Thursday Highlights: Bears and Bulldogs draw first blood
HAMILTON 5 – NIAGARA 4 – OT
(HAM leads series 1-0)
Local product Isaac Nurse (3, 4) scored his second of the night 6:32 into overtime, helping the Hamilton Bulldogs salvage one that nearly got away with a 5-4 victory over the visiting Niagara IceDogs. Goals from Nurse, Nicholas Caamano (3), Robert Thomas (4) and Ryan Moore (3) put Hamilton up 4-0 with five minutes left in the second before Niagara came roaring back with four of their own to tie things up. Ben Jones (2, 3), Danial Singer (2) and Andrew Bruder (1) all lit the lamp, with Jones knotting the score at four with 7:14 left in the third. Arizona Coyotes prospect MacKenzie Entwistle collected his third assist of the night to spring Nurse in alone to beat Stephen Dhillon for the game winner and give the Bulldogs a 1-0 series lead. Hamilton outshot Niagara 47-34 as Kaden Fulcher made 30 saves to earn the win. Niagara was 2-for-4 on the power play while Dhillon made 42 saves in defeat. The two teams are back in action on Saturday night in Hamilton.
OWEN SOUND 4 – SAULT STE. MARIE 1
(OS leads series 1-0)
Nick Suzuki (2) and Ethan Szypula (1) both had a goal and an assist as the Owen Sound Attack took a 4-1 win in Sault Ste. Marie, handing the Greyhounds just their second regulation loss of the year on home ice, the first since their home opener on Sept. 23rd. The Attack outshot the Hounds 38-29 including a total of 15-7 in the third period as Alan Lyszczarczyk (5) and Sean Durzi (2) also lit the lamp while Brett McKenzie had a pair of assists. Olivier Lafreniere stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced, surrendering Sault Ste. Marie’s lone goal off the stick of Boris Katchouk (7) on a two-man advantage. Matthew Villalta made 34 saves in the loss as the Hounds start this series from behind and look to recover in Game 2 at the Essar Centre on Friday.