The Hamilton Bulldogs have two games ahead of them this weekend, facing off against the Niagara IceDogs on the road on Thursday night and the Sarnia Sting at home on Saturday afternoon. Going into the weekend, Hamilton sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 17-19-2-0 record.
Hamilton vs. Niagara – Thursday, January 9th at Meridian Centre
Hamilton will be looking to stay hot this weekend, starting with Niagara on Thursday night after beating them 8-2 on Sunday afternoon. Niagara sits just one point behind Hamilton in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 15-16-4-1, but the IceDogs have only won two of their last five, and they have allowed 22 goals in their last three games. They will be looking to get back on track defensively this weekend; meanwhile, Hamilton is coming off two straight wins and an eight-goal performance and will be looking to stay in the win column.
Hamilton and Niagara have played each other three times already this season, with Niagara taking two of the three matchups by close margins.
Hamilton has only visited Niagara once this season, dropping the contest 5-3. Hamilton rookie Ryan Winterton showcased his skills in that game, potting two of three goals for the Bulldogs.
Niagara’s Ivan Lodnia put on a show in their game at the FirstOntario Centre this season, getting in on all five goals in a 5-4 victory for the IceDogs.
As noted, the Bulldogs took the last game on Sunday, as Captain Isaac Nurse scored a hat trick in only his ninth game this season to lead the Bulldogs to a commanding 8-2 victory at home.
Players to Watch
NIA – Ivan Lodnia: Lodnia had an incredible week to kick off the new decade. In Niagara’s four games between December 30th and January 5th, Lodnia had three goals and 11 points, earning himself a spot on the CHL Team of the Week. Barring a potential trade, Lodnia will have a big impact on the outcome of the game on Thursday night.
HAM – Isaac Nurse: As stated previously, Nurse is coming off a hat trick against Niagara in Sunday afternoon’s game. Nurse missed the majority of the first half of the season with an injury, but since returning to the lineup on December 28, the Hamilton captain has registered seven points in five games.
Sarnia @ Hamilton – Saturday, January 11 at FirstOntario Centre
After facing the IceDogs, the last place seed in the Western Conference will visit the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. The Sarnia Sting have lost eight games in a row, not finding the win column since December 14. Hamilton is seeking to continue their recent success since returning from the Christmas break.
Hamilton visited Sarnia on September 20 for their season opener and pulled out the 4-3 win in a back-and-forth game. Arthur Kaliyev had a strong three-point performance to open his season and lead the Bulldogs to a win.
Players to Watch
SAR – Sean Josling: Josling leads the Sting in points, with 27 goals and 59 points in just 39 games. Since the Christmas break, he has put up five points in six games.
HAM – Arthur Kaliyev: As stated previously, Kaliyev put up three points in Hamilton’s season opener against the Sting and has played a huge role on this team all season. He currently sits fourth in the OHL and first on the Bulldogs with 62 points in 33 games. Kaliyev is returning to the Bulldogs’ lineup following a strong performance at the World Junior Championships for Team USA, tallying four goals and six points in five games.