Bulldogs can’t hold monsters at bay

CLEVELAND – The Lake Erie Monsters didn’t waste any time letting Hamilton know they were out to win Friday’s (April 13) American Hockey League game. Just 35 seconds after the opening faceoff, Kari Stollery scored the Monsters first goal enroute to a 5-3 victory over the Bulldogs.

But the Bulldogs let the Monsters know it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk when Brian Willsie scored 28 seconds later. Ryan Stoa restored Lake Erie’s lead at 6:39, lifting a backhander past Peter Delmas, sending the netminder to the bench in favour of Robert Mayer.

Louis Leblanc tied the game at two when his weak snapshot beat former Bulldog Cedric Desjardins just 2:15 into the second period. The Monsters took their third one-goal lead of the game when Eric Hunter scored his sixth of the season at 7:37 to make it 3-2 Lake Erie. But the Bulldogs again tied the game when Olivier Fortier deflected Gabriel Dumont’s shot to register his eighth goal of the season.

At 12:35 into the third period, Stoa scored his second goal of the game to put the Monsters ahead 4-3. Derek van der Gulik added the insurance goal with 5:20 left in the third period to give Lake Erie the victory.

Hamilton was outshot, 37-26 in front of 9,144 fans.

The Bulldogs finish off the 2011-2012 season with back-to-back home games against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday (April 14) at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m.