The Hamilton Bulldogs dream season came to an end Friday night as they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Regina Pats in the semi-final of the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup.
Trailing 2-1 to start the third, the Bulldogs put in a desperate final 20 minutes, outshooting the Pats 22-5 but were unable to bridge the gap.
A physical 1st period saw both clubs fight for space in the early going but Regina put the first dent in the scoreboard to grab a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs pressed in the opening half of the 2nd when Nicolas Mattinen (1) tied the game 1-1. Regina responded just over two minutes later to take a 2-1 lead after 40-minutes.
Despite Hamilton carrying the third period play, the Pats found a way to pull ahead 3-1. The Bulldogs weren’t finished though as Will Bitten (1) responded just 1:13 later, but despite a desperate Hamilton push, the Pats found the empty net to make the final 4-2.
Hamilton (2-2) won three consecutive five-game series in the OHL Playoffs, eliminating Ottawa, Niagara and Kingston to reach the Rogers OHL Championship Series. They proceeded to oust the CHL’s top-ranked Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in six games to hoist the Robertson Cup as OHL Champions in just their third season.
Blueliner Benjamin Gleason led the Bulldogs in tournament scoring with five points (1-4–5) while goalie Kaden Fulcher was among the statistical leaders in goaltending categories, posting a 2.27 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in four games.