Bulldogs let two-goal lead vanish

bulldogsThe Bunny may bring Easter eggs but the Hamilton Bulldogs lay them.

After taking a two-goal lead into the final 20 minutes of play, the Bulldogs watched as the visiting Rochester Americans scored four third period unanswered goal- three of them within a 3 ½ minute span – to skate away with a 4-2 American Hockey League win on Saturday night (March 30) at Copps Coliseum.

Evan Rankin scored back-to-back goals in leading the Americans’ charge that handed the Bulldogs their 40 loss – including overtime and shootouts – this season to leave them dead last in the 30 team league.

Hamilton opened the scoring at 8:46 of the opening frame on Brady Vail’s first professional goal. Peter Merth slap shot from the right point was tipped by Vail in the slot and the puck slid off the post and behind goaltender Nathan Lieuwen. Merth’s assist was his first point as a ’Dog.

Lieuwen left the game due to injury after the first period and was replaced by David Leggio to start the second period.

Hamilton took a 2-0 lead with just 44 seconds left in the second stanza on a tally by Steve Quailer. Jarred Tinordi’s point shop was tipped by Quailer in the slot.

Louis LeBlanc had two assists for the Bulldogs.

The Amerks got on the board at 3:38 of the third period when Rankin beat netminder Dustin Tokarski. Rochester tied the score just over two minutes later on Rankin’s second goal.

The Amerks took the lead a minute later when Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored.

Matt Ellis added an empty net and shorthanded goal to complete the scoring.

The Bulldogs outshot the Americans 36-30. Hamilton’s next game is against the Barons in Oklahoma City on Tuesday (April 2) at 8 p.m.

Scoring summary

1st Period:
1. HAM – Brady Vail (1) – (Peter Merth, Louis Leblanc) – 8:46

2nd Period:
2. HAM – Steve Quailer (6) – (Jarred Tinordi, Louis Leblanc) – 19:16

3rd Period:
3. RCH – Evan Rankin (12) – (Corey Tropp, Nick Crawford) – 3:28
4. RCH – Evan Rankin (13) – (Rich Schofield) – 5:52
5. RCH – Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (3) – (Luke Adam, Nick Tarnasky) – 6:53
6. RCH – Matt Ellis (6) – (Matt MacKenzie) – 18:43 (EN,SH)

Rochester: 6-10-14—30
Hamilton: 13-10-13—36

Power Play:
Rochester: 0-for-2
Hamilton: 0-for-3

Attendance: 4,207