The Hamilton Bulldogs played their best game of the season, dominating the Texas Stars in all aspects of the game to claim a 5-1 win.
Dustin Tokarski had one of his best games of the season stopping 30 shots including several highlight reel saves in the second and third periods.
Nick Tarnasky opened the scoring on the powerplay with his sixth of the season, taking multiple whacks at a rebound on a Christian Thomas shot before finally connecting to put the Dogs up 1-0
The second period has been a kryptonite for the Dogs this season but tonight was the opposite.
Steve Quailer would double the Dogs lead with his fifth of the season gathering up the puck in front of the net kicking it from skate to stick and depositing it past Cristopher Nilstorp for his first of the season.
New call-up Stephen MacAulay would register an assist on the Quailer goal and later added his first AHL goal finishing off a pretty passing play from Quailer and Louis Leblanc.
MacAulay was understandably excited by his first AHL game.
"Thought I was playing really well down in Wheeling but I didn't even score a goal," said MacAulay. "It's nice to get that first pro goal out of the way and to do it in a win is even more special."
Tarnasky would get on the board again with his co-team leading seventh of the season, finding the rebound on a Jarred Tinordi shot from the point to make it 4-0 and chase Nilstorp from the Texas net, he was replaced by Allen York.
After a rough start to the third period for the Bulldogs, Texas would finally break the shutout bid as Colton Sceviour fired a one-timer past Tokarski to make it 4-1.
Erik Nystrom, who was without a goal this season, seemed like he would never get one after firing high and wide on a clear breakaway but he would stay on the puck and pick pocket defenseman Cameron Gaunce before firing it over York's shoulder for his first AHL goal.
The game was the most rough and tumble game of Hamilton's season featuring numerous big hits by the Dogs and five fights nearly doubling their season total which stood at six before the game.
Coach Lefebvre was happy with the performance.
"We understand that we have to play hard every night, we have to battle, and we have to work harder to get our goals," said Lefebvre.
Lefebvre was also happy to finally win a game by more than one goal.
"It's nice for a coach, the armpits are a little dryer."
The Bulldogs understandably swept the three stars with Nick Tarnasky being named third star, Dustin Tokarski second and Stephen MacAulay first.
Steve Quailer was the hardest working Bulldog of the game.
In what is quickly becoming a broken record the attendance was poor with only 2,774 showing up for the game.
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