(Rochester, NY)… After nearly 54 minutes of scoreless action, the Hamilton Bulldogs answered with two goals within the last five minutes of regulation to push past the Rochester Americans this evening for a 2-0 victory at The Blue Cross Arena. Tonight’s contest marked the final matchup between the two North Division rivals this season. With the loss, the Amerks fall to 30-32-3-3, while the Bulldogs advance to 36-24-1-6 with the victory.
Amerks netminder Tyler Plante posted 23 saves in the losing effort.
Andrew Conboy (1+0) and Alexander Avtsin (1+0) fueled Hamilton this evening, each scoring one apiece in the win. Avtsin’s tally was a result of a last second rush on an empty net to put the visiting Bulldogs up 2-0 with just three ticks left on the clock.
Hamilton goaltender Drew MacIntyre earned his first shutout of the season stopping 18 shots on net in the win, giving the Bulldogs a total of seven shutouts this year.
Despite the lack of scoring, the Amerks managed to outshoot the Bulldogs by three in the opening period. This was quite the difference from their last meeting in Hamilton on Sunday, where Rochester led 4-1 after 20 minutes of play.
The first decent scoring opportunity occurred midway through the second period, but Plante denied J.T. Wyman. Wyman grabbed a Rochester turnover in the center of the ice and led a breakaway for the shorthanded Bulldogs, but Plante was there to stick out his right leg to deny the chance.
The unsuccessful breakaway turned out to be the only heavy scare for both goalies, and the game remained scoreless after two periods.
Conboy received his fifth point in three games when he found the back of the net with a goal-mouth rebound from Mathieu Carle’s initial shot. The goal came at the 14:04 mark of the third period on the power-play following PJ Fenton’s tripping infraction late in the final frame. David Urquart also received an assist on the play.
The Bulldogs would receive a second goal with three seconds left in the game when Avtsin broke loose on an empty net breakaway. Rochester’s Adam Comrie intentionally took Avtsin down to the ice, resulting in an automatic goal awarded to Hamilton. Had there been a goalie between the pipes, the takedown would have resulted in a penalty shot. However, since Plante was not in the net to give the Amerks an extra attacker, the play resulted in the game clincher.