REBELO RECORDS FIRST OHL POINT IN LOSS TO FRONTS
HAMILTON, ONTARIO. The Hamilton Bulldogs hit the road once again on Friday night, visiting the Kingston Frontenacs at Leon’s Centre for the first meeting of the East Division rivals of the new season.
A hard battle right from the opening puck drop, Jackson Stewart and Lucas Moore dropped the gloves just seconds in, leading to Moore being penalized for instigating and sending Kingston to an early power-play. Although Matteo Drobac would keep his net clean through the penalty kill, the Fronts did gain an advantage in play. On a 2-on-1 developing shortly after the power-play, Francesco Arcuri & Paul Ludwinski connected on a cross-slot pass but an incredible split save from Drobac denied the talented Kingston attackers. Kingston did manage to crack to Drobac in the opening frame as Maleek McGowan sent Matthew Soto away sneaking a shot over the pad and under the blocker on the Bulldogs netminder giving the home side the 1-0 lead at 7:05. Drobac went on to turn aside 11 of the 12 he faced in the opening 20 but the Bulldogs exited the period looking for an offensive answer.
It didn’t take long into the second period for an answer to come as Hamilton got off to a much better start to the second and the top line struck. At 5:15, Logan Morrison worked the puck over the Kingston line, spreading middle for Ryan Humphrey who quickly turned the puck left for Avery Hayes ripping a shot out of the left circle, bar down over Ivan Zhigalov tying the game 1-1 on Hayes’ 5th of the season. Kingston nosed back ahead on a wacky one as a Quinton Burns point shot rang the goal post but shot straight into the air, landing and sitting in the Bulldogs crease behind Matteo Drobac where Adam Cavallin collected his first in the OHL at 13:51. Hamilton was quick to answer with Lucas Moore showing tremendous hockey sense, firing a pass to Braeden O’Keefe from his own blueline, catching Kingston in a change and sending O’Keefe and Adrian Rebelo in on a 2-on-0. O’Keefe set Rebelo for the initial shot that Zhigalov turned aside, but the rebound fell to the right post for O’Keefe to hammer home for his 1st of the year and Rebelo’s 1st OHL point at 15:42. The game went to the locker room tied after 40 thanks to Drobac & Zhigalov each coming up with showstopping split saves before the period was over, setting the stage for an exciting third.
The Bulldogs got off to a strong start in the third period, earning an early third period power-play but once again Ivan Zhigalov stood up strong for the Fronts, turning aside all 13 shots he would face through the period. As the third frame drew on the difference came down to a pair of turnovers. First at 10:37, a partial fan on a clear attempt in the Hamilton slot fell to Linus Hemstron who opened up Franceso Arcuri for a dart to the top corner giving Kingston a 3-2. That was quickly followed at 11:26 as Owen Outwater stole the puck at his defensive blueline and raced in on a breakaway, going top shelf to give Kingston a 4-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Despite furious pressure down the stretch the Bulldogs couldn’t climb any closer dropping a 4-2 decision.
The Hamilton Bulldogs return home for a Sunday, October 16th matinee, hosting the London Knights for the first time since 2019 with a 2:00pm puck drop at FirstOntario Centre.
For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs 2022-23 Season Ticket packages call 905-529-8500 or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com