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Hamilton Bulldogs defeat the Hershey Bears 3-2

The Bulldogs hold on for a hard fought victory against the Hershey Bears.

2 of Nattinen's 3 goals this year are game winners.
2 of Nattinen's 3 goals this year are game winners.
Tom Szczerbowski

It wasn't long ago that the Hershey Bears were the class of the AHL, but the Bulldogs win against them last evening put them a game under .500 on the season.

The key to the Bulldogs win was a very strong second period where Hamilton outshot Hershey 12-7 and notched 3 goals against NHL quality goaltender and Jaroslav Halak impersonator Braden Holtby.

The Bulldogs would never relinquish the lead once they got it, but yet again they allowed the first tally of the game, for the 17th time in 18 games. Ryan Potulny scored both goals for Hershey, both assisted by Jeff Taffe.

On the Bulldogs side of the ledger, Nathan Beaulieu was their player of the game. Beaulieu had struggled to put up points when he first entered the AHL, much like P.K. Subban did in his first month, but the 19 year old tallied 2 assists last night. Beaulieu now has 4 assists in his last 3 games after just two in 16 games. He's yet to break the goose egg in the goal column, but he's finally looking like he's comfortable at this level.

After missing one game with food poisoning and one as a healthy scratch for foolish reasons, Michael Bournival celebrated his return by setting up the game winning goal by Joonas Nattinen. Safe to say that Bournival won't be a healthy scratch again any time soon.

There are a lot of coaches that don't like to change their lineups after a win, but perhaps the blowout loss to Syracuse on Friday will be a lesson for rookie coach Sylvain Lefebvre.

It was a total team effort by Hamilton last night, 8 different players had 2 shots and only one player had more, Michael Blunden with 3. Blunden also scored the first goal for Hamilton last night, assisted by Morgan Ellis and Beaulieu.

Patrick Holland scored the tying goal, his second goal in 3 games after a 15 game drought. Brendan Nash and Brendan Gallagher drew the assists on the play.

Cedrick Desjardins bounced back after being shelled by Syracuse stopping 21 of 23 shots for the win.

Next up for Hamilton, they host the Lake Erie Monsters on Tuesday, December 11th. Cedrick Desjardins was pulled in his last game against Lake Erie, allowing 4 goals on 14 shots. He'll be looking to make up for that performance.