Playoff hockey returned to Hamilton Tuesday night, but it wasn’t the outcome the home fans were hoping for as the Kingston Frontenacs rode a hot third period to a 4-2 win over the Bulldogs.
Hamilton still leads the OHL Eastern Conference Quarter Final series 2-1.
The Bulldogs got on the board first as Michael Cramarossa (1) jumped on a loose puck on the edge of the crease to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead at the 9:17 mark of the 1st period. Marian Studenic started the rush and picked up the only assist on the play. Kingston would answer back with a goal late to tie the game 1-1 at 18:26.
The two teams played a tentative 2nd period but Niki Petti (3) fired a wrister past Jeremy Helvig at 4:04 to give Hamilton a 2-1 lead. Connor Walters picked up the only assist. Petti seems to have Helvig’s number in the series as all three of his goals have come thanks to that wicked wrist shot.
The Bulldogs have been good at protecting third period leads in the series, but the line of Nathan Dunkley, Brett Nuemann and Cody Caron took over in Game 3. Neumann tied the game 2-2 at 9:46, Dunkley scored the game winner at 13:25 and then iced the win with an empty netter to make the final 4-2.
The Kingston goal scorers were Nathan Billitier (1), Brett Neumann (1) and Nathan Dunkley (2, 3).
Dunkley, with two goals and an assist, was the named the 1st star. Niki Petti scored his third goal of the series to grab 2nd star honours. Brett Neumann had a goal and an assist, and was named 3rd star.
The Bulldogs out-shot the Frontenacs 31-30.
Hamilton’s penalty killers had another good night as Kingston went 0-4 on the power-play, including 0-3 in the 1st period. They are now 1-12 in the series. The Bulldogs were 0-3 on the power-play.
Game 4 goes Thursday night at FirstOntario Centre at 7 pm.
To purchase playoff tickets, go to www.hamiltonbulldogs.com or call 905-529-8500.