HAMILTON, ONTARIO. The Hamilton Bulldogs were back home on Friday night opening a 3-game weekend and 5-game home stand against the Barrie Colts.

Just under 6 minutes into the game, an errand pass was scooped up by Barrie’s Evan Vierling who quickly sent the puck to Ethan Cardwell in turn laying it across the slot to Tai York who fired it over the blocker of Matteo Drobac for his 12th goal of the season, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead. With 7:38 remaining in the opening period and Barrie continuing to press, Vierling sped up the boards and tried cutting past the defender but was denied on a short side attempt by Drobac. Shortly afterwards, a defensive zone turnover left Brandt Clarke to walk in 1-on-1 against Drobac who made the first save in spectacular fashion, however Callum Chisholm beat everyone to the rebound and doubled the Colts lead on his 6th at 13:18. Hamilton’s best opportunity of the period came off the stick of Nick Lardis who curled and dragged around a Colts defender and wired a shot on net, which was denied by Ben West. Sahil Panwar received a pass seconds later and snapped it off the outside of the post. With 20 minutes of play in the books the Bulldogs went down the tunnel trailing the Colts 2-0.

Exactly one minute into the second period, Panwar and Vanacker were sprung for a 2-on-1 against Brandt Clarke. As Panwar tried to pass across to Vanacker, Brandt Clarke dove and got his stick on the puck which bounced right back to Panwar who tapped it in before West could slide back, for his 19th of the season, and cutting the deficit in half. The Colts regained the 2-goal lead after a pair of Bulldogs defenseman had pinched into the Colts zone, Evan Vierling picked up a bounce off the boards for a clear breakaway, quickly snapping the puck through the five-hole of Drobac at 5:41 for his 25th of the season. With the Bulldogs on the power-play approaching midway point, Nick Lardis was about to send Florian Xhekaj in alone but had the play whistled down on a very tight offside call. Nick Lardis wouldn’t be denied on his next opportunity though and brought back his patented curl-n-drag release, which bounced off the shoulder of West and behind him for his 28th of the season cutting the deficit to 3-2. With just 1:18 left in the frame, Cole Brown picked up the puck in the neutral zone and gained a stride on Artur Cholach, Beau Akey raced back and dove tripping Brown in the process to which he was awarded a penalty shot. Brown skated in slowly and tried the shot approach against Ben West which was denied. The Colts made the West save pay off with Evan Vierling tucking his 2nd of the game and 3rd point of the night cashing an excellent Ethan Cardwell set up right in front of Drobac at 19:00 to give the Colts a 4-2 lead heading to the second intermission.

Nick Lardis was INCHES away from pure magic to open the final period. Picking up his own rebound behind the net of Ben West, Lardis attempted the “Michigan” goal which caught the bar and soared just wide. Barrie bubbled the lead to three at 3:15 with Evan Vierling picking up a rebound of a Grayson Tiller shot and converting his hat-trick goal and 4th point of the night to give the Colts a 5-2 lead. Cooper Matthews added one more for the Colts at 5:27 to give Barrie a 6-2 lead. Hamilton closed the night on a positive as Ben Bujold sprung Adrian Rebelo into the Colts’ zone, after his initial opportunity was deflected, Rebelo battled his way to the puck banking a shot off West and in for his 4th of the season at 18:16 to end the game 6-3.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Sunday afternoon as they host the Kingston Frontenacs. The puck drops at 2:00pm at the FirstOntario Centre.

For more information on Hamilton Bulldogs 2022-23 Season Ticket packages call 905-529-8500 or visit

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