The Hamilton Bulldogs return home with a 2-0 lead in their OHL Eastern Conference Quarter Final Series after a 5-4 win over the Kingston Frontenacs Sunday afternoon at the K-Rock Centre.
After being shut-out 2-0 in Game 1, everyone knew the Frontenacs would come out flying in Game 2 and that is exactly what they did. Kingston opened the scoring with their first goal of the post season at the 7:00 mark of the first period. The Fronts added a power-play goal at 16:01 to take a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Kingston dominated the period out-shooting the Bulldogs 13-5.
The tables turned in a wild 2nd period and it started early as Matt Luff (1) got the Bulldogs off to an excellent start as he blocked a Kingston clear attempt and on a partial break, wired one past the Fronts’ goaltender only :10 seconds into the period to cut the lead to 2-1. Marian Studenic (1) fooled a Frontenacs defenseman with a nifty toe-drag then picked the far corner at 4:24 to tie the game 2-2. Luke Kutkevicius picked up the helper. The Frontenacs would regain the lead at 6:25, but Niki Petti (1) answered back for the Bulldogs at 7:09 with a wicked wrister to even the game up at 3. Matt Strome got the only assist. Connor Roberts (1) would give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 7:57 after his seeing-eye low shot from near the blue-line beat Jeremy Helvig to make it 4-3. Justin Lemcke got the only assist. Niki Petti (2) got his second of the afternoon at 14:29 to make it 5-3. Matthew Strome and Matt Luff assisted on what turned out to be the game winning goal. Kingston would get one back late in the 2nd to make it 5-4 at the end of two periods.
Playing like they did in the first period, Kingston threw everything they had at Dawson Carty, but the Bulldogs goaltender stood tall and stopped all nineteen shots he faced. Highlights for Hamilton in the period were a key penalty kill late and a shot block from Matt Luff in the dying seconds to preserve the 5-4 win.
Stephen Desrocher (1), Linus Nyman (1), Nathan Dunkley (1) and Jason Robertson (1) were the Kingston goal scorers.
Matt Luff was named the 1st star for his goal that started the Bulldogs comeback and his shot block late in the 3rd period. Jason Robertson was the 2nd star after picking up a goal and an assist for the Frontenacs. Hamilton’s Niki Petti scored twice, including the game winner, to get 3rd star honours.
Kingston out-shot Hamilton 39-23.
The Bulldogs power-play was 0-1 while Kingston went 1-3.
With the two-game sweep in Kingston, the Bulldogs return home leading the series 2-0 with the playoffs returning to Hamilton for games 3 and 4 back at FirstOntario Centre. Game 3 goes Tuesday March 28th at 7 pm with Game 4 Thursday March 30th at 7 pm.
To purchase playoff tickets, go to www.hamiltonbulldogs.com or call 905-529-8500.