NORTH BAY, ONTARIO. Coming off a weekend where the Hamilton Bulldogs won back-to-back games over Ottawa & Kingston to open their 5-game road trip, the Bulldogs travelled north starting a 3-in-3 against the Central Division leading North Bay Battalion. The game marked the second meeting with a top-10 ranked team in the CHL in 7 days.
The opening period saw a goaltending duel as Tristan Malboeuf & Dom DiVinventiis went save for save as the Bulldogs & Battalion challenged one another up and down the ice. The best chances for the Bulldogs came on a pair of clear break opportunities, first Patrick Thomas strode clear down the slot, faced down by DiVincentiis who denied the red-hot Bulldogs forward. Moments later, Lawson Sherk freed Cole Brown down the middle of the ice only to have DiVincenttis steal one away from the Hamilton sniper with his glove. For Tristan Malboeuf his finiest of the opening frame came on point blank opportunities denying Josh Bloom & Nikita Tarasevich to keep the game scoreless on the 12 shots he faced through 20 minutes.
Malboeuf & DiVincentiis continued to frustrate their opposition in the middle frame, with Malboeuf turning aside 15 shots in the middle frame despite furious pressure from the North Bay combination of Justin Ertel, Owen Van Steensel & Dalyn Wakely while DiVincentiis’ middle frame was highlighted by a split glove stop on a Sahil Panwar breakaway. The Bulldogs broke through first at 15:48, as Sahil Panwar dug the puck out from the back boards and set Nick Lardis in front of the net, his shot was stopped but Patrick Thomas found the rebound off the skate of a Battalion defender and banked the puck off DiVincentiis from below the goal line for his 13th of the season, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Just 25-seconds later, Nikita Tarasevich found Matvey Petrov open in front of the Bulldogs net to tie the game 1-1 on his 16th of the year, sending the game to the intermission knotted up.
The game found a different gear in the third starting at 3:25 as Matvey Petrov was able to best Tristan Malboeuf for his 2nd of the game to give the Battalion their first lead of the game 2-1. The Bulldogs answered back just short of 5-minutes later, after Cole Brown set Sahil Panwar from the left boards for a shot from the top of the slot, Marek Vanacker collected the rebound and fired it across the crease to Brown who crashed the back post and tapped the puck in the open side for his 7th of the season at 8:10 tying the game 2-2. After the Bulldogs earned an offensive zone faceoff at 10:36, Panwar won the puck back to Patrick Thomas who swung out to the top of the circle and fed the puck to Jorian Donovan at the middle of the line, his shot to the net was tipped by Nick Lardis to record his 18th of the season giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. With the Battalion on the late power-play at 15:59, Kyle Jackson & Kyle McDonald combined to feed Matvey down the middle of the ice to record his hat-trick, tying the game 3-3 and sending it to overtime.
The Bulldogs took the initial draw of the extra frame with Sahil Panwar winning it back to Jorian Donovan. As the Bulldogs worked the puck up the ice, Panwar took a shot that was stopped by DiVincentiis but a mishandle behind the North Bat net led to Nick Lardis gaining possession where he fed Jorian Donovan sneaking into the right circle, firing the shot past DiVincentiis for his 9th of the season, giving the Bulldogs the 4-3 overtime victory just 20-seconds into overtime.
The Hamilton Bulldogs continue their 5-game road trip on Friday, January 20th, visiting the Sudbury Wolves at 7:00pm.
For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs 2022-23 Flex packages or single game tickets call 905-529-8500 or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com