(Photo Via: Hamilton Spectator/Barry Gray)
HAMILTON – Offenses were firing on all cylinders on Saturday night as the Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Sudbury Wolves 5-3 on home ice.
The Hamilton Bulldogs got on the board early and often in their victory over the Sudbury Wolves on February 24, 2018. Matthew Strome opened the scoring with his 34th goal of the season, just under nine minutes into the game.
Less than four minutes later it was Isaac Nurse, and his 15th of the year that extended the Bulldog lead to 2-0 early in front of the home crowd at the FirstOntario Centre.
Sudbury, wouldn’t roll over that easy, though. Blake Murray, the rookie out of Uxbridge, Ont., who played Minor Midget AAA for the Whitby Wolves last season, scored two goals in just 1:19 late in the opening frame to even the score at 2-2 and bring life back to his team.
The Wolves would continue that momentum into the second period as Shane Bulitka, of Ilderton, Ont., scored just under seven minutes into the period with his ninth of the season and 14th of his career. Sudbury scoring three unanswered, taking the life out of the crowd in Hamilton.
However, from then on out, it was all Bulldogs. Brandon Saigeon scored his 33rd of the year midway through the game to tie it at 3-3.
MacKenzie Entwistle would net his ninth of the year with 4:30 left in the second period to give the Bulldogs their first lead back since 3:01 left in the first period. The Georgetown, Ont., natives goal was his first in four games, the last coming February 11th against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in a 5-2 win. Entwistle also recorded 3 assists in that game for a four-point night against the team atop the OHL standings.
It was a hard-fought battle until the final whistle, but the Wolves were unable to tie the game up at 4-4.
Nicholas Caamano scored his 24th of the year on the empty net with just four ticks remaining on the clock to ice the game.
In goal for the Wolves was Marshall Frappier who made 26 stops on 30 shots directed towards his goal. The loss drops Frappier’s record to 3-9-1 on the season with a 4.90 GAA and a 0.871 SV%. Frappier hasn’t won a game since February 9th when the Wolves dropped the Flint Firebirds 6-3.
Nick Donofrio picked up the win for the Bulldogs, making 18 saves on 21 shots and improving his record on the year to 8-2 with a 3.24 GAA and a 0.883 SV%. It was Donofrio’s first win since February 3rd when Hamilton defeated Mississauga 2-1. Donofrio made 30 saves on 31 shots that night.
Sudbury sits alone at the bottom of the OHL Eastern conference standings with just 15 wins on the season. Their 38 points are 12 back of 9th place Peterborough who have 50.
Hamilton wins their 2nd straight game, after defeating Kingston 2-1 in OT last night. The Bulldogs sit alone atop the OHL Eastern conference with 78 points, and have a five point advantage over Barrie and Kingston who sit in second and third respectively at 73 points.
First Star: #44 MacKenzie Entwistle – 1 Goal 2 Assists, +1, 4 shots on goal – Hamilton
Second Star: #92 Blake Murray – 2 Goals, -1, 2 shots on goal, 40% Faceoffs (6/15) – Sudbury
Third Star: #18 Matthew Strome – 1 Goal 1 Assist, +1, 1 shot on goal – Hamilton