BULLDOGS CLOSE 2022 WITH 5-3 WIN IN MISSISSAUGA
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO. In the final game of a historic 2022 for the Hamilton Bulldogs, the team headed to Mississauga for the 6th and final meeting between the two clubs on the season.
The opening frame was owned by the goaltenders, Tristan Malboeuf for Hamilton and Ryerson Leenders for Mississauga. While Hamilton hit the power-play on three occasions in the opening frame, generating several chances with Leenders denying all of them and Lawson Sherk hitting the post. At the other end of the rink Tristan Malboeuf came up with a tremendous stop on a top of the right circle shot on a Mississauga power-play holding the Steelheads to an 0-for-2 mark. Malboeuf stopped all 14 he faced in the opening frame with Leenders turning aside the 8 that came his way to send the game to the locker room scoreless through 20-minutes.
The offenses broke through early in the middle frame, at 7:57, MacGregor Richmond banked a shot off Tristan Malboeuf and over the Hamilton goal-line for his 1st in the OHL to give the Steelheads the 1-0 lead. Hamilton quickly responded, at 8:20 with Patrick Thomas forcing an offensive turnover to Logan Morrison who danced past a pair of defenders and beat Leenders 5-hole tying the game 1-1 on the captain’s 20th of the season. With Tristan Malboeuf making a brilliant stop on a 2-on-1 late in the frame jamming pad to post, the Bulldogs netminder again set his team down the tunnel tied 1-1 with a chance to win the game in the final frame.
It was fireworks in the third period as the Bulldogs opened up the frame at 2:18 with Logan Morrison working the puck on the right half boards to Jorian Donovan who found Gavin White on the left streaking into the circle to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game on his 7th of the season, 2-1. The Steelheads tied the game just 38-seconds later as Kai Schwindt struck on the power-play for his 8th at 2:56 making it 2-2. At 5:43, Logan Morrison, curling out of the left corner found Artem Grushnikov at the left point who lasered a shot past Leenders, back bar and down for his 4th of the season to put the Bulldogs back on top, 3-2. At 8:24 with the Bulldogs on the power-play, Gavin White played the puck to the right side of neutral ice for Logan Morrison, feeding Lawson Sherk who bolted down the middle of the ice and beat Leenders for his 3rd of the season bubbling the Bulldogs lead to 4-2. James Hardie would bat one more for the Steelheads at 16:54 off a net mouth scramble in front of Malboeuf to tighten the game to 4-3. Malboeuf would prove heroic once more, denying both Brice Cooke’s breakaway chance & the MacGregor Richmond follow-up, without his stick, to keep the Bulldogs ahead. Ryan Humphrey finished the scoring at 19:03 as a clearing attempt hit the linesman at the Bulldogs blueline and popped to Avery Hayes who fed Ryan Humphrey hitting the empty net and closing the night at 5-3. The Bulldogs finished 2022 with 40 saves from Tristan Malboeuf and 4-points from Logan Morrison to leap to 6th in the OHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Hamilton Bulldogs return to action for the first time in 2023, on Tuesday, January 3rd hosting the Peterborough Petes at FirstOntario Centre with a 7:00pm puck drop.
For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs Holiday Flex packages or single-game tickets call 905-529-8500 or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com.