This past week we named Robert Mayer as our Bulldogs Player of the Week; and it was because of his fine play that he started his third straight game last night. Mayer, once again, turned out a fine performance, allowing one goal on 24 shots as the Bulldogs squeaked out a 2-1 win.
Patrice Brisebois was on hand for the game yesterday, at the morning skate he was on the ice to work with the defensive unit (as his job with the Canadiens dictates) and after practice the defensive corps did a fine job holding the offensively talented Marlies to just 1 goal and 24 shots. As a result, the Bulldogs peppered Jussi Rynnas with 38 shots in a much improved effort from their last game against the Marlies, where they lost 6-0.
The Bulldogs started the game with fists flying. Say what you will about Kyle Hagel, he's not a great player, he's not the best fighter, but the guy stands up for his teammates. Will Acton ran Robert Mayer just over two minutes into the first, and Hagel took exception and fed him a few as the 6'2 Acton did his best Jerry Ferrara impression (Turtle from Entourage). Hagel took the extra penalty but the Bulldogs killed it off, and the Marlies did not take any more liberties with Mayer.
No matter what your opinion on Hagel, he played his role to a T here. You can argue about the validity of his role, I would be hard pressed to argue, but if he's in the lineup it's good to see him do his job. As for what his job entails, with 4:21 left in the third Hagel took a holding penalty. While the penalty had most, myself included, initially screaming obscenities at him, it's really not his fault. What is he doing on the ice in a tied game with just over 4 minutes left? If someone is confused about his role, I don't think Hagel is at fault.
Aside from the dust up, the first period went by scoreless. The second on the other hand involved some goals. First Nazem Kadri converted a Jerry D'Amigo pass for his 8th of the season. Things began to look dire for the Bulldogs, but in a last ditch effort they tied the game at 1-1 at the end of the period. After a goalmouth scramble Patrick Holland grabbed a loose puck and roofed it for his 5th of the season. The goal came with no time to spare, well basically no time, the scoreboard read 0:006 seconds left.
Funny little fact, this is the second time this season Holland has scored a goal with 1 second or less in a period. The first time came five days prior when he beat Rockford's Alec Richards with 1 second left in the first period. Holland may be giving a new, and more positive, definition to the term "under a minute man".
After a tight checking third period the game seemed destined to go to Overtime, but this is a Bulldogs team that's clearly comfortable scoring late in the period. With 48 seconds left in the period, on what looked like a harmless shot, Gabriel Dumont scored the game winning goal. Dumont took a shot from a terrible angle that bounced off Marlies defenceman Simon Gysbers and over Rynnas before fluttering into the net. The goal was Dumont's 11th of the season and puts him 1 over Brendan Gallagher for the team lead.
1. TOR - Nazem Kadri - 8 - (Jerry D'Amigo) 9:18
2. HAM - Patrick Holland - 5 - (Mike Blunden, Jason DeSantis) 19:59
3. HAM - Gabriel Dumont - 11 - (Unassisted) 19:12
Toronto: Jussi Rynnas (L - 38 shots, 36 saves)
Hamilton: Robert Mayer (W - 24 shots, 23 saves)
1. HAM - Gabriel Dumont (1 goal, +1, 2 shots)
2. TOR - Nazem Kadri (1 goal, +1, 5 shots)
3. HAM - Patrick Holland (1 goal, +1, 4 shots)