Bulldogs short on scoring punch

TORONTO – At the outset of the American Hockey League’s 2013-14 season, Hamilton Bulldogs’ coach Sylvain Lefebvre had targeted more goals from his shooters after last season’s offence averaged just over two goals per game.

Mike Blunden scored for the Bulldogs. (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Mike Blunden scored unassisted in the Bulldogs loss to Toronto. (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

After four games into this year’s campaign, including Sunday’s (Oct. 20) 2-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies, the Bulldogs are missing the target. To date the Bulldogs have netted nine goals, a shade better than two per contest.

Hamilton forward Mike Blunden scored 2:08 into the third period for the Bulldogs only counter on Sunday as they went down to their third straight loss. The set back left Hamilton with a 1-1-0-2 record while Toronto improved to 4-1-0-0 at Ricoh Coliseum.

Marlies defenceman and American Hockey League leading scorer T.J. Brennan opened the scoring with his eighth goal of the season on a power play 8:29 into the first period, with assists to defenceman John-Michael Liles and forward Spencer Abbott.

With Toronto on the power play again in the second period, forward Carter Ashton notched his first goal of the season at 5:30 of the middle frame, with Abbott and forward Trevor Smith drawing assists.

There were 14 power plays on the night, with Hamilton going 0-for-6 and Toronto going 2-for-8.

Robert Mayer got the start in goal for the Bulldogs, making 26 saves on 28 shots. MacIntyre made 17 saves on 18 shots.

Hamilton’s next game is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 22, when they will host the Rockford IceHogs (AHL Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks) at Copps Coliseum at 7:30 p.m.

Scoring summary

1st Period:
1. TOR – T.J. Brennan (8) – (John-Michael Liles, Spencer Abbott) – 8:29 (PP)

2nd Period:

2. TOR – Carter Ashton (1) – (Spencer Abbott, Trevor Smith) – 5:30 (PP)

3rd Period:
3. HAM – Mike Blunden (2) – (Unassisted) – 2:08

Hamilton: 9-3-6–18
Toronto: 11-11-6–28

Attendance: 5,119