The Hamilton Bulldogs started off their 2013-14 season with a 3-2 with over the St. John’s Ice Caps at the Copps Coliseum last night.
It was a chippy game to begin the American Hockey League season, featuring eight roughing penalties in the first period alone, and thought the Bulldogs found themselves in a bit of penalty trouble, they made the most of it by scoring twice while shorthanded.
Greg Pateryn opened the scoring just over four minutes into the contest, on a blast that was set up by a nifty Mike Blunden while down a man. The shot beat St. John’s goaltender Eddie Pasquale clean over the glove hand, a similar shot that we saw out of Pateryn on a few occasions during Montreal Canadiens training camp.
AHL veteran sniped Andrew Gordon tied the game for the Winnipeg Jets top affiliate on a power play midway through the opening frame. Blunden restored the Bulldogs lead in the second period, when he beat Pasquale with a pinpoint wrist shot to the top corner. Ben Chiarot knotted the score at two early in the second period as he drove the net and ticked a backhander home behind Dustin Tokarski.
The score remained tied until the third period, when Patrick Holland ended an impressive shorthanded rush by stickhandling around an Ice Caps defender and sliding a wrister between the legs of Pasquale. Holland’s shorthanded marker would prove to be the game winner, as the Bulldogs would start the season 1-0.
Hamilton goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped 33 of 35 shots directed his way, including all 15 in the third period with the game on the line.
The Bulldogs are back in action tonight when they face the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins. Robert Mayer will get the start in goal for the Baby Habs.