The Hamilton Bulldogs lost their fifth straight to the Oshawa Generals Saturday night and then snapped the streak with a shootout win against Kingston Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs came out of the gates on Saturday eager for a win after losing four straight to follow their season-opening win in Sarnia. The Bulldogs took two penalties early on, giving the Generals the early advantage. Oshawa capitalized on the powerplay, as Ty Tullio beat Bulldogs’ rookie goaltender Marco Costantini for his fourth of the season. Just under five minutes later, Bulldogs’ forward Logan Morrison fired his first of the season past Oshawa goalie Zachary Paputsakis on the powerplay to even the score at one. Before the end of the first, Arthur Kaliyev potted his fourth of the season on the powerplay on a cross-ice pass from Jan Jenik, giving the Bulldogs the 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
The second period got off to a slow start. Just over seven minutes into the frame, Bulldogs’ defenseman Kade Landry took a hooking penalty when backchecking on an Oshawa breakaway. Oshawa was unable to capitalize on their advantage, but they were still able to get one before the end of the period. Serron Noel’s shot deflected off Bulldogs’ defenseman Michael Renwick’s stick and went up and over Costantini, good for Noel’s first of the season to tie the game at two.
The third period saw a flurry of goals, starting just over a minute into the frame. Hamilton rookie Ryan Winterton slid the puck into the open net off a pass from Landry, good for Winterton’s second of the year and restoring Hamilton’s one-goal lead. Oshawa’s comeback began just under three minutes later. Tye McSorley beat Costantini on a rebound for his first of the year, tying the game once again. Two and a half minutes later came another first, as Oshawa’s William Ennis fired one over the right shoulder of Costantini to give the Generals the 4-3 lead. At the 12:48 mark, Tullio got his second of the night on a cross-ice pass from Noel to extend the Generals’ lead. The final goal of the night came at the 16:06 mark as Danil Antropov walked in and sniped one over the blocker of Costantini, making it 6-3 for the Generals. The Generals have six straight wins to open their season.
“It obviously isn’t easy losing that many times in a row,” said Hamilton’s Morrison when speaking on their current losing streak. “I think we just got to stick to our game plan. We’re a young team so if we just stick to what the coaches are telling us then I think we can snap it and go on a bit of a run here.”
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, as the Bulldogs are looking to escape the drought. The Bulldogs started the game on a high note, putting the puck in the net just under seven minutes into the game. Kaliyev took a shot that deflected off the left pad of Kingston goalie Brendan Bonello and onto the stick of Jenik. Jenik was rewarded for being in the right place at the right time, as he fired home his third of the season. Kingston answered at the 15:25 mark, as Zayde Wisdom put his second of the year past Bulldogs goalie Zach Roy.
Just under five minutes into the second, Jakob Brahaney found Wisdom in front of the Hamilton net and Wisdom buried his second of the game to put the Frontenacs ahead, 2-1. Hamilton was unable to find the back of the net in the second despite outshooting Kingston 11-8 in the frame.
Late in the third, Kingston’s Brahaney took a cross-checking penalty, sending Hamilton to the powerplay. Tag Bertuzzi took advantage, dancing around the Kingston defense and burying his second of the season on an incredible individual effort to tie the game at two and send the game to overtime.
Roy came up big in the overtime period, stopping Billy Constantinou on a breakaway and pushing the game to a shootout. Bertuzzi would once again be the hero, scoring the lone shootout goal for the Bulldogs while Roy stopped all three Kingston shooters and elevated the Bulldogs to their first win since their season opener.
“Everyone contributed in that win, we all played well as a team,” said Bertuzzi when asked about his game-winner in the shootout just one day after leaving Saturday’s game with a facial injury. “It’s nice to be able to help your teammates like that and it’s good for us to get that win under our belt.”
The Bulldogs are back in action Friday night facing the Erie Otters at the Erie Insurance Arena.