they face the Syracuse Crunch at Copps Coliseum next Friday, Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
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.