Bulldogs open new AHL campaign with a win

Two short-handed goals gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 decision over the visiting St. John’s IceCaps on Friday night (Oct. 11) in Hamilton’s American Hockey League home and season opener.

Forward Mike Blunden (14) chalked up a goal and an assist in the Bulldogs' home opener.  (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Forward Mike Blunden (14) chalked up a goal and an assist in the Bulldogs’ home opener. (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Bulldogs’ defenceman Greg Pateryn opened the scoring at 4:26 of the first period when he ripped a laser over the shoulder of goaltender Eddie Pasquale. But just under six minutes later, St. John’s forward Andrew Gordon replied on the power play.

Hamilton regained the lead early in the second period when Mike Blunden scored before the period was two minutes old. He would finish the night with two points.

Once again, St. John’s replied just minutes later when defenceman – and Hamilton native – Ben Chiarot evened matters.

Forward Patrick Holland’s short-handed and unassisted goal at 5:15 of the third stood as the game-winner for the ‘Dogs.

Dustin Tokarski made 33 saves for the win while his counterpart, Pasquale, stopped 31 shots.

The Bulldogs went 0-for-6 on the power play. The IceCaps went 1-for-6.

Hamilton won’t have time to savour the win – the Bulldogs are hosts to the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 12) at Copps Coliseum.

Scoring summary

1st Period:
1. HAM – Greg Pateryn (1), Mike Blunden – 4:26 (SH)

2. STJ – Andrew Gordon (1), Brenden Kichton, Adam Lowry – 10:01 (PP)

2nd Period:
3. HAM – Mike Blunden (1), Joonas Nattinen, Drew Schiestel – 1:55
4. STJ – Ben Chiarot (1), Jason Jaffray, Jerome Samson – 5:41

3rd Period:
5. HAM – Patrick Holland (1), unassisted – 5:15 (SH)

St. John’s: 10-10-15–35
Hamilton: 10-15-9–34

Attendance: 5,193