Marlies hold upper hand on Bulldogs with OT win

The Hamilton Bulldogs, who got their American Hockey League season off to a positive start with two wins, have hit a bump in the early going.

Playing at home to the Toronto Marlies, the Bulldogs dropped their third game – and second in a row to their QEW rivals – 5-4 in overtime at Copps Coliseum.

On a positive note, Bulldogs Brendan Gallagher scored his first goal as a professional for the Bulldogs and finished the night with two points.

Simon Gysbers netted the winning goal just over four minutes of the extra frame. The teams were tied 1-1 after one period and 3-3 to start the final session. Keith Aucoin had three assists for the Marlies before a crowd of 5,569.

The result left the last-place Bulldogs with a 2-2-1-0 record. They pick up a point for the OT defeat and trail the Marlies in the North Division by two points.

Toronto’s record is 3-2-0-1. Leading the division is the Abbotsford Heats with nine points and they’ll be in town on Sunday (Oct. 28) to face the Bulldogs at 5 p.m..

The Marlies opened the scoring at 6:17 of the opening frame on a goal by Carter Ashton. Netminder Peter Delmas stopped Leo Komarov’s initial shot but the rebound found Ashton who put a backhander into the top corner of the net.

But 21 seconds later, the Bulldogs Mike Blunden pulled his team even. Joonas Nattinen got the puck to Blunden standing at the goal line and he squeezed it through the pads of netminder Ben Scrivens.

The Marlies were back on top when Jake Gardiner connected at 8:51 of the second stanza. His shot from the left point sailed over the left shoulder of Delmas into the net.

Again, the persistent Bulldogs knotted the affair two minutes later taking advantage of a power play when Gallagher got his goal. Steve Quailer put the puck on net and Gallagher jammed in the rebound from the top of the crease.

For the first time in the game, Hamilton took the lead at 17:37 of the second frame on a tally by Frederic St-Denis. Rushing down the right wing he took a pass from Gallagher and shot the puck over a sprawling Scrivens.

Toronto tied the score at three on a goal by Greg McKegg on the powerplay 41 seconds later. Aucoin won the faceoff, drawing the puck back to McKegg who snapped it past Delmas.

The Marlies got back into the driver’s seat 5:34 of the third stanza on a goal by Mike Zigomanis. After receiving a pass from Nazem Kadri, he cut in to the slot and roofed a backhand over Delmas.

Gabriel Dumont tied the score at 13:42 of the third period as he jammed the puck during a scrum into the net. That set the stage for Gysbers game-winner from the left point that sailed over the right shoulder of Delmas.

Hamilton outshot the Marlies 39-24.