The Hamilton Bulldogs return to action on January 9th as they look to follow-up a four-point weekend which saw the team take a 3-1 win over the Kingston Frontenacs before an eight-goal offensive outburst on Sunday to down the Niagara Ice Dogs 8-2. Thursday, January 9th will see the Bulldogs travel to the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines for a rematch with the Ice Dogs, as well as Round 4 of the K9 Cup, before hosting the Sarnia Sting on Saturday, January 11th in a cross-conference battle.
Entering the weekend the Hamilton Bulldogs sit 5th place in the OHL’s Eastern Conference with a 17-19-2-0 record for 36 points through 38 games and have held at .500 across the last 10 games at 5-5-0-0. Niagara enters the weekend tied with the Barrie Colts for 6th in the Eastern Conference with a 15-16-4-1 record for 35 points in 36 and posting a 5-4-1-0 mark across their last 10. Sarnia will enter the weekend with a 15-20-4-0 record for 34 points in 39 games and sit in 10th place in the OHL’s Western Conference and have seen struggles recently going 2-4-4-0 over their last 10 with 8 straight losses to fall to the back of the Western pack once again.
Coming into the game on January 5th, the Hamilton Bulldogs had fallen twice to the Niagara Ice Dogs in the 2019-20 version of the K9 Cup series but that was all turned around in one afternoon with the Bulldogs putting up an 8-2 victory led by Isaac Nurse who immediately took the Bulldogs lead in goal scoring in the head to head series with his 3-0-3 line in the game. George Diaco has led the way for Bulldogs players in the season series with Niagara posting a 1-3-4 line tying Jan Jenik’s 1-3-4 while Kade Landry, 0-3-3, Navrin Mutter, 1-2-3, Cameron Supryka, 0-3-3, Liam Van Loon, 0-3-3 & Tag Bertuzzi, 2-1-3, have all joined Isaac Nurse with 3 points in the series. Niagara has seen their efforts led in the three previous matchups by Ivan Lodnia, 3-4-7, & Akil Thomas, 4-3-7, with 7 points each with Oliver Castleman close behind at 2-2-4.
The Bulldogs & Sarnia Sting square off for the first time since their season opening clash on September 20th, an exciting game which saw the Bulldogs pull of a 4-3 victory. Hamilton was led in the game by Arthur Kaliyev who posted a 1-2-3 line in a game which also saw both Ryan Winterton & Lawson Sherk record their first Ontario Hockey League goals. Sarnia saw 1-1-2 efforts from each of Brayden Guy, Joseph Mack & Samuel Bitten. Zachary Roy made 28 saves in the opening night victory for the Bulldogs.
Coming into the weekend, Arthur Kaliyev sits at 113 goals scored in the OHL, just 2 behind Matt Strome’s team record of 115. Hamilton Bulldogs captain Isaac Nurse will play in his 200th OHL game on Thursday night in Niagara while center Bradey Johnson will continue to close in on his 200th OHL game, coming into the weekend with 195 games played.