There was a lot riding on yesterdays game for the Bulldogs, with a win they had the opportunity to win back to back games for the first time since they opened the season against Grand Rapids and Toronto.
There would also be the embarrassment of not scoring during the annual Toy Toss game. For those not familiar with the Toy Toss concept, after the first goal for the home side fans litter the ice with Toys that are donated to underprivileged children during the holiday season. It's kind of like celebrating a Hat Trick for charity, without actually witnessing a player score 3 goals, but I digress.
Cedrick Desjardins got his 7th start of the season; at the opposite end of the ice Calvin Pickard took his position in between the pipes for Lake Erie. Both goalies would play spectacularly but only one could get the win. Desjardins stopped all 29 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. Pickard stopped 44 of the 45 shots he faced.
The first period was scoreless, but the Bulldogs got off to a great start, they outshot the Monsters 11 to 6. The Monsters didn't get their first shot of the game until around the 12- minute mark, while Brendan Nash was serving a penalty for Delay of Game.
Despite a high shot performance from both sides the second period also went by scoreless. The Bulldogs outshot the Monsters with a 17-16 advantage. Both goalies stood on their heads to keep the game tied. Desjardins took his second penalty of the season to give the Monsters a lengthy 5 on 3 advantage. You know how the expression goes, your goalie has to be your best penalty killer, and Desjardins was impressive bailing out his team after his penalty.
Late in the third period the Bulldogs finally opened the score at the 16:17 mark with a rare Power Play goal. Steven Quailer scored an unassisted goal for his third of the season with a nice move to break in against Pickard. The goal stood up for the reminder of the game and the Bulldogs got the 1-0 win.
As mentioned earlier, this marks the first time since the Bulldogs first two games where the Bulldogs have won back-to-back games. Desjardins shutout is not only his 2nd in just 7 games, but it also came against his former team, last season Desjardins started 34 games for the Lake Erie Monsters. It also serves as redemption for Desjardins who was pulled against Lake Erie after allowing 4 goals on 14 shots on November 25th.
The Bulldogs will travel to Chicago to take on Chris Chelios' former team the Chicago Wolves on Thursday.
1. Ham - Steve Quailer - 4 - 16:17 (PP)
Lake Erie: 0-0-0-0
Lake Erie: 6-16-7-29
Lake Erie: Calvin Pickard (L - 45 shots, 44 saves)
Hamilton: Cedrick Desjardins (W - 29 shots, 29 saves)
Lake Erie: 0-for-3
1. HAM- Steve Quailer (1 goal, 3 shots)
2. LE- Calvin Pickard (44 saves)
3. HAM- Cedrick Desjardins (29 saves and 2 penalty minutes)