The Bulldogs packed up and headed just over the border on the Labour Day Weekend to take part in the OHL Showcase at HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY.
Opposition was provided by the Erie Otters, Flint Firebirds and Windsor Spitfires.
Here are some News and Notes from the Bulldogs three games:
It was a much different looking roster than the one that won the OHL Championship and went on to appear in the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup in Regina just over three months ago. No fewer than eleven rookies put on the Black and Gold jersey in the 3-game tournament. Those rookies included Logan Morrison (C), Avery Hayes (RW), Dylan D’Agostino (LW), Davis Young (C), Liam Van Loon (LW), Tim Fleischer (C), Michael Renwick (D), Frank Jenkins (D), Jake Gravelle (D), DJ King (D) and Zachary Roy (G).
A veteran, a sophomore and a rookie led the Bulldogs offense during the OHL Showcase.
Matthew Strome showed he didn’t lose his scoring touch over the summer by netting three goals and adding one assist in two games. Arthur Kaliyev had a goal and four assists in the three games he played while 1st round draft pick Logan Morrison had a goal and an assist in his first three games in an OHL jersey.
Rookie goalie gets a surprise visit:
Zachary Roy got to wear the Bulldog on his chest for the very first time in game action. What’s more, he squared off with who many consider to be the CHL’s best goaltender.
The 17-year-old Roy made 31 saves in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Windsor Spitfires on Saturday, going head-to-head with 2018 OHL Goaltender of the Year Michael DiPietro. The former Mastercard Memorial Cup champion paid Roy a visit after the game to congratulate him on playing his first OHL contest.
“Yeah I wasn’t expecting that, but it really means a lot,” said Roy with a grin. “I look up to him, I have for a few years now. This is a guy who is probably going to be on the World Junior team and for him to go out of his way to do that says a lot about the kind of guy he is.”
Roy reached the OHL Cup Final with the Toronto Nationals two years ago before spending last season with the Rockland Nationals Jr. A club. The Callander, Ont. native was Hamilton’s fourth round pick in 2017.
“I’m up for a new challenge,” he said of his time through Training Camp with the Bulldogs. “It’s about making the most of an opportunity and it’s a whole different game here than it is in Minor Midget or Junior A. It’s a lot quicker but I’m making the adjustment.”
Matsos excited for new opportunity
With John Gruden joining the NHL’s New York Islanders as an assistant coach, Dave Matsos has taken over the lead job in Hamilton and is enjoying every minute. Formerly a head coach in Sudbury from 2014-17, he’s excited to be back in a head coaching capacity.
“This is a great organization. I’m from Burlington, but my decision to come to Hamilton in the first place had less to do with location and more to do with the franchise and who is running things here,” he said. “Our management team is dialled in and provides us with all the resources to be successful and develop these players.”
The Bulldogs went 0-3 on the weekend, but for Matsos the transition from being OHL Champions mere months ago to turning over a portion of the roster requires opportunities for evaluation.
“This is what Training Camp is,” he noted. “You want to showcase the young guys and give them a chance to play. It’s an exciting time for all these guys getting to wear the Bulldogs uniform for the first time and they’ve worked extremely hard to earn that opportunity.”
For more information on 2018-19 Hamilton Bulldogs seasons tickets and single game tickets go to www.hamiltonbulldogs.com or call 905-529-8500.