Rampage Charge by Bulldogs 5-2
HAMILTON, Ont. - Drew Shore scored the winning goal on a power play at 2:33 of the third period as the San Antonio Rampage snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday night in the teams' last game before the American Hockey League's Christmas break.
Casey Wellman had one goal and two assists, Greg Rallo contributed one goal and one assist and Jon Rheault and Alex Petrovic also scored for the Rampage, who won for the first time since beating the visiting Oklahoma City Barons 3-2 on December 9th.
Goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris faced 33 shots for the Rampage, who trailed 2-0 before scoring five unanswered goals to improve its record to 11-17-0-3 for 27 points. The win was Grumet-Morris's third of the season and his first since November 4th when he stopped 27 shots in a 2-0 home win over the Barons.
Gabriel Dumont and Mike Blunden scored for the Bulldogs, who lost a fourth consecutive game. Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins made 39 saves before a crowd of 3,936.
The teams came into the third period tied 2-2 when the Rampage capitalized on a goaltender interference call issued to Blunden as Shore took a feed from Jon Sim and beat Desjardins between the legs from the high slot.
Defenceman Petrovic made it 4-2 at 16:23, when his shot from just inside the blue line beat Desjardins, who might have been screened on the play, to the blocker side.
Wellman closed the scoring into an empty net at 18:59. Sim collected his third assist of the game on the play.
The Bulldogs had a number of chances in the third. Michael Bournival was unable to beat Grumet-Morris after he corralled a loose puck in the slot in the fifth minute and the Bulldogs protested to referee Dave Lewis when a quick whistle halted play at 15:55 after a Patrick Holland shot left a loose puck in the deep slot with Brendan Gallagher charging to the net.
With Desjardins on the bench for a sixth attacker, Grumet-Morris survived a furious scramble in his crease in the 18th minute as he fended off Blunden, Gallagher and Louis Leblanc who, seconds later, slipped a backhander from the deep slot by the right post.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring for the seventh time this season at 1:22 of the first period. Leblanc blocked a shot from Colby Robak at the Bulldogs blue line and the puck skittered to Dumont, who brought it into the Rampage zone and beat Grumet-Morris with a shot to the blocker side from the left-wing circle. The goal was Dumont's sixth of the season.
The Rampage, who enjoyed the period's only power play, held a 16-10 edge in shots in the frame, but Desjardins was up to the task. He steered aside a Scott Timmins shot after he pounced on a rebound from Nolan Yonkman's point shot in the fourth minute, found a shot from James Wright through a scramble in the crease in the fifth, foiled Sim in the slot and Rallo at the right post in the 10th and got his right pad on an offering from the right-wing circle by Justin Vaive in the11th.
The Bulldogs tested Grumet-Morris late, but he stopped Blunden at the left post in the 18th minute and Joonas Nattinen at the right post in the final seconds.
Blunden gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead at 5:34 of the second period. Jarred Tinordi pinched in from his spot at the left point and shoveled the puck behind the net where Nattinen fed it to Blunden who beat Grumet-Morris high to the stick side from deep in the right-wing circle. The goal was Blunden's seventh of the season.
Rheault got the visitors on the board at 8:16 after his shot from a sharp angle to Desjardins's right appeared to carom off the right skate of Bulldogs defenceman Cody Wild. The goal was originally credited to Jared Gomes who was engaged in a battle in the crease with Wild.
The Rampage tied the game at 18:48, 17 seconds after Brendon Nash had been sent off for cross checking when Rallo one-timed a pass from Wellman past a sliding Desjardins.
Each team had 11 shots in the second period. Grumet-Morris stoned Blunden in the slot in the seventh minute and found a shot from Fredric St-Denis that hit a body on the way to the net in the eighth.
At the other end, Desjardins stood his ground at the left post on Wright in the 19th minute. The game was held up at 16:15 for a lengthy review of a Robak shot from the left-wing circle that referee Lewis, who worked the game alone, confirmed hit the cross bar.
The Bulldogs scratched Greg Pateryn, Antoine Corbin, Mike Commodore, Aaron Palushaj, Blake Geoffrion and Alexander Avtsin. The Rampage was without Tyler Strachan, Jason DeSantis, Jean-Francois Jacques and Andre Deveaux.
The Bulldogs return from their Christmas break with a visit to the Toronto Marlies at Air Canada Centre at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be telecast nationally on Sportsnet One and TVA Sports.
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