Blunden paces Bulldogs with two goals

Mike Blunden (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Mike Blunden (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

The Hamilton Bulldogs are off to Utica, N.Y., today (Saturday, Dec. 28) after sweeping a home-and-home series from the Toronto Marlies.

With two second-period goals from forward Mike Blunden, Hamilton scored a 4-2 win over the Marlies on Friday (Dec. 27) at Copps Coliseum, a follow-up to their 2-1 American Hockey League success on Boxing Day.

The back-to-back victories come after five straight setbacks and improve Hamilton’s record to 14-14-0-4. The Marlies dropped to 16-10-2-1. Friday’s result left the Marlies in first place in the North Division with 35 points. Hamilton is in third place with 32 points, the same total as the Rochester Americans who get second place with two games in hand. Hamilton could gain some ground when they meet the Comets tonight as the Americans are idle until Jan. 3.

In addition to Blunden’s two markers on Friday, the Bulldogs got singles from Sven Andrighetto and Martin St. Pierre..

Toronto forward Carter Ashton opened the scoring on a power play effort at 6:27 of the first period. Mike Blunden tied the game early in the second period with his seventh goal of the season.

Nine seconds after Ashton took a penalty for high sticking, Marlies forward Sam Carrick scored a shorthanded goal to restore the visitor’s lead.

Blunden squared matter with less than six minutes to play in the middle session.

Less than two minutes had been played to start the final period when forward Sven Andrighetto scored what would stand as the winning goal. The goal was Andrighetto’s eighth of the year, tying him with Blunden, Nick Tarnasky and Louis Leblanc for the team lead.

Toronto took a late penalty and with 45 seconds remaining, St. Pierre potted his seventh goal to give the Bulldogs some insurance. St. Pierre is the overall tam leader in scoring points with 25 (7-18).

Greg Pateryn had two assists on the night while Andrighetto also had a two-point evening

Bulldog Dustin Tokarski made 20 saves on 22 shots while MacIntyre stopped 45 of 49 shots.

The Bulldogs went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Marlies went 1-for-2.

The Bulldogs return to Copps Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 11 when they will host the Americans at 7 p.m.

Scoring summary

1st Period
1. TOR – Carter Ashton (8) – (Greg McKegg, Spencer Abbott) – 6:27 (PP)

HAM St. Pierre, 4:59 – Charging, 2 min (PP)
TOR Biggs, 13:52 – Boarding, 2 min (PP)
HAM Andrighetto, 17:39 – Cross-checking, 2 min (PP)

2nd Period
2. HAM – Mike Blunden (7) – (Gabriel Dumont, Nick Tarnasky) – 3:45
3. TOR – Sam Carrick (4) – (Unassisted) – 9:20 (SH)
4. HAM – Mike Blunden (8) – (Maxime Macenauer, Greg Pateryn) – 14:06

TOR Ashton, 9:11 – High-sticking, 2 min (PP)

3rd Period
5. HAM – Sven Andrighetto (8) – (Patrick Holland, Nathan Beaulieu) – 1:38
6. HAM – Martin St. Pierre (7) – (Sven Andrighetto, Greg Pateryn) – 19:15 (PP)

TOR Ashton, 19:08 – Holding, 2 min (PP)
TOR Brennan, 19:15 – Misconduct – Unsportsmanlike conduct, 10 min

Toronto: 1-1-0
Hamilton: 0-2-2

Toronto: 8-6-8–22
Hamilton: 14-20-15–49

Attendance: 8,278