Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Renewed Focus in Second Period Lifts Hamilton Bulldogs over St. John's IceCaps

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Renewed Focus in Second Period Lifts Hamilton Bulldogs over St. John's IceCaps

Article excerpt

Renewed focus lifts Bulldogs over IceCaps

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HAMILTON - The Hamilton Bulldogs tinkered with their game after a tight opening period on Friday, and emerged from the intermission with a new offensive flair.

Hamilton scored three goals in the second period and Robert Mayer made 30 saves, as the Bulldogs defeated the St. John's IceCaps 4-1 in the American Hockey League.

Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu, in his first game since being re-assigned by the Montreal Canadiens, credited the Bulldogs' willingness to shoot as the reason for their success in the second.

"We were a bit timid, and trying to do a bit too much in the first," said Beaulieu. "We didn't have enough shots, that was a key.

"Once we started shooting the puck, (the IceCaps) backed off a lot more. We got a good five or six shots in the first three or four minutes, and that helps create opportunities down low."

Philippe Lefebvre had two goals for the Bulldogs (29-39-6), while Louis Leblanc and Greg Pateryn each scored.

Josh Lunden had the lone goal for the IceCaps (31-36-7).

Juho Olkinuora, making his first professional appearance after being signed on a tryout basis by the Winnipeg Jets on April 10, stopped 22 shots.

Mayer was put to the test in the early minutes of the first with the IceCaps enjoying an extended five-on-three power play.

He moved into the butterfly position to deny an initial shot that bounced to his left, and tracked the puck to turn aside another wrist shot from point-blank range.

Mayer had to be sharp once again, with 10 minutes to play in the opening period. A cross-ice pass found the IceCaps' Raymond Sawada unmarked in the low slot, and the winger forced an immediate save from Mayer before putting the rebound over the crossbar.

Instead, it was Hamilton that opened the scoring at 5:27 of the second, when the young Olkinuora bobbled a routine wrist shot.

He waved feebly at Lefebvre's initial effort, and after Michael Bournival and Beaulieu each swung at the resulting rebound, Lefebvre circled back to slot the puck in.

The Bulldogs quickly doubled their advantage, striking while shorthanded when a fortunate bounce put the puck on the stick of Leblanc at 7:43 of the second. …

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