It looks like it will come down to the final game of the regular season before the Hamilton Bulldogs will know if they get home ice advantage in round one of the playoffs after a 5-3 loss to the Frontenacs in Kingston Friday night.
The playoff preview saw Kingston get the two points to move to within one of the 4th place Bulldogs. Hamilton has one game left in their regular season while the Frontenacs have two remaining.
Kingston got off to a quick start taking a 1-0 lead at 3:22 of the first period. The Bulldogs then got into penalty trouble and Kingston took advantage scoring twice on the power-play to lead 3-0 after twenty minutes.
Kingston would add to their lead at 6:08 of the second period making it 4-0 before the Bulldogs got on the board. Will Bitten (22) redirected a Jack Hanley point shot into the net at 7:39 to cut the lead to 4-1. Michael Cramarossa picked up the second assist on the play. Kingston would strike again to make it 5-1 before Will Bitten (23) scored on the power-play with 6 seconds remaining in the period to pull Hamilton to within three going into the intermission. Justin Lemcke and Cole Candella set up Bitten’s power-play marker.
The Bulldogs power-play went to work again early in the 3rd, this time with Matt Luff (24) blasting one past the goaltender :28 seconds in to cut the deficit to 5-3. Ben Gleason and Matthew Strome picked up the helpers. The Bulldogs kept up the pressure, including during a late power-play, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Linus Nyman (24), Stephen Desrocher (11), Ted Nichol (16, 17), and Jason Robertson (40) were the goal scorers for the Frontenacs.
Hamilton’s season record drops to 32-27-4-4 while they are now 16-15-1-1 on the road.
Kingston forward Ted Nichol had two goals and an assist and was named 1st star. Eemeli Rasanen had two assists, good for 2nd star honours while Bulldogs forward Will Bitten was named 3rd star thanks to his two goal performance.
The Bulldogs’ are off Saturday and wrap up their regular season schedule Sunday afternoon when they visit the Ottawa 67’s at 2 pm.
Dates for Hamilton’s first round playoff series with the Frontenacs have not yet been announced, but keep checking www.hamiltonbulldogs.com for the latest.