The Hamilton Bulldogs finished the regular season Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 win in Ottawa over the 67’s.
Despite the two points, the Bulldogs will finish in 5th place in the Eastern Conference standings, one point back of the 4th place Kingston Frontenacs, their first round opponent.
Not a great start for Hamilton as Ottawa took a 1-0 lead at the 1:09 mark of the 1st period. That would be the only scoring of the first period as Hamilton out-shot the 67’s 9-4.
The Bulldogs controlled much of the 2nd period and even had a few excellent chances including breakaways from Will Bitten and Matt Luff. The best chance came after Matthew Strome was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked from behind on a breakaway, but he couldn’t beat 67’s goaltender Leo Lazarev. The second period ended 1-0 Ottawa.
The Bulldogs started their comeback when Cole Candella (3) fired a blast from the point at 4:36 of the 3rd period that found the back of the net on the glove side. Brandon Saigeon and Michael Cramarossa got the assists on the play. Michael Cramarossa (21) jumped on a loose puck and jammed it home to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead at 15:07. Will Bitten and Jack Hanley assisted on what turned out to be the game winner. Matt Luff (25) added some insurance at 18:42 to make the final 3-1. Matthew Strome and Niki Petti set up Luff’s goal.
Hamilton out-shot Ottawa 29-13.
Austen Keating (22) was the only Ottawa goal scorer.
Micahel Cramarossa potted a goal and an assist to earn 1st star honours. Bulldogs forward Marrian Studenic was the 2nd star of the game. Ottawa’s goal scorer Austin Keating was named 3rd star.
With this victory over the 67’s, the Bulldogs regular season record finishes 33-27-4-4 while on the road they went 17-15-1-1.
Here is the Bulldogs 1st Round Playoff Schedule:
Game 1: Friday March 24th in Kingston 7 pm
Game 2: Sunday March 26th in Kingston 2 pm
Game 3: Tuesday March 28th in Hamilton 7 pm
Game 4: Thursday March 30th in Hamilton 7 pm
Game 5: Friday March 31st in Kingston 7 pm
Game 6: Sunday April 2nd in Hamilton 2 pm
Game 7: Tuesday April 4th in Kingston 7 pm
To purchase playoff tickets, go to www.hamiltonbulldogs.com or call 905-529-8500.