12/26/2012 8:15 PM
Story By: Stuart McComish
TORONTO – Mike Kostka scored one goal and added one assist to pace the Toronto Marlies to a 3-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in American Hockey League action Wednesday.
Joe Colborne and Keith Aucoin also scored and Matt Frattin earned three assists for the Marlies, who won a third straight game to improve to 18-9-1-1. Goaltender Ben Scrivens faced 21 shots before a Boxing Day matinee crowd of 18,800 at Air Canada Centre.
Frederic St-Denis and Nathan Beaulieu scored for the Bulldogs, who dropped a fifth consecutive game to fall to 10-15-1-2. Cedrick Desjardins made 30 saves in the Bulldogs net.
“We have to better as a group,” said Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre. “We have to battle from the first second to the last second. We have to put together a full 60 minutes. We need to be good in every situation.”
Both teams were seeing their first action off the AHL’s three-day Christmas break.
“There wasn’t much happening on either side in the first period,” said Lefebvre. “Both teams were trying to feel each other out and get their legs back. It’s not easy to not play for three days and then play a game in the early afternoon.”
The Marlies struck first, at 4:48 of the first period, when Desjardins kicked the rebound of a Paul Ranger shot from the top of the left-wing circle to Colborne, who shoveled it home.
Aucoin struck on the power play at 14:08, three seconds after Jarred Tinordi had been sent off for tripping. Colborne won a faceoff to Desjardins’s right, and the puck found its way to Kostka, who sent it on to Aucoin, who hammered it over the goaltender’s glove.
The Marlies held a 10-9 edge in first-period shots with the Bulldogs’ best chances coming in the 13th minute, when Scrivens reacted quickly to deny Mike Blunden’s tip of a shot from Patrick Holland, and the 18th when he snared a shot from Olivier Fortier.
The Bulldogs ran into penalty trouble in the second period, with the Marlies scoring once while outshooting the visitors 15-6.
Blueliner Kostka made it 3-0 at 19:04 with the Bulldogs two men short after Antoine Corbin had been sent off for roughing while the Bulldogs were killing a five-minute major to Zack Stortini, who had been issued a match penalty for a check of the head of Nazem Kadri. Kostka took a feed from Kadri and fired a shot between Desjardins’s pads from the top of the right-wing circle.
The Bulldogs tested Scrivens twice, but he stopped Louis Leblanc in the slot in the second minute and got his left skate on a Gabriel Dumont shot in the eighth.
St-Denis broke Scrivens’s shutout bid at 18:12 when his shot from the left point eluded the goaltender’s glove and Beaulieu got the Bulldogs within a goal at 19:59, sliding a Dumont feed off Scrivens’s right skate from in tight at the left post. The goals were the second of the season for each defenceman.
Desjardins made eight stops in the period. He was sharp getting his right pad on Frattin’s tip of a Kostka shot in the second minute, foiled a Colborne attempt to follow up on a Ryan Hamilton shot in the eighth and snared a Kostka shot from the top of the right-wing circle at the 17th.
The Bulldogs scratched Greg Pateryn, Mike Commodore, Aaron Palushaj, Blake Geoffrion and Alexander Avtson. The Marlies were without Dylan Yeo, Mike Zigomanis, Jake Gardiner, Brad Ross and Greg McKegg.
The Bulldogs host the St. John’s IceCaps at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
BULLDOGS NOTEBOOK: The Bulldogs were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Marlies were 2-for-7 … The Bulldogs are 5-9-0-2 on the road while the Marlies are 11-2-0-1 at home … The crowd was the largest in Marlies history and the second-largest to ever see the Bulldogs, trailing only the 20,565 that took in the Marlies’ 7-2 win at the outdoor game at Ivor Wynne Stadium last Jan. 21. The Bulldogs drew a crowd of 18,582 for a 4-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Nov. 9 … Kyle Hagel drew an assist on St-Denis’s goal, his first point since garnering an assist in the season-opening 4-3 shootout win over the host Grand Rapids Griffins on Oct. 13 … Despite being shorthanded for all but 19 seconds of the final five minutes of the second period, the Bulldogs only allowed three shots during that time … Commodore was once again shelved with a groin injury … The Marlies have not lost in regulation in six games dating to a 3-2 loss to the visiting Abbotsford Heat on Dec. 8. The Marlies are 5-0-1-0 since … Aucoin ran a points streak to five games. He has four goals and five assists for nine points in the run ... The game was the sixth of 12 meetings between the North Division rivals this season. The Marlies hold a 4-2-0-0 edge and will host the Bulldogs at Ricoh Coliseum on Jan. 2 … The Bulldogs are 6-4-1-2 in one-goal games … The Bulldogs scored six unanswered goals in a 6-3 win over the Marlies before 13,238 at Air Canada Centre last Dec. 26.
The Bulldogs’ next game is against the St. John's IceCaps at Copps Coliseum on Friday, December 28th at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on TVA Sports and Sportsnet. All ‘Dogs games during the month of December will be broadcast on Hamilton's Funny 820 (AM 820), with select games simulcast on Montreal's TSN Radio 690 (AM 690). Fans can also listen to and watch all 'Dogs games on www.hamiltonbulldogs.com. Live coverage with the broadcast team of Play-By-Play Announcer Derek Wills (all home and away games) and Colour Commentator Al Craig (all home and select away games) will begin with the Pioneer Pre-Game Show 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
2012-2013 Hamilton Bulldogs season tickets, Pioneer Flex Pack tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now! For as little as $10 per game, you can enjoy the many benefits of being a ‘Dogs season ticket holder including reserved seating for all home games at Copps Coliseum, the option to redeem unused tickets for any regular season game, discounts on team merchandise and access to exclusive season ticket holder-only events with the team. Convenient payment plans are available. For more information on how to join our team by becoming a Hamilton Bulldogs season ticket holder, or for more information on Pioneer Flex Pack tickets or group tickets, call 905-529-8500 or 1-866-DOGS-TIX, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.hamiltonbulldogs.com. ‘Dogs single-game tickets are available at the Copps Coliseum Box Office, any Ticketmaster Outlet, online at www.ticketmaster.ca, or by calling 905-529-8500 or 1-866-DOGS-TIX.
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1. TOR – Joe Colborne – 2 – (Paul Ranger, Matt Frattin) – 4:48
2. TOR – Keith Aucoin – 7 – (Mike Kostka, Matt Frattin) – 14:08 (PP)
3. TOR – Mike Kostka – 6 – (Nazem Kadri, Matt Frattin) – 19:04 (PP)
4. HAM – Frederic St-Denis – 2 – (Morgan Ellis, Kyle Hagel) – 18:12
5. HAM – Nathan Beaulieu – 2 – (Gabriel Dumont) – 19:59
Toronto: Ben Scrivens (W – 21 shots, 19 saves)
Hamilton: Cedrick Desjardins (L – 33 shots, 30 saves)
1. TOR- Mike Kostka (1 goal, 1 assist, 5 shots)
2. TOR- Matt Frattin (3 assists, 5 shots)
3. TOR- Joe Colborne (1 goal, +1, 2 shots)
Dan Lawrie Insurance Premium Player of the Game: Cedrick Desjardins