Petti’s hat trick gives Bull­dogs 6th straight win

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

The win streak keeps on grow­ing.

Niki Petti scored three times, in­clud­ing twice in a mas­sive third pe­riod, to lift the Hamil­ton Bull­dogs over the host Bar­rie Colts on Thurs­day. The 8-3 win was the club’s sixth straight, and the hat trick Petti’s first in a five-year OHL ca­reer.

The Colts got into penalty trou­ble early, giv­ing the Bull­dogs three power play op­por­tu­ni­ties in the open­ing eight min­utes. The visi­tors cap­i­tal­ized on two of them.

Petti struck first, shov­el­ling the puck past Chris­tian Propp in a scram­ble to give the Bull­dogs the lead. Con­nor Roberts dou­bled it when he tipped a Cole Can­della point shot be­hind the rookie goal­tender just a few shifts later.

Cur­tis Dou­glas re­sponded for Bar­rie be­fore the end of the frame, pick­ing up a loose puck out front and pop­ping it past Daw­son Carty. Hamil­ton quickly re­gained its twogoal ad­van­tage, though, with Will Bit­ten find­ing Michael Cra­marossa on a 2-on-1 a few min­utes into the sec­ond.

For the rest of the pe­riod it was all Bar­rie, with Zachary Mag­wood and Luca Chiodo both tal­ly­ing to level the score. Then, in the third, it was all Hamil­ton.

Petti scored his sec­ond of the game less than four min­utes in, and later tacked on an­other for good mea­sure. Matthew Strome, Mar­ian Stu­denic and Jack Han­ley also scored, while Carty shut down the Colts at the op­po­site end. He had 25 saves in his sixth straight win.

Thurs­day’s game was the last of four reg­u­lar sea­son meet­ings be­tween the teams. Af­ter los­ing the first matchup in Bar­rie, the Bull­dogs re­bounded with back-to-backto-back wins to take the series.

Hamil­ton went into Bar­rie dead­locked with the Kingston Fron­te­nacs in fourth place in the Eastern Con­fer­ence stand­ings. The Colts, mean­while, had lost all but two of their last 10 games and were deep in the OHL base­ment.

The Bull­dogs con­tinue their three-game road trip in Ot­tawa on Satur­day and Kingston on Sun­day. With a cou­ple more wins this week­end and a lit­tle bit of luck, they could clinch a play­off spot for the first time in six years. The last time the Bull­dogs made the post-sea­son was 2011, when they were still Mon­treal’s mi­nor league AHL af­fil­i­ate. NOTES: Bull­dogs de­fence­man Reilly Webb made his sea­son de­but Thurs­day. The 17-year-old from Stoney Creek has been side­lined since train­ing camp, when he sep­a­rated his shoul­der — an in­jury that re­quired surgery.

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