Bull­dogs break spell against Colts

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - TERI PECOSKIE tpecoskie@thes­pec.com 905-526-3368 | @Te­ri­atTheSpec

The skid is over.

Af­ter rack­ing up three straight losses on a dis­as­trous road trip last weekend, the Hamil­ton Bull­dogs broke the spell at home against the Barrie Colts Fri­day.

Slo­vakian im­port Mar­ian Stu­denic led the way with two goals, in­clud­ing the win­ner, in the 3-2 con­test, while Bran­don Saigeon had a Gordie Howe hat trick — that’s a goal, an as­sist and a fight.

He was also tossed for be­ing the in­sti­ga­tor in his sec­ond-pe­riod bout with Christopher Cameron, and is­sued an au­to­matic onegame sus­pen­sion for re­mov­ing his hel­met to brawl.

The Bull­dogs now have two wins and a loss against the Colts, who came into Hamil­ton on a sixgame los­ing streak and deep in the On­tario Hockey League base­ment. They downed them 4-2 at home the last time around and al­lowed six straight first pe­riod goals in a 6-5 loss in Barrie ear­lier this sea­son.

In those first two games, the Bull­dogs strug­gled to stay out of the box, giv­ing the Colts — who force more penal­ties than any other team in the loop — a collective 16 power-play op­por­tu­ni­ties.

On Fri­day, they did a bet­ter job of stay­ing dis­ci­plined, although they did al­low one goal while short-handed — a sec­ond pe­riod marker by An­thony Ste­fano. The over­age for­ward had both goals in the Colts’ sev­enth straight loss, while goalie Ruan Baden­horst had 30 saves. Daw­son Carty had 12 stops in his 18th win.

Hamil­ton, which scored two of its three goals on the power play, faces the Colts once more this sea­son — Feb. 23 in Barrie.

Fri­day’s game was the first of three in less than 48 hours for the Bull­dogs, who started the weekend in fifth place in the Eastern Con­fer­ence. On Satur­day, they host the ninth-place Ni­a­gara IceDogs be­fore head­ing to Oshawa to take on the Gen­er­als Sun­day.

The IceDogs, who are in throes of a re­build, had lost five straight go­ing into Fri­day’s game against the Peter­bor­ough Petes. The St. Catharines-based club is also win­less in its four pre­vi­ous tilts with Hamil­ton this sea­son. Game time is 7 p.m. Notes: Macken­zie En­twistle was out of the Bull­dogs lineup Fri­day — and he will be for at least a few weeks. The 17-year-old for­ward, who shone in Mon­day’s CHL Top Prospect’s game, has been di­ag­nosed with mononu­cle­o­sis.

CATHIE COW­ARD, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Matt Luff gets taken out at the Barrie Colts blue line dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod ac­tion at FirstOn­tario Cen­tre Fri­day night.

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