BULLDOGS SWEEP EASTERN ROAD SWING WITH 4-1 WIN IN KINGSTON
KINGSTON, ONTARIO. Finishing their weekend with a visit to Leon’s Centre in Kingston to take on the Frontenacs for the first time in the 2023-24 season, the Brantford Bulldogs welcomed Lawson Sherk & Nick Lardis back to the lineup on Saturday.
The Bulldogs opened the game with jump pressing Fronts goaltender Mason Vaccari early and often in the first period, putting 11 shots to the Kingston net. The pressure off at 10:59 as Jake O’Brien worked his way high on the left dropping the puck off for Tomas Hamara who worked his way through the left circle and set Masen Wray infront of the net to snap his 3rd of the season and give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. The Fronts fought back putting 6 shots to the Bulldogs net in the first frame but Matteo Drobac, coming off a brilliant performance in Ottawa last night, turned aside each effort. On the power-play at 18:48 the Bulldogs bubbled the lead, Marek Vanacker worked the puck to Nick Lardis whose shot was blocked on the left side but the puck bounced to Patrick Thomas in the right circle who paused for just a split second, freezing Vaccari and scoring his 4th of the season to put the Bulldogs up 2-0 through 20 minutes.
Matteo Drobac continued his recent brilliance in the 2nd period, turning aside an early Tyler Hopkins right circle shot to keep the Bulldogs up by a 2-0 margain. Kingston did find a response in the middle frame, with Quinton Burns point drive being tipped in front of the Bulldogs net by Jacob Battaglia for his 9th of the season at 15:28 to cut the Bulldogs lead to 2-1. On the ensuing shift, Nathan Poole earned a breakaway coming out of his own zone. Starring down Matteo Drobac, Poole looked to freeze the Bulldogs netminder and pick the top corner stickside. Drobac followed the Fronts forward with each move and wouldn’t surrender an inch, denying the breakaway opportunity. The massive Drobac stop put a jump back into the Bulldogs, with Drobac himself moving the puck onto Jorian Donovan in the defensive zone. Donovan passed up the left wing side to Florian Xhekaj with a burst of speed, cutting through the left circle in the Kingston zone and shelving the puck over Mason Vaccari for his 10th of the season giving the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead at 18:15 they took to the locker room through 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs kept the final frame fairly tidy with Matteo Drobac turning aside another 7 shots, with his defense holding a chasing opponent to minimal opportunites once again. The Frontenacs bench got aggressive late, pulling Mason Vaccari for the extra attacker with just under 4-minutes to play but the defense pair of Hamara & Donovan spent the majority of the time playing keep away and parrying aside Kingston thrusts. At 17:21, Florian Xhekaj won a strength battle at the left point clearing the puck into neutral ice for Patrick Thomas who backhanded the puck to Jorian Donovan sending a 100ft shot dead centre into the empty net. Donovan collected his 6th of the year while he, Thomas & Xhekaj each finished with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 Bulldogs victory to send the team home to Brantford with a weekend sweep and a 5-0-1-0 record in their last six games, capturing 11 of a possible 12 points.
The Brantford Bulldogs open a 3-in-4 weekend on Thursday, November 23rd, visiting the Niagara IceDogs at Meridian Centre in St. Catharines before returning to the Brantford Civic Centre on Friday, November 24th to play host to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for the only time this season with both games starting at 7:00pm.