December 26, 2006 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hamilton Bulldogs
HAMILTON, ON - The Hamilton Bulldogs built a three-goal lead in the first two periods and held on to win 3-2 over the Rochester Americans on Tuesday night at Blue Cross Arena at Rochester War Memorial. With the win, Hamilton (20-10-1-1) is now only one point behind Rochester (21-8-1-0) for first place in the North Division standings. The Bulldogs have now recorded at least one point in seven straight games, going 6-0-1-0 in that span.
Hamilton opened the scoring at 16:23 of the first period when Ajay Baines scored his sixth goal of the season. Baines poked at a loose puck in the Rochester crease and finally buried a backhand shot to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Jonathan Ferland and Francis Lemieux earned assists on the goal.
Duncan Milroy notched his team-leading 13th goal of the season to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead at 4:40 of the second period. Mikhail Grabovski broke down the right wing on the power play and had his initial shot stopped by Amerks netminder Craig Anderson before Milroy picked up the rebound and found the back of the net.
The \'Dogs took a three-goal lead when Corey Locke one-timed a Matt D\'Agostini pass into the top corner of the Rochester net. Locke\'s goal, his ninth of the season, came at 6:23 of the middle stanza and made the score 3-0.
Rochester got on the scoreboard at 2:55 of the third period when Mike Funk posted a power-play goal to cut Hamilton\'s lead to 3-1. Funk took a pass from Dylan Hunter in the slot and let a wrist shot go that beat \'Dogs netminder Yann Danis on the stick side.
The Amerks then pulled within a goal when Stefan Meyer tallied his sixth marker of the season, but that would be as close as Rochester would get as the Bulldogs held on for a 3-2 win. Kamil Kreps and Greg Jacina added helpers on the Meyer goal.
Danis turned aside 29 of 32 shots for the Bulldogs, picking up his 10th win of the season. At the other end of the ice, Anderson made 20 saves on 23 shots and suffered the loss for the Americans.
Game Notes: Nine different Bulldogs each had one point in the game ... Forward Maxim Lapierre has the flu and did not dress for the game.
The Bulldogs return to action tomorrow night (December 27th) at 7:30 p.m. when the Manitoba Moose visit Copps Coliseum. Tickets for all \'Dogs home games (except home game #32) are available at the Copps Coliseum Box Office, any Ticketmaster outlet, online at www.ticketmaster.ca, or through charge-by-phone at 905-527-7666. Fans can listen to the game live on the flagship station of the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network, 820 CHAM "The Legend," beginning with the Park's Furniture Pre-Game Show at 7:10 p.m. Fans can also listen or watch at www.hamiltonbulldogs.com by clicking on the \'B2 Networks\' or \'820 CHAM\' icon on the \'Dogs website.