Bulldogs go down fighting

The Battle of Ontario took on a literal meaning at the RICOH Coliseum where the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Toronto Marlies convened on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 11).

The Marlies managed a 5-1 decision over the visiting Bulldogs in the American Hockey League game punctuated by 35 penalties that produced 171 minutes in penalties, including several fighting majors and misconducts.

In between the assorted disagreements, Philippe Dupuis (with two), Matt Frattin, Will Acton, and Mike Zigomanis scored for the Marlies, who lead the North Division with 60 points to the fifth-place Bulldogs 45 points.

The Marlies had established a 4-0 lead before Gabriel Dumont scored the lone Hamilton goal just past the midway mark of the final period.

Frattin opened the scoring for the Marlies when he tucked the puck past Bulldogs starting netminder Robert Mayer on a wrap-around play at 3:50 into the first period. Toronto doubled its lead with less than two minutes left in the period when Dupuis scored his fourth of the season and first of two on the night.

Acton made it 3-0 with a wrist shot just 1:30 into the second period. Dupuis took advantage of high traffic in front of Mayer to score his second goal of the game, giving the Marlies a 4-0 lead less than two minutes later. Nathan Lawson replaced Mayer in net for the Bulldogs after the goal.

The Bulldogs cut the Marlies’ lead to 4-1 when Dumont beat Toronto netminder Mark Owuya from the slot at 11:14 into the third period.

At 11:55 into the third period, Hamilton’s Zack FitzGerald and Aulie dropped the gloves before a general battle broke out in the ‘Dogs zone, resulting in 10-minute misconducts to several players on both teams.

The Marlies capitalized on the resulting 5-on-3 opportunity to add to their lead. Zigomanis scored his 14th of the season on the power play to complete the scoring.

Hamilton was outshot, 33-29 before 6,443 onlookers.

The Bulldogs return to Copps Coliseum Sunday (Feb. 12) to battle the Texas Stars at 3 p.m.