'Dogs clipped by Amerks
HAMILTON, ON - The Hamilton Bulldogs returned to action at Copps Coliseum for their first time since February 23rd, and dropped a 4-3 decision to their North Division rival, the Rochester Americans. Special teams proved to be the difference as Rochester, who tallied twice on the power play, tied Hamilton in the standings at 81 points apiece. With the loss, Hamilton's record drops to 37-24-3-4 on the season.
Rochester got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead when Stefan Meyer deposited the puck into an empty net 1:57 into the contest. Mark Mancari assisted on Meyer's 12th goal of the season.
The Bulldogs bounced back to take a 2-1 lead in a span of 1:28 with a pair of goals just 3:06 later. Matt D'Agostini blasted a slap shot from the top of the right circle over Rochester goaltender Adam Dennis' shoulder to tie the game at 1-1 at the 5:03 mark. Cory Urquhart assisted on D'Agostini's 20th goal of the campaign. Then Jonathan Ferland scored a rebound goal from the crease to give the 'Dogs a 2-1 lead just 6:31 into the opening frame. Eric Manlow redirected Jean-Philippe Cote's left point shot before Ferland picked up the loose puck and potted his 19th marker of the season.
Rochester reclaimed the lead with a pair of power-play goals. The game was tied 2-2 on the power play when Hamilton goaltender Philippe Sauve lost sight of a rebound and Patrick Kaleta tapped in his fourth goal of the season at 8:11 into the middle stanza. Marek Zagrapan then tipped a shot home on the power play at 17:35 of the frame to give the Amerks a 3-2 lead.
Hamilton tied the game 3-3 when Francis Lemieux snapped a shot into the back of the net with only 4:07 left in the third period. Andrei Benoit and Sauve registered helpers on Lemieux's tying-goal.
The Amerks then sealed the victory with just 1:52 left in regulation play. Dylan Hunter scored the game-winner on a rebound after Sauve stopped Greg Jacina's shot from the low right side.
Between the pipes, 'Dogs goaltender Sauve made 24 saves on 28 shots and suffered the loss, while the Amerks' Dennis turned aside 25 of 28 shots in the win.
The Bulldogs were 0-for-6 on the power play while the Americans went 2-for-5 with the extra-man.
Hamilton returns to action on Friday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Albany River Rats at Copps Coliseum. Tickets for all 'Dogs home games 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 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.
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