HAMILTON, ONTARIO. It was a tightly contested, tightly checked and very entertaining hockey game that saw both Zachary Roy & Christian Propp have their moments in goal to shine but the Bulldogs would get two late goals including the game winner from Bradey Johnson & an empty netter from Isaac Nurse to secure a 3-1 victory and a key pair of points in an Eastern Conference battle.
The first period of Hamilton Bulldogs hockey in 2020 was scoreless but certainly not without effort as Zachary Roy stopped all 7 he faced while Christian Propp was steady to the task of the 11 shots thrown his way in the opening frame. The best opportunity of the first period would go the way of the Bulldogs with both Braden Hache & Dawson Baker seated in the penalty box, Hamilton had 35 seconds of 5-on-3 time but despite some great work, specifically from Nathan Staios to keep the attack in the zone, Christian Propp would hold the door shut. Both teams would head to the first intermission scoreless and looking to capture momentum moving forward.
The second period would see the teams trade goals in another tightly contested 20 minutes of highly entertaining hockey. At 3:34 of the period, Jordan Frasca would pressure the puck loose in neutral ice from the Bulldogs defense and carry in on Zachary Roy, faking forehand and moving to his backhand, Frasca would score his 10th of the season giving the Frontenacs a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs would fight back and respond in a 4-on-4 situation as Jake Gravelle would loop around the left side of the offensive zone, feeding Logan Morrison at the bottom of the right wing circle, with Christian Propp exploding off his line to confront Morrison he would look off the Frontenacs goaltender and find Avery Hayes all by his lonesome on the backside with an open net, Hayes would deposit his 15th of the season to tie the game 1-1 at 14:49. The game would remain tied with the Bulldogs holding a 22-15 edge in shots on goal through 40 minutes.
The third period was another tight checking back and forth before the Bulldogs were able to pull away late. With Liam Van Loon crossing into the Kingston zone and leaving the puck off for Isaac Nurse, the captain would drive the goal but be checked by a Frontenacs defender, however on his way to the ice Nurse would set the puck for Bradey Johnson who in a tight window would wrap the puck around the left side of the goal and past Propp to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 edge at 18:02. Just 20 seconds later, following both teams having taken their timeouts and with the Kingston net empty, the puck would be played across the Bulldogs zone only to be found by a turning Isaac Nurse who would roll the puck 190 feet from the right wing boards all the way to the Kingston goal to give the Bulldogs the 3-1 lead at 18:22, Nurse’s second point of the game. The Bulldogs wouldn’t be threatened the rest of the way as Zachary Roy would make 19 saves in a 3-1 Hamilton victory.
The Hamilton Bulldogs will return to action and finish their back to back weekend with a visit from the Niagara Ice Dogs on Sunday, January 5th at 2:00pm.