Tokarski unbeatable as Bulldogs blank Crunch

SYRACUSE – Dustin Tokarski came back to haunt his former team once again on Saturday night (Nov. 23) as the Hamilton Bulldogs’ goaltender made 43 saves in a 3-0 shutout victory over the Syracuse Crunch. The win was Hamilton’s season-best fourth straight in the American Hockey League.

Hamilton improves its North Division leading record to 9-7-0-3 while Syracuse sits fourth in the East Division with a 9-6-1-1 showing.

Tokarski made 43 saves to lead the Bulldogs to the shutout victory.  (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Tokarski made 43 saves to lead the Bulldogs to the shutout victory. (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

All three Hamilton goals were scored on powerplays.

Tokarski was the story of the opening period as he made 15 stops, many of them acrobatic or from point-blank range, as the Crunch mostly controlled the play offensively. Christian Thomas scored his first goal as a Bulldog to open the scoring early in the second period.

Bulldogs defenceman Greg Pateryn notched his fourth goal of the year to make it 2-0 six minutes later.

Hamilton defenceman Nathan Beaulieu potted the final Hamilton goal in the third period.

Syracuse had several great chances to break Tokarski’s shutout bid in the final minutes of the game, but the Bulldogs netminder held the fort with 16 third-period stops. In three games since being traded from the Crunch to the Bulldogs last season, Tokarski is 3-0-0 with two shutouts, one goal against and a .991 save percentage.

Hamilton’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 27, when they travel to Rochester to face the Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) at 7:05 p.m. The Bulldogs will return to Copps Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 29 when they will host the Toronto Marlies at 7:30 p.m.

Scoring summary

1st Period:
No scoring


SYR Kucherov, 2:05 – Holding, 2 min (PP)
HAM Leblanc, 3:36 – Diving/Embellishment, (64.2) 2 min (PP)
HAM Courtnall, 12:18 – Hooking, 2 min (PP)
SYR Nesterov, 13:35 – Roughing, 2 min (PP)
SYR Taormina, 19:39 – Tripping, 2 min (PP)

2nd Period:

1. HAM – Christian Thomas ( 1) – (Martin St. Pierre, Nathan Beaulieu) – 1:29 (PP)
2. HAM – Greg Pateryn (4) – (Drew Schiestel, Louis Leblanc) – 7:18 (PP)


HAM Tinordi, 1:52 – Interference, 2 min (PP)
SYR Taormina, 5:51 – Delay of game, 2 min (PP)
HAM Courtnall, 10:46 – Fighting, 5 min
SYR Walker, 10:46 – Fighting, 5 min
HAM Tokarski, 12:01 – Delay of game, 2 min (PP)
HAM Leblanc, 16:36 – Roughing, 2 min (PP)

3rd Period:

3. HAM – Nathan Beaulieu (2) – (Martin St. Pierre, Christian Thomas) – 6:47 (PP)


HAM Dumont, 4:43 – Roughing, 2 min
SYR Korobov, 4:43 – Roughing, 2 min
SYR Witkowski, 6:16 – Holding, 2 min (PP)
SYR Neilson, 7:54 – Slashing, 2 min (PP)
SYR Taormina, 8:45 – Delay of game, 2 min (PP)
HAM Quailer, 12:07 – Goaltender interference, 2 min (PP)


Hamilton: 10-10-13–33
Syracuse: 15-12-16–43

Power Play:

Hamilton: 3-for-7
Syracuse: 0-for-6