Bulldogs Survive Pesky IceDogs' Effort to Win QEW Rivalry Matchup

February 3, 2023 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Niagara IceDogs News Release

HAMILTON, ON - The IceDogs strong goal output was not enough to hold off the Bulldogs in the QEW Rivalry on a cold February Friday Night.

Starting Goaltenders: Charlie Burns (NIAG), David Egorov (HAM)

1st Period

The IceDogs would get an early chance less than a minute into the contest thanks to a 4-minute double minor by Cole Brown for high sticking. Andrew LeBlanc would be able to pot in the loose puck off a Daniel Michaud shot and give the IceDogs an early lead with the man advantage.

Kevin He would be able to pick up a loose puck in the neutral zone, used his speed to make it a breakaway, went in on the net, and put a puck past David Egorov to extend the IceDogs lead late in the first period. The rookie is now up to 13 goals on the season.

Rookie goalie Charlie Burns was sharp when called upon, stopping all 17 Hamilton shots in the opening period. Niagara would take a 2-0 lead into the break.

2nd Period

Andrew LeBlanc would go to the penalty box giving Hamilton an early-period powerplay and they would take advantage as Sahil Panwar would fire a puck past Burns to get the home team on the board.

Florian Xhekaj (who was at Niagara's training camp in 2021-22 but went unsigned) would receive the pass cutting into the zone and wristed one past the blocker side of Burns to tie the game up just before the midperiod break.

Juan Copeland and Zak Lavoie would go in on a two-on-one, and Copeland would find Lavoie for the perfect redirection play to answer right back for the IceDogs and his team-leading 17th of the season.

3rd Period

A turnover at the blue line as the teams got back to full strength resulted in a 2on0 for the Bulldogs' Donovan and Sherk, who would finish off the passing play to take the lead.

A scramble in front of Burns would result in a wrap-around attempt by Nick Lardis that squeaked by the IceDogs goaltender and was tapped in by Patrick Thomas to extend the Bulldogs lead.

IceDogs would go in on a 2-on-1 and a Zak Lavoie shot trickled through the goaltender's shoulder and Declan Waddick was there to sweep in the rebound, cutting it to a one-goal game with under ten minutes remaining in regulation.

The IceDogs fought valiantly to tie the game with the empty net but were not able to put one past Egorov. Hamilton wins it 5-4, shots 41-36 in favour of the home team. Charlie Burns made 36 saves in the loss.

Niagara will finish the week tomorrow at home versus the Kitchener Rangers who make their only visit to Niagara as a cross-conference opponent.

Three Stars

HAM Nick Lardis (1 goal, 1 assist)

NIAG Zak Lavoie (1 goal, 1 assist)

HAM Sahil Panwar (1 goal, 1 assist)

Goal Scorers

First Period

NIAG Andrew LeBlanc (9) A: D. Michaud, A. Assadourian PP 0:56

NIAG Kevin He (13) A: D. Jesus 16:55

Second Period

HAM S. Panwar (16) A: J. Donovan, L. Sherk PP 1:14

HAM F. Xhekaj (8) A: A. Rebelo 10:56

NIAG Z. Lavoie (17) A: J. Copeland 12:12

HAM N. Lardis (22)

Third Period

HAM J. Donovan (11) A: L. Sherk 6:45

HAM Patrick Thomas (15) A: S. Panwar, N. Lardis 8:45

NIAG Declan Waddick (16) A: Z. Lavoie, N. Ribau 11:41

• Discuss this story on the Ontario Hockey League message board...

Ontario Hockey League Stories from February 3, 2023

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.

Other Recent Niagara IceDogs Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central