Hamilton Bulldogs take over first place


A 28-save performance by goaltender Robert Mayer lifted the Hamilton Bulldogs into possession of first place.  (Photo: Robin Lewortthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

A 28-save performance by goaltender Robert Mayer lifted the Hamilton Bulldogs into possession of first place. (Photo: Robin Lewortthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Three-point efforts from forwards Gabriel Dumont and Patrick Holland and a 28-save performance by goaltender Robert Mayer lifted the Hamilton Bulldogs into possession of first place in the American Hockey League’s North Division with a convincing 6-2 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 8) at Copps Coliseum.

Dumont had two goals and an assist while Holland had two helpers and a goal.

The win left Hamilton with a 12-10-0-3 record and two points better than the second place Toronto Marlies, who have a 12-9-1-0 mark. Lake Erie sits in third place with a 12-10-0-1 showing.

Hamilton took a 2-1 lead into the final 20 minutes of play but four unanswered goals – two with just over 3 ½ minutes played – paved the way to victory.

Dumont opened the game’s scoring on a power play 14:20 into the first period with his third goal of the season.

Just over five minutes into the second period, Hamilton forward Nick Tarnasky parked himself in front of the net, spun around and squeezed the puck between the legs of Lake Erie goaltender Calvin Pickard to make it a 2-0 game. The goal was Tarnasky’s team-leading eighth of the season.

After Bulldogs forward Mike Blunden was handed six minutes in penalties in one sequence – two for cross checking and four for spearing – Lake Erie got on the board early on the lengthy power play when forward Bryan Lerg scored at 14:31 of the second period to narrow the ‘Dogs lead to 2-1.

Less than three minutes into the third period, Holland took a pass from forward Jordan Owens and fired a one-timer past Pickard for his fourth goal of the season.

Just 48 seconds later, Hamilton rookie forward Stefan Fournier notched his first professional goal to give Hamilton a 4-1 lead. At 9:41 of the third period, Dumont notched his second power play goal of the game.

Leblanc extended Hamilton’s lead to 6-1 with his seventh goal of the year at 15:21.

With under a minute to play, Lake Erie defenceman Markus Lauridsen made it a 6-2 game.

Mayer made 28 saves on 30 shots in the Bulldogs net in the win. Pickard made 22 saves on 28 shots for the Monsters in the loss.

The Bulldogs went 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Monsters went 1-for-6.

Hamilton’s next game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 13 when they will host the Toronto Marlies 7:30 p.m. at Copps Coliseum in the annual Toy Toss game.

Scoring summary

1st Period:
1. HAM – Gabriel Dumont – 3 – (Martin St. Pierre, Patrick Holland) – 14:20 (PP)

Penalties
HAM McIver, 3:57 – Delay of game, 2 min (PP)
HAM Macenauer, 11:47 – Tripping, 2 min (PP)
LE Beaupre, 14:00 – Interference, 2 min (PP)
LE Meurs, 17:52 – Roughing, 2 min
HAM Tinordi, 17:52 – Roughing, 2 min

2nd Period:
2. HAM – Nick Tarnasky – 8 – (Darren Dietz, Louis Leblanc) – 5:06
3. LE – Bryan Lerg – 11 – (Matt Hunwick, Brett Clark) – 14:31 (PP)

Penalties
LE Maggio, 3:03 – Holding, 2 min (PP)
HAM Blunden, 13:29 – Cross-checking, 2 min (PP)
HAM Blunden, 13:29 – Double minor – Spearing (attempt), 4 min (PP)
LE Meurs, 14:58 – Hooking, 2 min
LE Heard, 18:44 – Interference, 2 min (PP)

3rd Period:
4. HAM – Patrick Holland – 4 – (Jordan Owens, Joonas Nattinen) – 2:50
5. HAM – Stefan Fournier – 1 – (Gabriel Dumont, Greg Pateryn) – 3:38
6. HAM – Gabriel Dumont – 4 – (Martin St. Pierre, Patrick Holland) – 9:41 (PP)
7. HAM – Louis Leblanc – 7 – (Maxime Macenauer) – 15:21
8. LE – Markus Lauridsen – 2 – (Andrew Agozzino) – 19:16

Penalties
HAM Leblanc, 5:48 – Tripping, 2 min (PP)
LE Heard, 8:35 – Fighting, 5 min
LE Moffie, 8:35 – Hooking, 2 min (PP)
HAM Ellis, 8:35 – Fighting, 5 min
LE Arseneau, 10:06 – Misconduct – Continuing altercation, 10 min
LE Hunwick, 10:06 – Hooking, 2 min (PP)
HAM Macenauer, 10:22 – Interference, 2 min (PP)
LE Maggio, 13:33 – Roughing, 2 min
LE Maggio, 13:33 – Fighting, 5 min
LE Pickard, 13:33 – Unsportsmanlike conduct, 2 min
HAM Fournier, 13:33 – Roughing, 2 min
HAM Fournier, 13:33 – Fighting, 5 min
HAM Nattinen, 13:33 – Tripping, 2 min
LE Cheek, 14:38 – Fighting, 5 min
HAM Zurevinski, 14:38 – Fighting, 5 min

Shots:
Lake Erie: 7-10-13–30
Hamilton: 8-10-10–28