Gabriel Dumont gave the Hamilton Bulldogs a 2-1 win over the visiting Toronto Marlies, scoring the winning goal with 48 seconds remaining in regulation time.
Tuesday’s (Jan. 8) eighth installment of the American Hockey League’s Battle of Ontario looked to be headed for overtime when Dumont’s shot from the right-wing boards appeared to hit Marlies’ defenceman Simon Gysbers, eluded goaltender Jussi Rynnas and rolled into the net. The unassisted goal was Dumont’s team-leading 11th of the season.
Patrick Holland also scored for the Bulldogs while goaltender Robert Mayer, making a third consecutive start, faced 24 shots before a crowd of 4,538 at Copps Coliseum.
The win improved the Bulldogs’ record to 13-18-1-3 for 30 points. The victory was the second in three games for the Bulldogs, who picked up a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the visiting Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday night.
Nazem Kadri scored for the Marlies, who fell to 21-10-1-2 for 45 points, while Rynnas, making only his fourth start since Nov.13, faced 38 shots.
The loss snapped the Marlies’ three-game winning streak and was their first regulation loss since a 3-2 setback to the visiting Abbotsford Heat on Dec. 9. The Marlies were 8-0-1-1 since that defeat.
The teams were tied 1-1 after 40 minutes and the Bulldogs pressured Rynnas early, at one time owning a 7-0 edge in third-period shots into the eighth minute of the frame. Rynnas made two early saves on Steve Quailer, found a point shot through traffic from Jason DeSantis, and stopped Zack Stortini’s attempt to redirect a DeSantis shot.
The Bulldogs killed off two Marlies power plays in the period, including a holding call issued to Kyle Hagel at 15:39. The home side was unable to take advantage of its only power play in the period.
Kadri opened the scoring at 9:18 of the second period. Jerry D’Amigo worked the puck along the left-wing boards and fed it to Kadri, who snapped a wrist shot home from high in the faceoff circle.
The Bulldogs tied the game at 19:59, three seconds after the expiration of a roughing penalty to Toronto’s Nicolas Deschamps. Holland, who broke a team-record scoring drought of 200:29 with a goal at 19:59 of the first period of a 3-1 win over the visiting Rockford IceHogs last Friday night, once again provided the last-second heroics as he scooped a loose puck at the left post over a prone Rynnas, who had made two previous saves in furious action around his net. The goal, assisted by Mike Blunden and DeSantis, was Holland’s fifth of the season.
The Bulldogs, who enjoyed three second-period power plays, held an 11-10 edge in shots in the frame. The Marlies had many of their chances coming on a pair of power plays midway through the period which overlapped to provide the visitors with a two-man advantage for 51 seconds. Among his stops, Mayer lunged to deny Kadri, stopped two one-timers from Paul Ranger and foiled Mike Zigomanis.
At the other end, Rynnas had to deal with a fluttering puck after a Mike Commodore shot; covered up as Blunden attempted to catch up to a puck for a shorthanded breakaway; stopped Holland in close; and slid to deny Nathan Beaulieu.
The Bulldogs outshot the Marlies 14-8 in a scoreless first period when both goaltenders were tested throughout the session. Mayer denied Will Acton in the third minute and Spencer Abbott in the deep slot in the fifth. Mayer got a pad on a D’Amigo shot, got his stick on a Mike Kostka shot during one of three Toronto power plays and used his blocker to parry a shot by Korbinian Holzer.
Rynnas stopped Philippe Lefebvre early, got a pad on a Louis Leblanc shot, denied Hagel after he jumped on a Mark Fraser giveaway in the 12th minute and stopped a Blunden shot from between the hashmarks in the 19th.
The Bulldogs were without Greg Pateryn, Antoine Corbin, Joe Stejskal, Joey Tenute, Olivier Fortier, Joonas Nattinen, Aaron Palushaj, Blake Geoffrion and Alexander Avtsin. The Marlies scratched Mark Owuya, Dylan Yeo, Jake Gardiner, Matt Frattin, Ryan Grimshaw, Jamie Devane, Brad Ross, Andrew Crescenzi and Greg McKegg.
The Bulldogs visit the Rochester Americans at 7:05 p.m. Friday.
The Bulldogs are 3-4-1-0 this season against their provincial rival. The Bulldogs three wins over the Marlies have all come at home. They lost 5-4 in overtime at Copps Coliseum on Oct. 26. The Marlies had won the three previous games between the North Division rivals, all at Toronto
The Bulldogs went 0-for-4 on the power play. The Marlies were 0-for-7. The Bulldogs have killed off 15 consecutive power plays since allowing three power-play goals in a 6-0 road loss to the Marlies on Jan. 2 … The Bulldogs are 8-6-1-1 at home while the Marlies are 8-8-1-1 on the road
The game was the first of six consecutive road dates for the Marlies, who will return to Copps Coliseum on Jan. 19 … Dumont has six goals and three assists for nine points in his last four home games
Centre Daultan Leveille made his AHL debut, one day after being recalled from the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. A 22-year-old St. Catharines native, Leveille had four goals and three assists for seven points in 25 games with the Nailers
DeSantis collected his first point with the Bulldogs after joining the team last Thursday from the San Antonio Rampage, where he had recorded nine points, including two goals, in 28 games
Blueliner Stejskal was reassigned by the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens to Hamilton from the Nailers on Monday. Centre Tenute was signed to a Professional Tryout earlier Tuesday
Mayer has four wins and two shootout losses in his last six starts
Kostka is the only player to have played in each of the Marlies’ first 34 games. He hit the right post on a first-period power play
Rynnas has posted shutouts in three of his five wins. He made his second start of the season against the Bulldogs. Rynnas made 31 saves in a 5-0 Marlies win at home on Oct. 20 … Holland turned 21 on Monday
Stortini appeared in his 250th AHL game last Saturday in a 3-2 shootout loss to the visiting Lake Erie Monsters
1. TOR – Nazem Kadri (8) – (Jerry D’Amigo) 9:18
2. HAM – Patrick Holland (5) – (Mike Blunden, Jason DeSantis) 19:59
3. HAM – Gabriel Dumont (11) – (Unassisted) 19:12
Toronto: Jussi Rynnas (L – 38 shots, 36 saves)
Hamilton: Robert Mayer (W – 24 shots, 23 saves)
1. HAM – Gabriel Dumont (1 goal, plus-1, 2 shots)
2. TOR – Nazem Kadri (1 goal, plus-1, 5 shots)
3. HAM – Patrick Holland (1 goal, plus-1, 4 shots)
Dan Lawrie Insurance Premium Player of the Game: Robert Mayer