The Hamilton Bulldogs managed to get at least one win on the road when they needed it the most. Aaron Palushaj came back to the line-up, and the number one line of Boyd-Dawes-Palushaj were reunited to provide all the offence needed in this 2-0 victory. Aaron Palushaj contributed for the opening goal and which turned out to be the game winner and also provided an assist on Nigel Dawes insurance marker in the second period. After blowing a two game lead, the ‘Dogs showed no concerns and got a step closer to closing off the series in Hamilton with a 3-2 series lead. Drew MacIntyre made 20 saves for a much deserved shutout as he was tremendous in keeping the ‘Dogs ahead.
Aaron who was out with an undisclosed injury for game 4 wasn’t injured at all, in fact he just wasn’t feeling well. “I don’t know if had the flu or food poison or what but I was pretty weak and I wouldn’t have been much help to the team,” said Palushaj. The rest paid off for the young forward as he was fully recharged for the Friday night match up. With an early power play in the opening period, Aaron got the ‘Dogs on the board for the only power play of the game in a total of 13 man-advantages for both teams. As they say third time’s the charm, it took until the third whack before going past Martin Gerber. Boyd initial shot was stopped, then Dawes picked up the rebound and was also stopped, and finally Palushaj snatched the next rebound and didn’t make any mistake.
With just 1:27 remaining in the second period, the top trio for the ‘Dogs once again silenced the crowd as Nigel Dawes scored off a rebound. It was his 3rd goal of the series. Each member of that line had two points on the night.
Captain Alex Henry brought a little hope to the Barons as he was called for cross-checking late in the third period with just 1:41 remaining. The Barons pulled Gerber and had two extra attackers in an attempt to get within a goal. Drew Mac had to make several saves in the dying seconds to keep the shutout but most important the much needed win.The series will shift back to Hamilton at the Copps Coliseum on Sunday at 4 p.m. EST for a chance to eliminate the Barons.
Note: In 115 occasions when a best-of-seven playoff series was tied at two all, the team that won the fifth game to go up 3-2 won 91 of those series. That’s a 79% success ratio. Hopefully the ‘Dogs can be the 92nd team to do it on Sunday.