The Hamilton Bulldogs withstood the barrage of shots and held onto a one goal lead through two periods to defeat the Oklahoma City Barons 2-1 on Saturday night at the Copps Coliseum to take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series. Drew MacIntyre, who earned the first star of the night, made 38 saves including 15 in the final period to seal the win. Nigel Dawes scored the eventful game winning goal early in the second from one of his six shots of the night.
Both teams were looking to grab momentum by scoring the game’s first goal. The ‘Dogs had 13 shots on net which was their highest total of the night while the Barons had 12 shots in the opening period. But it was the Barons who sucked the energy out of the crowd with a late first period goal at 17:18. Brad Moran was all alone on a 3-on-3 break and blasted a shot past Drew’s blocker side.
The ‘Dogs got a lucky bounce before heading into the locker room. With just three seconds remaining Andreas attempted to make a cross ice pass in front of the goal but it accidently went off Gerber’s skate and trickled past the goal line. Brendan Nash and J.T. Wyman picked up the assist on the goal.
Late-goals can always change the swing of a game and in this matchup it proved to be the difference. With Linus Omark in the penalty box 35 seconds into the period, Nigel Dawes quickly released a Palushaj pass on one knee and into the net. Gerber was too slow to react to the booming shot from Nigel. The goal was his 2nd of the series.
The Barons played desperate hockey for the rest of the way, dominating in shots by the count of 27 to 10. Drew MacIntyre had to make numerous spectacular saves to continue his hot play. He’s been a steady goaltender for the Bulldogs since his transaction and has been playing beyond his limits surpassing his career numbers in his short stint so far in Hamilton. Drew will have to carry the ‘Dogs if they are going to reach the ultimate goal, just like Carey Price has done in 2007.
The series switches over to Oklahoma City for games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary). Games 3 and 4 will be played on back-to-back nights at 8:05 PM EST.