Tonight, the Hamilton Bulldogs (12-18-1-3) look to avenge the ugly loss they were handed by the Toronto Marlies (21-9-1-2) last Wednesday. The Marlies skated to an easy 6-0 win which was the third straight game that the Bulldogs were shut out in. The Bulldogs rebounded on the weekend however with 2 strong efforts coming away with 3 of 4 possible points.
Friday night, the Bulldogs snapped their scoring drought and had a solid effort in a 3-1 victory over Rockford. On Saturday, they had another strong effort, however a late power play goal against forced overtime, eventually leading to a shootout which the Bulldogs lost. Robert Mayer was strong in both contests going 67/70 in two games work.
The Marlies come into tonights game on a tear, winning their last 3 games and posting an 8-0-1-1 record in their last 10 games. They sit second in the league with an impressive 3.48 goals per game, and 5th in goals against, allowing only 2.52 per game. Keith Aucoin has had a very impressive season, posting 9 goals, 26 assists in 32 games played, good for fifth in the league..
The Bulldogs are the exact opposite of the Marlies. They sit last in both goals for per game, and goals against per game. They have the leagues worst power play, cashing in just 9.7% of the time. They also have one of the worst PK's in the league, however somehow have the #2 ranked home PK. I don't get it either.
The key to the game tonight will definitely be to stay out of the penalty box, as usual. Last outing against the Marlies, the Bulldogs allowed 3 power play goals as well as a short handed goal. On Saturday night, Stefan Chaput took a bad boarding penalty with just over 2 minutes remaining in a one goal game, which the Monsters capitalized on before winning the game in the shootout.
With the lockout ending, the AHL/NHL transaction page is going to be a very busy place. The Bulldogs recalled Joe Stejskal and Daultan Leveille from the ECHL with a few Bulldogs expected to receive a call from the Canadiens for training camp. On the injury front, Aaron Palushaj skated before his team mates yesterday morning, and Greg Pateryn took part in practice wearing a no-contact jersey.
The puck drops at 7:30 pm, and as always, you can watch it live on AHLLive ($), or listen to it here.