The Toronto Marlies and the Hamilton Bulldogs split a home and home series over the weekend as each team won on home ice in the fourth and fifth meetings of season in the Battle of Ontario.
The home and home series started on Friday night at Copps Coliseum with a 6-3 Bulldogs win in front of 8034 fans, it wasn’t an easy win for the Bulldogs as they were out-shot 21-18 after two periods but the Bulldogs took control in the third period by limiting the Marlies to just five shots in the third.
“Our main focus tonight was our own end first and that’s were it starts and from there we will get more energy and help with our offence,” Coach Sylvain Lefebvre said.
Joonas Nattinen broke a 3-3 tie with a goal at 10:05 of the period and just .34 seconds later Aaron Palushaj made it 5-3 Dogs. The Bulldogs would later add an empty netter by Brendan Gallagher to seal the win.
Starting in goal for the first time this season was Cedrick Desjardins who came up with some huge saves early.
“The first glove save there on the power play, he was really good tonight in his first game back, he’s part of our team and we know we are going to need him,” Coach Lefebvre said of his goalkeeper.
Less than 24 hrs after the first of the home and series, the two teams shifted to Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto in front a sellout crowd of 7800 for the second of the home and home series on Saturday afternoon and the game was a blow out 6-1 victory by the Marlies. A total of 131 penalty minutes were accumulated between the two teams as the Marlies put the game away early by scoring four times in the first period on their way to an easy Marlies victory.
Robert Mayer faced 25 shots on Saturday afternoon and gave up 6 goals.
The Marlies and Bulldogs have now played each other five times this season and the season is just over a month old, the two teams will be back at it again on Boxing Day as the Marlies host the Bulldogs at the Air Canada Centre for a matinee match-up.