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BROWN & BUJOLD LEAD BULLDOGS TO BEST HOUNDS 5-4

SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO. Ending, by distance, the longest road trip of the season on Saturday night, the Hamilton Bulldogs entered the GFL Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie looking to take a 4th win in 5 games from the trip and carry their momentum to the long ride back home.

Entering the game having stopped 120 of the last 129 shots he’d faced, Matteo Drobac stepped back between the pipes for a back-to-back start and immediately stood up to the test. Early in the opening frame, the Greyhounds, off an offensive zone steal, worked in on a short distance 3-on-1 ending with Bryce McConnell Barker who was robbed by Drobac splitting across his crease. The Bulldogs netminder continued his opening frame mastery, denying Connor Clattenburg on a 2-on-1 allowing the Bulldogs the opportunity to get their offense running. The time given by their goaltender paid off at 14:36 as Cedricson Okitundu’s point shot hit the end boards where Marek Vanacker battled it back to the front of Samuel Ivanov’s goal, pushing the puck to Cole Brown for a backhand chip past Ivanov, recording his 9th of the season and giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead, the visitors held to the first intermission.

The game tempo dialed way up in the middle frame, at 3:42, Brenden Sirizzotti rifled a shot from the left circle for his 13th of the season to tie the game 1-1. Just over a minute later, at 4:56, Adrian Rebelo sprang Florian Xhekaj on a 2-on-1 with Ben Bujold where Xhekaj tossed the puck right, deflecting off the stick of a diving Jordan D’Intino with Bujold collecting the oscillating puck and slamming it past Ivanov for his 3rd goal of the season and 1st as a Bulldog putting Hamilton up 2-1. After Matteo Drobac made another massive stop, a split save on a Kalvyn Watson where Drobac anchored himself along the goal line to keep the puck out, the Bulldogs extended the lead. At 16:16, Sahil Panwar, from the right corner, and Patrick Thomas, behind the Greyhounds goal, played a bit of catch, allowing Nick Lardis to free up in the slot where Panwar found the Dogs’ sniper to snap home his 19th of the season and put the Bulldogs ahead 3-1. With the game 4-on-4 after Jorian Donovan showed his pugilistic prowess against Connor Clattenburg, the Greyhounds got on the comeback trail. Just 45-seconds apart, Bryce McConnell-Barker recorded his 24th of the year at 18:04 followed by Brenden Sirizzotti converting a 2-on-1 at 18:49 to knot the game 3-3, where the score line stood through 40 minutes.

While the Bulldogs found themselves with an opportunity on the power-play to re-take the lead just after the midway point of the third period, it was the Greyhounds taking advantage as Jordan D’Intino whipped the puck to the front of the Hamilton net where Alex Kostov tapped the puck in for the shorthanded goal at 12:01 putting the hosts up 4-3. As time ticked away, Ben Bujold stole a pass through neutral ice, breaking 2-on-1 with Cole Brown. With Bujold setting Brown perfectly down the slot, Brown turned to his backhand, tucking the puck around Ivanov to tie the game 4-4 at 17:52, on Brown’s 10th of the season and 2nd of the night. After 60-minutes solved nothing the game went to overtime. After the Bulldogs killed off penalties to open and close overtime, Cole Brown and Nick Lardis each converted in the shootout while Matteo Drobac stopped Brenden Sirizotti and Kalvyn Watson back-to-back to earn the Bulldogs 4th win out of 5 on the road trip with a 5-4 final over the Greyhounds.

The Hamilton Bulldogs return home to host the Flint Firebirds for the first time since the 2019-20 season on Thursday, January 26th at FirstOntario Centre with a 7:00pm puck drop.

For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs 2022-23 Flex packages or single game tickets call 905-529-8500 or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com

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