It was a record… a record disappointment for those cheering for the Hamilton Bulldogs.
With 20,565 spectators – a Canadian record for the largest audience for an American Hockey League game – nestled into the seats of Ivor Wynne Stadium on Saturday (Jan. 21) – the Bulldogs disappointed their faithful losing 7-2 to arch division rivals, the Toronto Marlies.
Hamilton’s lackluster effort – after a promising start when the Bulldogs scored 27 seconds into the Steeltown Showdown aka the AHL Outdoor Classic – was highlighted in the third period when the Marlies scored three goals with less than four minutes to play. And those markers were scored within two minutes and 23 seconds.
With gametime temperature at -4C, the Marlies were quick to respond to Dany Masse’s opening goal. Mike Zigomanis, at 5:26, Greg Scott at 8:19 and Drew Paris at 12:02 gave the Marlies a 3-1 lead to end the first period.
Marcel Mueller made it 4-1 at 8:33 of the second period for the North Division leading Marlies who picked up their 22nd win of the campaign. Louis Leblanc scored Hamilton’s second goal of the game less than two minutes for the Bulldogs last hurrah.
Joe Colborne, Nicolas Deschamps, and Scott, with his second goal in the game, completed the Marlies route. Philippe Dupuis, Deschamps and Jerry D’Amigo each had three points for Toronto.
The Marlies outshot the Bulldogs, 27-21.
Despite the loss Hamilton held on to third place in the division and trails Toronto by eight points.
The Hamilton Bulldogs play next on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio against the Lake Erie Monsters.