The Hamilton Bulldogs overcame a slow start but were rock solid thanks to outstanding goaltending by Robert Mayer as the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-1 in front a capacity crowd at Copps Coliseum on Friday October 19th.
Hamilton was out shot 16-6 in the first period but caught a lucky break with a late first period goal by Louis Leblanc which came at 19:13 maker of the period. The late goal seamed to shift the momentum going into the second period but Toronto had still out shot Hamilton 26-10 by the 26:00 minute mark, as Robert Mayer was on his heals as he stopped some tough shots to keep Toronto off the scoreboard.
“Couple good chances, was happy I could keep the team in the game, and make timely saves and it worked out good” Mayer said.
The second half of the game was all Hamilton as Hamilton out shot Toronto 20-14 and took a 2-0 lead going into the third thanks to 21 year old rookie Patrick Holland who scored his first professional goal at 17:44 of the second period. An early third period power play goal by Aaron Palushaj would give Hamilton a commanding lead, as Toronto would later score their only goal by Jake Gardiner before Hamilton would seal the deal with an empty netter by Leblanc, who scored his second of the game.
By far the star of the night was Mayer, who stopped 39 of 40 shots and made some key stops down the stretch in the third period.
“We started off on a 5-3 shorthanded, it was important not to give up an early goal,” Mayer said as Hamilton killed off an early two man advantage to begin the third period.
Friday night’s game was Mayer’s second start of the year, and he looked every bit a star in the spotlight.
“It’s good, as a goaltender you are always in the spotlight, and I am glad we are 2-0 and being 20 is the most important thing” Mayer added.
The Hamilton Bulldogs and the Toronto Marlies play each other five times during the first month of the season.