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