Shootout win ends Bulldogs losing streak

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

Mike Blunden (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/< a href="">Aerial Promotions)

Hamilton forward Mike Blunden was the 18th shooter in the shootout, but the only one to score as the Bulldogs defeated the Crunch 2-1 on Saturday evening (March 15) in Syracuse. The American Hockey League win snapped a game losing streak for Hamilton.

The teams played the first two periods scoreless before exchanging third period markers four minutes apart. Brett Connolly gave the Crunch the lead but Louis Leblanc squared matters, sending the game into a scoreless overtime session.

At 5:21 of the third period, with the game still scoreless, Hamilton goaltender Robert Mayer threw his stick toward Syracuse puck handler Yanni Gourde, which earned the Crunch a penalty shot. But Gourde was stopped on the attempt.

In the shootout, the first 17 skaters were either stopped or missed the net before Blunden buried one to win it for the ‘Dogs.

Mayer made 31 saves on 32 shots through regulation and overtime, then stopped all nine shots he faced in the shootout to win the goalie duel. Kristers Gudlevskis made 28 saves on 29 shots, then stopped eight of nine shots in the shootout for the Crunch in the loss.

Hamilton went 0-for-6 on the power play, while Syracuse went 0-for-3.

Hamilton’s next game is Sunday (March 16) when the ‘Dogs will visit the Toronto Marlies. The Bulldogs return to FirstOntario Centre on Wednesday (March 19) the Abbotsford Heat visit at 7:30 p.m.

Scoring Summary

1st Period
No scoring

2nd Period
No scoring

3rd Period
1. SYR – Brett Connolly – 15 – (Vladislav Namestnikov) – 6:42
2. HAM – Louis Leblanc – 12 – (Morgan Ellis) – 10:36

No scoring

SYR – Brett Connolly – NG
HAM – Sven Andrighetto – NG
SYR – Yanni Gourde – NG
HAM – Gabriel Dumont – NG
SYR – Jonathan Marchessault – NG
HAM – Christian Thomas – NG
SYR – Evan Rankin – NG
HAM – Nathan Beaulieu – NG
SYR – Vladislav Namestnikov – NG
HAM – Martin St. Pierre – NG
SYR – Jon DiSalvatore – NG
HAM – Louis Leblanc – NG
SYR – Mike Angelidis – NG
HAM – Patrick Holland – NG
SYR – Philippe Paradis – NG
HAM – Maxime Macenauer – NG
SYR – Jordan Henry – NG
HAM – Mike Blunden – G

Hamilton: 9-9-7-4-1–30
Syracuse: 9-11-10-2-0–32

Attendance: 5,216