The Hamilton Bulldogs return to action on January 31ST as they look to follow-up on a tremendous comeback that saw the team gain a point in an 8-7 overtime loss in Barrie before gaining the team’s biggest win of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Peterborough Petes. Friday, January 31st will see the Bulldogs host the OHL’s best, Ottawa 67s as the Dogs try to best their Eastern rivals for the first time this season. Round 5 of the K9 Cup against the Niagara IceDogs follows on Saturday, February 1st at FirstOntatio Centre before the Bulldogs travel to Oshawa on “Super Sunday”, February 2nd, taking on the Generals.
Entering the weekend the Hamilton Bulldogs sit 6th place in the OHL’s Eastern Conference with a 19-21-4-1 record for 43 points through 45 games and have bettered .500 across the last 10 games at 4-3-2-1, recording at least a point in 7 of the 10 games. Ottawa enter the weekend as the “beasts of the East” holding a 36-7-0-0 record through 43 games on the season, totalling 72 points. The 67’s have won 6 in a row and are 9-1-0-0 through their last 10 games overall. Niagara enters the weekend in the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 17-23-4-1 record for 39 points in 45 and posting a 2-8-0-0 mark across their last 10. Oshawa will enter the weekend with a 23-16-4-2 record for 52 points in 45 games and sit in 4th place in the Eastern Conference and have seen some recent ups & downs but remain above .500 across their last 10 at 5-4-1-0.
The Bulldogs have played the 67’s tough so far on the season but in three previous matchups have just a single point to show for their efforts, an overtime loss in October. The combination of Marco Rossi, 0-9-9, Noel Hoefenmayer, 4-4-8, Jack Quinn, 4-2-6, and Mitchell Hoelscher, 3-3-6 have led the way in scoring in the season series for the 67’s. Arthur Kaliyev, 2-2-4, has led the way for Bulldogs in the meetings between the sides, while Logan Morrison, 0-3-3, and Nathan Staios 1-2-3, follow closely behind.
Hamilton has taken the last two rounds of the 2019-20 edition of the K9 Cup in dominant fashion, outscoring the Niagara IceDogs by a combined 15-3 over the last two meetings to even the series at 2-2 with the 5th meeting coming on Saturday. Ivan Lodnia, 3-5-8, and Oliver Castleman, 2-3-5, lead all scorers for the IceDogs in the season series while the Bulldogs have 8 players currently sitting 4 points more in head to head matchups, led by Tag Bertuzzi, 4-2-6, & Arthur Kaliyev, 1-5-6, and followed closely by Logan Morrison, 3-2-5, & Cameron Supryka, 0-5-5, the Bulldogs have seen well distributed scoring against Niagara.
It’s been since October 27th for the Bulldogs & Oshawa Generals to renew acquaintances when the two teams split a home and home weekend series. The Bulldogs sit 1-2-0-0 against Oshawa on the year with each of those last two meetings being 3-2 finals. Oshawa has been led in scoring in the season series by the trio of William Ennis, 2-2-4, Allan McShane, 0-4-4, & Ty Tullio, 3-0-3 while the Bulldogs have countered through their trio of Arthur Kaliyev, 2-3-5, Logan Morrison, 3-1-4, & Kade Landry, 0-3-3.
Coming into the weekend, Arthur Kaliyev sits at 114 goals scored in the OHL, just 1 behind Matt Strome’s team record of 115.