HAMILTON, ONTARIO. Facing down the beasts of the east on home ice, the Hamilton Bulldogs showed great perseverance, tying the game late and on the back of a brilliant Marco Costantini effort winning the game in a shootout.
The opening 20 minutes gave the Bulldogs almost everything they wanted against the best team in the league. Managing to draw an early period power-play Jan Jenik & Avery Hayes and Tag Bertuzzi would all have close calls around the net and the team would feed off the energy, killing off an Oshawa power-play and seeing Navrin Mutter drive the net with speed off a touch pass from George Diaco and nearly touching the puck past Generals’ goaltender Zachary Paputsakis but the puck rolled just off the end of the power forward’s stick. With just 52 seconds left in the period however, William Ennis would take a Kyle MacLean feed and deflected it behind Marco Costantini to give the Generals a 1-0 lead to take to the locker room.
The Bulldogs would take only 4:19 in the second period to even up the score as Jan Jenik would tip home his 7th goal of the season off an Arthur Kaliyev bullet, giving the Bulldogs top scorer his 12th assist of the season in the process. At that point Marco Costantini would take over, robbing Brett Neumann on a breakaway with a brilliant glove save before taking away a Kyle MacLean one-timer just moments after, finishing the second period with 14 saves, many of which being high quality. The last minute of the period would prove tough for the third youngest team in the league once more though as Daniil Antropov would strike shorthanded from a two-on-one with Allan McShane to give the Generals a one goal lead once again heading to the locker room after 40 minutes.
It was a sprint to the finish for both the Bulldogs and the Generals, each looking to pick up the two points in a divisional battle. Hamilton would lean on Marco Costantini who stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period to keep the belief alive for the Bulldogs, and it would eventually pay off. At 11:54 of the third, Tag Bertuzzi would wander into the Oshawa zone protecting the puck before dishing off to Avery Hayes who would in turn find Kade Landry off a curl and drag, Landry showed great patience in faking the shot before finding Logan Morrison back door for the equalizing goal and setting the scene for overtime.
While the 3-on-3 solved nothing, Costanini again sparkled shutting down Kyle MacLean on a breakaway to save the game. In the shootout Tag Bertuzzi would provide the only goal, while Costantini would deny all three Generals, giving the Bulldogs the 3-2 victory
The Hamilton Bulldogs finish the weekend on the back end of the home and home with the Oshawa Generals tomorrow evening in Oshawa with puck drop at 6:05..
For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs 2019-20 season tickets, flex packs or single game tickets call 905-529-8500 or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com