Going into the game, we all knew how important the first goal would be. As mentioned in the game thread, the Bulldogs are 4-0 when they score first, but once again they gave up the first marker.
It was all about the bounces to start the game, and they weren’t going the Bulldogs way, The Wolves’ Darren Archibald scored the opening goal with 16 seconds left in the first period. Archibald banked the puck off Desjardins while behind the net to open the scoring. The Bulldogs had a good offensive tempo in the first, outshooting the Wolves 15-10 but the only thing that mattered is that they would once again have to climb up a hill to get back in the game.
The hill got steeper in the second when Darren Archibald notched his second of the game on the Power Play. Archibald picked up a lose puck in the crease and backhanded it over Desjardins to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead. To get back in the game the Bulldogs would have to find a way to stop Archibald, and it was Zack Stortini who silenced him just a minute later in a scrap.
At 1:25 of the third period the Wolves scored their 3rd consecutive goal. Bill Sweatt’s wrap around popped loose to Darren Hayder who popped in his second of the season.
Despite being down 3-0 the Bulldogs didn’t give up, they battled back and got on the scoreboard at the 6:25 mark. Joonas Nattinen tipped in a Nathan Beaulieu point shot. Mike Commodore gathered the second assist for his first point as a Bulldog.
Just 45 seconds later though, the Wolves answered. Peter Andersson fired a point shot which deflected at least three times before finding it’s way past Desjardins.
The Bulldogs cut the lead back to 2 when Michael Bournival tipped in Frederic St-Denis’ point shot for a powerplay goal. Stephane Chaput picked up the second assist.
In the final minute the Bulldogs cut the lead to 1, Mike Blunden wired a shot off the rush and it bounced out to Nathan Beaulieu who was stationed in front of the net. Beaulieu’s goal was his first as a professional. The late flurry wasn’t enough for the Bulldogs though, as they dropped the game 4-3.
You have to give the Bulldogs credit though; they managed 37 shots and 3 goals without their leading scorer, Aaron Palushaj, in the lineup. Despite giving up 4 goals on 25 shots Cedrick Desjardins played a solid game. All of the Wolves goals came off bad bounces for the Bulldogs, sometimes you get the bounces, other times your victim to the will of the hockey gods.
Nathan Beaulieu's impressive streak continues, now with 1 goal and 5 assists in 5 games after just 2 assists in 16 games. He is now the top scoring defenseman on the team, leapfrogging St-Denis, and tied for 4th on the team in points with Michael Bournival and Michael Blunden. Beaulieu is only 12th in scoring among rookie defensemen, but his play of late will have him shooting up those rankings, and he's one of the youngest rookies in the AHL, turning 20 just 9 days ago.
1. CHI – Darren Archibald – 3 – (Chris Tanev, Brad Hunt) – 19:44
2. CHI – Darren Archibald – 4 – (Andrew Gordon, Jordan Schroeder) – 9:24 (PP)
3. CHI – Darren Haydar – 2 – (Bill Sweatt, Chris Tanev) 1:25
4. HAM – Joonas Nattinen – 4 – (Nathan Beaulieu, Mike Commodore) – 6:14
5. CHI – Peter Andersson – 1 – (Mark Matheson, Darren Haydar) – 6:59
6. HAM – Michael Bournival – 2 – (Frederic St-Denis, Stefan Chaput) – 13:31 (PP)
7. HAM – Nathan Beaulieu – 1 – (Mike Blunden, Brendan Gallagher) – 19:00
Chicago: Matt Climie (W – 37 shots, 34 saves)
Hamilton: Cedrick Desjardins (L – 25 shots, 21 saves)
1. CHI- Darren Archibald (2 goals, 2 shots)
2. CHI- Darren Haydar (1 goal, 1 assist, +2, 2 shots)
3. HAM- Nathan Beaulieu (1 goal, 1 assist, +1, 4 shots)