Bulldogs weekend from hell ends in a loss

Christian Thomas fires a shot during the Bulldogs 4-1 loss to Lake Erie - Brandon Taylor, Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club

The Hamilton Bulldogs went up 1-0 in all three games this weekend but lost each one, the latest 4-1 to the Lake Erie Monsters.

Notably Hamilton captain Martin St. Pierre wasn't in the lineup. Coach Lefebvre said after the game that St. Pierre was a healthy scratch, and that the scratch was performance related.

Devan Dubnyk was between the pipes again and early on he looked excellent, making it look easy and keeping the Bulldogs in the game.

Hamilton would take the lead Christian Thomas wired a pass from Sven Andrighetto into the top of the net putting the Bulldogs up 1-0.

Late into the second period Hamilton would be awarded a penalty shot when a Lake Erie player fired a broken stick at Louis Leblanc as he skated in on goal. Strangely the referee was rather subdued in his call of the penalty shot and the game immediately went into a break which left many in the arena unaware that a shot was coming.

When the break had ended Andrighetto would take the shot but was stopped by the right pad of Calvin Pickard.

The Dogs would once again take a string of bad penalties in a poor second frame and with Nathan McIver in the box for roughing it was David van der Gulik equalizing for Lake Erie.

After the goal Lake Erie would continue to push the issue and only 3:05 later it was van der Gulik lighting the lamp again this time on a beautiful centreing pass from Andrew Agozzino to make it 2-1 Monsters.

The third period would begin well for the Dogs but they couldn't find the net and once the parade to the penalty box resumed it was the Monsters taking a two goal advantage, Matt Hunwick finding the top corner from the hash marks.

The Dogs would go on the powerplay following the Hunwick goal but on an zone entry Hamilton was called offside and Andrighetto took offense jawing at the referee who gave him a ten minute misconduct for his trouble ending Sven's night early.

The Bulldogs would continue to get chances but Lake Erie would extend the advantage again as Michael Schumacher picked off an errant pass and showed some sweet hands depositing the puck between Dubnyk's legs for a three goal lead.

After the 4-1 goal the Bulldogs effort seemed to disappear and Lake Erie was able to coast to the easy win.

With the loss the Dogs are now 11 points out of the final playoff spot and sit in 14th in the Western Conference. With only 18 games to go and 13 of them coming on the road the playoff dream is now essentially over.

Despite the playoffs now a desperate pipe dream at best the attendance was a respectable 6,687.

Hamilton will be in action next on the 14th when they head on the road to start a three games in three nights against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

The Dogs will next be home on the 19th when they host the Abbotsford Heat.

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