The Hamilton Bulldogs avenged their 7-2 American Hockey League Outdoor Classic loss to Toronto on Jan. 21 by defeating the Marlies 4-1 on Friday (Jan. 27).
Garrett Stafford, who had a two-point night, got things going for the Bulldogs on a power play goal 8:10 into the first period. Stafford’s fifth of the season beat goaltender Mark Owuya and extended his career-long point streak to nine games. The goal tied Stafford with Andreas Engqvist’s team-leading point-streak record for this season.
Hamilton doubled the count on a second power play goal against the Marlies’ top-ranked penalty kill. Brian Willsie, who also had a two-point performance, capitalized on passes from Frederic St-Denis and Stafford to score his seventh of the season.
At 7:54 into the third period, Aaron Palushaj made it 3-0 Bulldogs with his thirteenth goal of the season. Toronto responded six minutes later when Matt Frattin sent Kelsey Wilson’s rebound past Nathan Lawson. With 3:47 left in the game, Philip DeSimone – another two-pointer – chipped Ian Schultz’s rebound past Owuya to cement the ‘Dogs’ 4-1 victory.
Hamilton outshot their guests at Copps Coliseum, 28-20 in front of 6,759 spectators.
Hamilton is third in the Western Conference’s North Division, a point back of second place Rochester Americans and eight behind the division leading Marlies. Eight teams from each of the two conference make the playoffs with the three division leaders getting the top seed and the next top five finishers grabbing the remaining positions passed on points.
The Bulldogs travel to Cleveland Saturday (Jan. 28) to face the Lake Erie Monsters before the AHL all-star break. All 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.