The Hamilton Bulldogs kicked off their 18th professional season in Hamilton with a win against the St. John’s Ice Caps on Friday night in front of a strong crowd of 5193. Expectations are very high this season as the Bulldogs recently signed a new three year lease at Copps Coliseum as well as an announcement of many promotions throughout the season. Before the home opener the Bulldogs held a street party for all fans.
The Bulldog opened the scoring early in the first period on a sensation short handed give and go play by Greg Pateryn at 4:26, the goal was worthy of high light reel status as it brought the fans to their feet early. Not long after the Ice Caps responded less than six minutes later on a power play goal by Andrew Gordon that found its way past Bulldogs goalie Dustin Tokasrki. The shots on goal in the first period were ten even
The second period started just like the first with a goal by Mike Blunden who wired a shot in the top shelf behind Ice Caps goalie Eddie Pasquale who would face fifteen shots in the second period, the second Bulldog lead of the game would last just under four minutes this time as Ben Chiarot would be allowed to walk in and score on Tokarski.
For the third time on the night, the Bulldogs opened the final period of the game with a short hand break away goal by Patrick Holland who give the Bulldogs their final lead of the game, the Holland would be the second goal of the night that was on the penalty kill.
“One on one short handed, you really have nothing to lose so you might as well try and make a play and get a shot on net and it just went under his stick and at that point I know there is not much you can do to be goalie unless it is five hole so I got lucky” Holland said after the game.
The Bulldogs return to the ice Saturday night to face the Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins, game time 7pm at Copps Coliseum.
Game notes: Bulldogs never trailed , the Bulldogs led the shot on goal the entire night until the final minute of the game as Ice Caps finished with a 35-34 shots on goal advantage