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Bulldogs Look To Clinch Playoff Spot

April 4, 2011 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hamilton Bulldogs News Release

The Hamilton Bulldogs (American Hockey League affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens) will look to clinch a playoff spot with their final four games of the 2010-2011 regular season this week. The 'Dogs will begin with two games against the Abbotsford Heat (AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames) on Monday, April 4th and Tuesday, April 5th, both starting at 10:00 P.M. EST. If the Bulldogs earn a point in Monday's game, they will earn a spot in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. Following those two games, the 'Dogs will travel to Winnipeg to take on the Manitoba Moose (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) on Friday, April 8th and Saturday, April 9th both at 8:30 P.M. EST. These final two games will finish the 2010-2011 regular season for the Bulldogs.

Hamilton's first match-up of the week was against the Abbotsford Heat. The two teams played a hard fought battle with the Bulldogs coming out on top 3-1. Nigel Dawes led the way with a goal and an assist while Drew MacIntyre stopped 37 of the 38 shits he faced. Jon Rheault scored the lone goal for the Heat in the second period. The very next evening, the two teams squared off again with the 'Dogs earning a 4-1 win. Nigel Dawes continued his offensive prowess by scoring a hat trick and also adding an assist. John Armstrong scored the lone goal for Abbotsford while Drew MacIntyre had another solid performance, stopping 36 of 37 shots. Hamilton then travelled to Cleveland on Friday, April 1st to face the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche). The Bulldogs pulled off another 4-1 victory with Olivier Fortier scoring the game-winning goal early in the second period. Ben Walter put up a strong effort, scoring a goal and adding 6 shots for the Monsters. The 'Dogs played their final home game of the week and of the regular season against the Manitoba Moose on Saturday, April 2nd. It was fan appreciation day and the Bulldogs helped thank their loyal fans with a 3-2 shootout victory. Nigel Dawes finished his strong week with another 2 goals and the shootout winner. He scored his 40th goal of the season, becoming the first Bulldogs to score 40 goals in a season. Paul Healy had previously scored the most goals by a Bulldogs in a season when he recorded 39 goals in 2001-2002. Aaron Volpatti notched his first goal of the season for the Moose. The Bulldogs finished off their critical week by going a perfect 4-0, which was crucial in assisting their run for the playoffs.

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW:

Tuesday, March 29th - ABBOTSFORD HEAT 1 at HAMILTON BULLDOGS 3

Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, ON

Hamilton Goals: Nigel Dawes, Aaron Palushaj*, J.T. Wyman

Abbotsford Goals: Jon Rheault

Goaltending: Hamilton: Drew MacIntyre (W- 38 shots, 37 saves) / Abbotsford: Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (L- 23 shots, 21 saves) Power Play: Hamilton 0-3/ Abbotsford 1-4

Attendance: 2,611 * - Game Winning Goal

Wednesday, March 30th - ABBOTSFORD HEAT 1 at HAMILTON BULLDOGS 4

Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, ON

Hamilton Goals: Nigel Dawes (3), Aaron Palushaj*

Abbotsford Goals: John Armstrong

Goaltending: Hamilton: Drew MacIntyre (W- 37 shots, 36 saves) / Abbotsford: Matt Keetley (L- 24 shots, 21 saves)

Power Play: Hamilton 0-2 / Abbotsford 0-5

Attendance: 2,873

* - Shootout Game Winning Goal

Friday, April 1st - HAMILTON BULLDOGS 4 at LAKE ERIE MONSTERS 1

Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, OH

Hamilton Goals: Dany Masse, Olivier Fortier*, Dustin Boyd, J.T. Wyman

Lake Erie Goals: Ben Walter

Goaltending: Hamilton: Drew MacIntyre (W - 28 shots, 27 saves) / Lake Erie: John Grahame (L- 16 shots, 13 saves)

Power Play: Hamilton 1-5 / Lake Erie 0-5

Attendance: 12,407

*- Game Winning Goal

Saturday, April 2nd - MANITOBA MOOSE 2 at HAMILTON BULLDOGS 3 (SO) Copps Coliseum -- Hamilton, ON Hamilton Goals: Nigel Dawes* (2) Manitoba Goals: Aaron Volpatti, Sergei Shirokov Goaltending: Drew MacIntyre (W - 25 shots, 23 saves) / Manitoba: Eddie Lack (L- 32 shots, 30 saves) Power Play: Hamilton 0/0 / Manitoba 0-1 Attendance: 8,195 *-Shootout Winning Goal

BULLDOGS NOTES:

- Leading scorer LW Nigel Dawes (40G, 25A), scored his 40th goal of the season on April 2nd against the Manitoba Moose becoming the first Bulldog to score 40 goals in a season. Paul Healy had previously held the record of most goals by a Bulldog in a season when he scored 39 in 2001-2002.

- The Bulldogs are on a five-game winning streak and seven-game point streak. The Bulldogs magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one.

- RW J.T. Wyman scored his 18th goal of the season on April 1st against the Lake Erie Monsters, which is a new career-high in goals for the forward as he surpasses his previous mark of 17 which he set last year.

- G Drew MacIntyre went 4-0 this past week stopping 123 of the 128 shots he faced for a .961 save percentage. He is currently on a five-game winning streak.

- The first line of LW Nigel Dawes, C Dustin Boyd, and RW Aaron Palushaj combined for nine goals and 12 assists in the four 'Dogs victories this week. All three players are currently on a five-game point streaks.

UPCOMING GAMES:

MONDAY, APRIL 4TH - HAMILTON BULLDOGS at ABBOTSFORD HEAT 10:00 PM EST - ABBOTSFORD ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS CENTRE - ABBOTSFORD, BC

TUESDAY, APRIL 5TH - HAMILTON BULLDOGS at ABBOTSFORD HEAT 10:00 PM EST - ABBOTSFORD ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS CENTRE - ABBOTSFORD, BC

- This is the seventh and eighth of eight meetings between the two clubs this season

- The last time the two teams met was March 30th when Hamilton defeated Abbotsford 4-1

- The 'Dogs have a 3-3-0-0 record against the Heat this season

- Hamilton's all-time record against Abbotsford is 8-5-0-0-1

- Matt Keith leads the Heat in scoring with 31 points (20G, 15A)

- There are six Ontario natives currently listed on the Heat roster: C John Armstrong (Unionville), Bryan Cameron (Brampton), D Chris Breen (Uxbridge), D Matt Pelech (Toronto), D T.J. Brodie (Dresden) and D Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock)

FRIDAY, APRIL 8TH - HAMILTON BULLDOGS at MANITOBA MOOSE

8:30 PM EST - MTS CENTRE - WINNIPEG, MB

SATURDAY, APRIL 9TH - HAMILTON BULLDOGS at MANITOBA MOOSE

8:30 PM EST - MTS CENTRE - WINNIPEG, MB - This is the seventh and eighth eight meetings between the Moose and the 'Dogs

- The Bulldogs have a 4-0-0-2 record against the Moose this season

- The last time Hamilton and Manitoba met was April 2nd when Hamilton defeated the Moose 3-2 (SO)

- Hamilton's all-time record against Manitoba is 49-24-1-5-3

- Sergei Shirokov leads the Moose in scoring with 51 points (22G, 35A)

- There are two Ontario natives currently listed on the Moose roster: C Cody Hodgson (Markham) and C Marco Rosa (Scarborough)

ALUMNI WATCH:

There are over 40 former Bulldogs currently on NHL rosters. Over 60 percent of all former 'Dogs have played in at least one NHL game. Here are a few highlights and accomplishments of ex-'Dogs from this past week:

- Toronto C Mikhail Grabovski recorded a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win over the Sabres (Mar. 29) and tallied an assist against the Senators (Apr. 2).

- St. Louis F Matt D'Agostini collected two goals and three assists this week for the Blues in four match-ups. In his first game D'Agostini registered a goal and an assist against the Red Wings (Mar. 30) and added another goal in their next game versus Calgary (Apr. 1), then he finished off the week with two assists versus the Blue Jackets (Apr 3).

- Nashville F Sergei Kostitsyn had a goal and two assists this week. His assists came against the Canucks (Mar. 29) and the Avalanche (Mar. 31) while he scored against the Red Wings (Apr. 2).

- Montreal D P.K. Subban scored a goal in the Habs victory over the Hurricanes (Mar. 30) and then added another goal against the Devils (Apr. 2).

- St. Louis G Jaroslav Halak collected two victories this past week. The first came against the Red Wings (Mar. 30) where he made 41 saves and the second came versus the Blue Jackets (Apr. 3).

- Dallas F Mike Ribeiro scored two goals including the game winner in a victory against the Anaheim Ducks (Apr. 3). - Montreal G Carey Price got two wins this past week against the Thrashers (Mar. 29) and the Devils (Apr. 2). In both victories he only surrendered a goal.

TUNE IN TO Every Game on the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network:

Fans can listen to every 'Dogs game this season on the flagship station of the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network, 'TODAY'S COUNTRY AM 820 CHAM'. Fans can also listen or watch at www.hamiltonbulldogs.com by clicking on the 'AHL Live' or '820 CHAM' icon on the Bulldogs website. All regular-season radio and online broadcasts will begin with a pre-game show 30 minutes prior to each scheduled game-time. Ellery Award-winning broadcaster Derek Wills calls the play-by-play of all 80 regular season games, while Al Craig provides the colour commentary for all home games and select road games.

GET YOUR TICKETS!:

Hamilton Bulldogs season tickets, flex tickets, min pack tickets, group tickets and tickets are now on sale! Individual game tickets are available at the Copps Coliseum Box Office (in-person sales only), all Ticketmaster outlets and online at ticketmaster.ca or call 905-527-7666. For information on season tickets, flex tickets, mini pack tickets and group tickets visit www.hamiltonbulldogs.com, or call (905) 529-8500 ext. 179.

GET YOUR BULLDOGS MERCHANDISE AT THE " DAWG HOUSE" : Fans can purchase Bulldogs merchandise during all home games at the " Dawg House" store located behind section 114 on the concourse level at Copps Coliseum.

In the store, fans can find hats, t-shirts, jackets, replica jerseys, foam fingers, foam 'Bone Heads', and other select novelty items for sale.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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