Mayer sinks Rivermen with 42-save effort

PEORIA, IL – The Hamilton Bulldogs paddled past the Peoria Rivermen with a 2-1 victory in a high-shooting, low-scoring American Hockey League game on Sunday (March 25).

Bulldogs goaltender Robert Mayer made 19 saves in a scoreless first period, while Jake Allen turned away 11 shots in the Rivermen’s net.

At 6:39 of the second period, Travis Novak scored his first goal as a professional hockey player, also earning his first pro point to put the Bulldogs up 1-0. Jesse Todd and Olivier Malka registered assists on the play. Then, with 3:58 left in the second period, Jonathan Cheechoo scored his 21st of the season to tie the game.

The Bulldogs and the Rivermen spent most of the third period trading scoring chances until Brian Willsie extended his goal streak to four games with less than five minutes to play in the game with the winning marker.

Mayer finished the night making 42 saves for the victory while Allen turned away 32 ‘Dogs shots while 6,319 fans watched.

Prior to the game, the Bulldogs recalled goaltender Peter Delmas from the East Coast Hockey League’s Wheeling Nailers. Delmas joined the Bulldogs in time for the game against the Peoria Rivermen and was Mayer’s backup.

Delmas, 22, has played one game for Hamilton this season, a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies on Sunday, Jan. 15. He stopped 26 of 27 shots for the win. The Bedford, N.S., native has played in 37 games for the Nailers this season, posting an 18-14-3 record, a 2.50 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound netminder has also recorded one assist this season.

The Bulldogs travel to Texas to face the San Antonio Rampage at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 28. All Hamilton Bulldogs games can be heard live on AM 820 CHAM or on, or seen live on, beginning with the Pioneer Pre-Game Show 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.