Bulldogs disappoint children on "school day", lose fifth straight

The Bulldogs fell for the fifth straight. - Brandon Taylor, Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club

The Hamilton Bulldogs dropped their fifth straight and sixth in seven games falling 3-1 to the Rochester Americans in their annual school day game at Copps Coliseum.

Hamilton was once again plagued by an inability to score, much to the dismay of the over 10,000 schoolchildren gathered to watch the rare morning game.

Once again it was the Bulldogs conceding the first goal, as Dan Catenacci opened the scoring for Rochester five minutes into the game with a weak wrist from the slot that squeaked under Dustin Tokarski's arm.

Sven Andrighetto would equalize for the Dogs with his team leading seventh goal of the season with under five minutes left in the first period. Rochester goalie Matt Hackett had difficulty controlling the rebound on a Michael Blunden shot and Andrighetto was there to pounce on the rebound sending the crowd of school age children into a frenzy.

With a minute left in the period Rochester appeared to capitalize with a goal by Jamie Tardiff, but under review it was ruled that he had kicked the puck in and the scored stayed tied.

The second period was full of rough play with both teams committing a large number of turnovers but neither generating more than a couple of real scoring chances.

After the uneventful second period it only took 23 seconds for the deadlock to be broken when Kevin Sundher made a beautiful pass on an odd man rush that finished off by Luke Adam to give the Americans the lead.

The Bulldogs continued to have difficulty creating scoring chances despite having multiple powerplays in the third period. Martin St. Pierre had the best chance of the period for the Dogs while shorthanded with less than a minute left but he fired it wide on a breakaway.

Adam would add his second of the game into the empty net to seal the victory. Tokarski was once again excellent for the Dogs, continuing to make a case for the starting job over Robert Mayer.

The players, such as Martin St. Pierre enjoyed the incredible fan support at the school game.

"It's a great day for the kids, especially to experience a hockey game," said St. Pierre. "For us it's fun to see that we can sell out this building and get some fans here."

The attendance was a season high 12,185 made up almost entirely of students and teachers.

Coach Lefebrve was frustrated after game with his team's performance.

"We've scored three goals in the last three games," said Lefebrve. "We want to be a solid defensive team and we're not even doing that right now."

Phil Varone of the Americans was named third star, Dustin Tokarski second and Luke Adam first. The hardest working Bulldog of the game was Sven Andrighetto.

The Bulldogs will try to end their slump this weekend when they have a home and home with the Lake Erie Monsters, first in Hamilton on Friday, then in Cleveland on Saturday.

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