Good start fizzles for Bulldogs

bulldogsToronto – The Hamilton Bulldogs started off on the right foot, scoring the game’s first two goals, but stumbled after that and dropped a 4-2 contest to the Toronto Marlies on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 2) at Ricoh Coliseum.

The Bulldogs have dropped eight of their last 10 American Hockey League games.

Zack Stortini’s second goal of the season at 7:22 of the first period gave the visitors first blood. Olivier Fortier grabbed the puck behind the net and passed it to Stortini who beat goaltender Jussi Rynnas. While the scorekeeper was jotting down those details, Gabriel Dumont made it 2-0 11 seconds later when the puck was deflected to him while he stood unguarded at the goal crease and roofed it over Rynnas.

The Marlies got on the board at 7:11 of the second period on a goal by Carter Ashton. After receiving a pass from Joe Colborne, Ashton flew down the left side and wrapped around the net and tucked the puck past goaltender Robert Mayer. Toronto tied the score on a power-play marker by Simon Gysbers just over two minutes later. His point shot through traffic slid under Mayer.

Nicolas Deschamps, who also had two assists gave the Marlies a 3-2 lead at 3:45 of the third frame. Mike Mottau picked up a pass at the left point and feathered the puck to Deschamps at the right circle. He released a quick shot before Mayer could reach it.

Spencer Abbott completed the scoring at 11:32 of the third period after picking up a loose puck in front of the goal and backhanding it over Mayer.

The Bulldogs were without the services of left wing Kyle Hagel. The AHL handed him a one game suspension as a consequence of receiving an instigator penalty within the final five minutes of the third period in Hamilton’s game against Grand Rapids on Feb. 1.

Hamilton and Toronto meet again, same place, on Wednesday (Feb. 6) at 7 p.m.

Scoring summary

1st Period:
1. HAM – Zack Stortini (2) – (Olivier Fortier) – 7:22
2. HAM – Gabriel Dumont (14) – 7:33

2nd Period:

3. TOR – Carter Ashton (9) – (Joe Colborne, Kenny Ryan) – 7:11
4. TOR – Simon Gysbers (4) – (Nicolas Deschamps, Mike Zigomanis) – 9:57 (PP)

3rd Period:
5. TOR – Deschamps (7) – (Mike Mottau) – 3:45
6. TOR – Spencer Abbott (5) – (Deschamps) – 11:32

Toronto: 7-11-15—33
Hamilton: 9-9-10—28

Power Play:
Toronto: 1-for-6
Hamilton: 0-for-2

Attendance: 7,209