Photograph by:Hockey Canada
The year 2010 had been an excellent year for the Hamilton Bulldogs, excluding the playoff exit in the Conference Finals. Last season before the start of the year 2010 they were 22-9-2-3 for 49 points in 36 games played while this season through 35 games played the ‘Dogs have a record of 20-10-1-4 good for 45 points, just four points shy of the previous one with one less game played. With all the changes to the roster and injuries Hamilton has gone through this year, they have exceeded all expectations. In week #12, their final week of 2010 the ‘Dogs capped off the year with two games on their home ice. The Chicago Wolves, the affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers and the Lake Erie Monsters, the affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche were in town.
The last time the ‘Dogs played the Wolves earlier in December goaltender Peter Mannino of the Chicago Wolves, was solid in net stopping 33 of 34 shots for the 2-1 win. This time it was their discipline which cost them two points. Hamilton weren’t able to thrive off the home crowd after coming back home from a 5-game road trip. The Wolves never trailed in the game but the Bulldogs replied back with a goal each time Chicago took the lead. A hungry Dustin Boyd scored all three goals for the Bulldogs, scoring his 7th, 8th, and 9th of the year for the hat-trick. It was also the sixth straight game in which he’s scored for the ‘Dogs since his arrival. After two periods of play, the game was pretty tight with each team getting their chances. In the middle of the third period, the Wolves broke a three all tie scoring two power play goals in just 2:39. Robert Mayer who came into the game after Sanford fell down to a lower-body injury made just 21 saves out of 25 shots.
To close off the year, the Lake Erie Monsters paid a visit to the Dog Pound. Unaware that the Habs management would make a huge call up the next day, the AHL point leader as well as the AHL first star of the week David Desharnais was probably playing his final game as a Bulldog. In their previous game this week, the Bulldogs played catch up throughout the game but in this match the lesson was learnt as the ‘Dogs never looked back. The Bulldogs never allowed the Monsters to get the go-ahead goal. J.T. Wyman, Ben Maxwell, and once again Dustin Boyd scored for Hamilton but the real story of the game was David Desharnais who picked a helper in each goal with three assists. Not knowing this would be his final game, Desharnais put up a spectacular show for the fans for his “finale” in a 3-2 win.
Week #12 has been a familiar performance for the ‘Dogs as they continue to play .500 hockey. In the month of December in 14 games they hold a record of 7-6-0-1. It’s not a surprise since they had to deal with losing their top goal-scorer in Pacioretty but more bad news is about to come as they recently lost their other top play and leader in Desharnais who’s been promoted to the Habs on New Year’s Eve. Nonetheless, they still have a god core of leaders remaining in their squad and Mathieu Carle is set to return to the line-up very shortly. Dustin Boyd, Aaron Palushaj, and Ben Maxwell will have to step up their game if they want to remain on top of the North Division. Here’s a breakdown of the top five scorers for the ‘Dogs this week in two games followed by a look at the Habs other prospects outside of the AHL.
Bulldogs Weekly Points Summary (Season totals in parantheses)
|Dustin Boyd||2 (7)||4 (10)||0 (0)||4 (10)||1 (3)||8 (29)||0 (0)|
|David Desharnais||2 (35)||0 (10)||4 (35)||4 (45)||1 (14)||3 (70)||4 (24)|
|Ben Maxwell||2 (26)||1 (6)||2 (17)||3 (23)||1 (1)||3 (70)||2 (18)|
|Brendon Nash||2 (35)||0 (2)||3 (15)||3 (17)||-3 (9)||1 (35)||2 (35)|
|Kyle Klubertanz||2 (31)||0 (4)||2 (7)||2 (11)||-1 (-1)||2 (44)||0 (18)|
Prospects Outside the AHL
The Montreal Juniors, home of Prospect Philippe Lefebvre played three games this week, winning just a single game. The scores were 5-2 (vs. Victoriaville), 3-4 (vs. Shawinigan), and 3-4 (vs. Rimouski).
Team Canada, temporary home of Prospect Louis Leblanc who continues his trip to the gold medal in Buffalo, New York. It was a busy week for Team Canada with four games on schedule. They won three games and lost just a single game in a shoot-out and losing a chance to get a bye in the first round. The scores were 7-2 (vs. Czech Republic), 10-1 (vs. Norway), 6-5 (vs. Sweden), and 4-1 (vs. Switzerland).
The Shawinigan Cataractes, home of Prospect Michael Bournival played just two games. They went perfect for the week winning both games by the scores of 4-3 (vs. Montreal), and 3-1 (vs. Chicoutimi).
The Vancouver Giants, home of Prospect Brendan Gallagher, played four games this week. The Giants finally won a game after losing three straight during the week. Gallagher has now gone eight games without a goal which marks his longest goal drought this season. Ever since the Giants traded away their number one center, Gallagher hasn't been going offensively. The scores this week were 4-1 and 1-6 (vs. Kamlops), 6-3 (vs. Moose Jaw), and 6-1 (vs. Everett).
The London Knights, home of Prospect Jarred Tinordi, played three games this week. The Knights were undefeated this week. The final scores were 3-2 (vs. Guelph), 7-4 and 4-8 (vs. Sarnia).
The North Dakota Fighting Sioux, home of Prospect Danny Kristo, played against the Minnesota Duluth in a U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game. Danny played his best game of the season so far. Last year he was a key player for Team U.S.A who won the gold medal but this year due to his poor season he was not given a chance to come back. He finished the game with a goal and two assists with three shots on goal and a plus-2 rating. the score was 5-0.
The Avangard Omsk, home of goaltender Prospect Karri Ramo, had just a single game winning by the score of 3-2 (vs. Dinamo Riga).
Prospects Weekly Point Summary (Season totals in parantheses)
|Louis Leblanc (Canada)||4 (5)||3 (3)||2 (3)||5 (6)||6|
|Philippe Lefebvre (Juniors)||3 (37)||1 (16)||1 (17)||2 (33)||-2|
|Michael Bournival (Cataractes)||2 (28)||1 (16)||1 (25)||2 (41)||0|
|Brendan Gallagher (Giants)||4 (35)||0 (25)||2 (21)||2 (46)||-2|
|Jarred Tinordi (Knights)||3 (31)||0 (0)||0 (4)||1 (4)||1|
|Danny Kristo (Fighting Sioux)||1 (22)||1 (2)||2 (10)||3 (12)||2|
Prospects Weekly Goaltending stats (Season totals in parentheses)
|Karri Ramo||1 (31)||1 (22)||0 (6)||0 (2)||2 (52)||.947 (.927)||2 (1.97)||0 (2)|
Louis Leblanc earns the honors this week after scoring three goals including two assist in the Under-20 World Junior Hockey Championships for Team Canada to be the HiD first star of the week. His first goal of the tourney came against the Czechs and it was also a short-handed goal. Leblanc has been a smart player so far in the tournament and very consistent. He has been very strong on the puck and on the boards and most importantly he avoids making bad plays. The coach has made several changes to his lines with Leblanc to get other lines going. If he can continue to grow and develop at this rate, the Habs will finally have Quebec born player with lots of skill which the french media have been waiting for.
|HiD Prospects Three Stars of the Week|