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It was an all-divisional set of games for the Hamilton Bulldogs this past week. Unfortunately, despite some strong play, it wasn't much of a winning one as the 'Dogs were only able to come out with a single win and only three of a possible six points. The week was better for Montreal's ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers who won both games, their first victories of the year. This past week also marked the season debut of Danny Kristo, the subject of my Final Thought.
The Dog Pound
Although Hamilton only won one game, it was a big one. Their victory over Abbotsford gave the Heat their first regulation loss of the year. Prior to the game, the Calgary Flames' affiliate was the only team to not yet lose a game in regulation.
News and Notes:
- There remain a pair of important injuries for the Bulldogs. Goalie Cedrick Desjardins is likely out another 7-10 days with a groin injury while Louis Leblanc is out roughly 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.
- Nathan Beaulieu, who is likely among the Hamilton leaders in ice time (TOI stats aren't officially kept) and anchors the powerplay, is the lone Bulldog to play in every game and not yet record a point.
- Lines from the most recent game:
The top line was changed around to an all-rookie trio and it was that line that provided much of the offensive pressure for the Bulldogs.
Goals: Aaron Palushaj
Assists: Boyce/Holland/Quailer (3)
Points: Geoffrion/Holland/Palushaj (4)
+/-: Beaulieu/Nash/Nattinen (+2)
PIMS: Michael Blunden (15)
Shots: Brendan Gallagher (25) (Leads all AHL rookie forwards)
Hamilton vs Rochester
November 3: Rochester vs Hamilton
The Farm's Farm
It's amazing what scoring goals can do. In Wheeling's home opener, they scored as many goals (7) as they have in the rest of their other games combined. As a result, the table below isn't all zeros this time around.
Here is how the players contracted to Montreal or Hamilton fared:
- Chaput is the team leader in shots with 25 on the season.
November 2: Wheeling vs Evansville
November 3: Wheeling vs Cincinnati
This past week marked the season debut of Danny Kristo, whose senior season at North Dakota got off to about as lousy a start as possible. After being suspended two separate times which took him out of the first two games of the year, he made his season debut on Friday. He wasn't rusty, picking up three assists en route to being named first star of the game. I was anxiously awaiting his first game to see how he'd bounce back after such a tumultuous start to the year, I wanted to see how he'd respond. Suffice it to say, he responded about as well as he could. With Kristo, there seems to be a hesitance among fans when it comes to predicting his future. It's certainly understandable too given his decision to stay into his senior year and his questionable off-ice decisions. This year represents his chance to fix that. After such a rocky start, it was certainly very encouraging to see him step into the lineup and play well right off the top. Let's just hope that for the rest of the year, we only have to pay attention to his on ice performances.
If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.