The epic battle between the two remaining Canadian clubs ended in a splash and into the AHL history books. Going into the series, it was expected it would be a clash of the goalies between Drew MacIntyre and Eddie Lack. The series could have gone either way, but it was Hamilton who got the bounces. The Moose had hit the cross bar three times just in the overtime alone, centimeters away from sending the ‘Dogs packing for next season. Dustin Boyd’s goal in the third OT just 6 seconds in caught everyone, including the players on the bench, off guard. It was an unexpected goal, a goal that never gave anyone in the building a chance to hold their breath before the series clinching goal. Eddie Lack was superman on skates who stopped 55 shots through 100 minutes of play. Drew Mac was once again getting the job done stopping 29 of 30 shots.
A 1-0 loss the previous night left a sour taste for the Bulldogs. After the Moose scored the opening goal in the first period, the ‘Dogs were holding their sticks a little more tighter, reminiscing game 6 in the back of their heads. They needed to find that shutout buster quick before Lack holds down the fort and upsets the Bulldogs.
Finally at the 6:24 mark of the third period, the Bulldogs got one of their many lucky chances of the night. It was going to need a bad bounces to beat this unstoppable goaltender and that’s exactly what happened. Nigel Dawes shot the puck towards the net but it was deflected off a defender and ended up beating Lack to allow a sigh a relief on the whole Bulldogs squad.
In overtime, both teams had many opportunities but neither could cash in. The Moose had the upper hand on chances, hitting the post three times but the ‘Dogs had outshot the Moose 23 to 14 after two overtime periods.
Off the face-off of the third overtime period which was already the longest game 7 in AHL history, Dustin Boyd deliberately dumped the puck in the Moose zone. The puck hit the boards and Boyd had the longer reach to whack it off his backhand beating Lack over his right shoulder. It was Boyd’s first goal of the playoffs and the biggest of his career.
Next up for the Bulldogs are either the Houston Aeros or the Milwaukee Admirals who will play game 7 tonight.
Games 3,4 and 5 will be played in Hamilton.