PANWAR LEADS BULLDOGS TO A POINT IN 4-3 OT LOSS IN SUDBURY
SUDBURY, ONTARIO. In their final game of the 2022-23 regular season the Hamilton Bulldogs finished their 5-game road trip at the Community Arena in Sudbury taking on the Wolves in a game holding massive playoff implications. A regulation win from the Bulldogs would assure they would finish no lower than 6th in the Eastern Conference.
Matteo Drobac took the pipes for the Bulldogs in the season closing game and immediately stood up for his teammates, stopping 16 total shots in the opening frame with several of the tremendous variety. Drobac’s finest work of the frame came in the same sequence with Quentin Musty attacking off the right side and firing a shot from the middle of the circle that Drobac denied with a lightning quick pad stop, as play continued the Wolves were able to regain possession with David Goyette firing the puck to the slot Kocha Delic who met it with a strong tip only to be denied once again by a brilliant pad save from the Bulldogs netminder. Despite being outshot 16-5 in the opening period, the Bulldogs had their moments of pressure, just prior to the halfway mark, Patrick Thomas battled the puck loose from behind the Wolves goal, flipping it behind Nate Krawchuk for Sahil Panwar in the crease but the puck was batted away before Panwar could jump on it. Shortly following that opportunity Noah Nelson attacking off the left-wing circle dented the goal post behind Krawchuk with the game staying scoreless. The Bulldogs breakthrough came late in the opening period with Hamilton shorthanded, Sahil Panwar knocked down a pass a few feet inside the Bulldogs blueline and sprang Nick Lardis on the breakaway where the gifted sniper beat Krawchuk over his arm to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead at 17:46 on Lardis’ 37th of the year, sending the visitors to the intermission with the lead
The middle frame saw the Wolves take over, recording a pair just 12-seconds apart. First, off a zone entry David Goyette whipped the puck middle to a racing Evan Konyen who was able to get enough of the puck to guide it past Matteo Drobac for his 18th of the season at 1:31. Off the ensuing draw, Chase Coughlin worked the puck to Kocha Delic to strike for his 22nd of the season at 1:43 giving the Wolves a 2-1 lead. Nate Krawchuk was able to handle a series of opportunities aside in the middle frame including a net drive off the left wing from Patrick Thomas and a left circle drive from Florian Xhekaj as part of the 11 saves he made in the middle period. Just after a David Goyette hooking penalty came to a close, the Wolves broke ahead 3-on-2 with Nolan Collins jumping in the play and recording his 8th of the season to give Sudbury a 3-1 lead at 10:45. Off the faceoff from the Collins goal, Dylan Robinson struck Masen Wray with a vicious head check knocking the Bulldogs rookie forward from the game and giving the Bulldogs a 5-minute major power-play, but unable to convert, the game hit the second intermission with the hosts up by a 3-1 score.
The comeback was on in the final frame as the Bulldogs got some magic from their overage star Sahil Panwar. At 15:36 Callum Cheynowski & Cole Brown combined to get the puck to Panwar who skated out to the middle of the line and attacked the slot firing past Krawchuk for his 30th of the season to draw the Bulldogs to within 1 at 3-2. At 18:15, Panwar did it again, as Nick Lardis attacked the right circle, he fired a shot that Panwar deflected past Krawchuk for his 2nd of the game and 31st of the season to tie the game at 3-3 and earn a point in the game for the Bulldogs. Though at 1:28 of overtime Quentin Musty set David Goyette for the game winning goal for a 4-3 Wolves victory.
With the Bulldogs season closed the team will await their first round opponent with dates and times to be determined.
For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs 2023 Playoff tickets call 905-529-8500 or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com.