SUNDAY NIGHT TURNS SOUR FOR BULLDOGS IN OSHAWA DEFEAT
OSHAWA, ONTARIO. Wrapping up a challenging 3-in-3 weekend with a trip to the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, the Brantford Bulldogs met the Oshawa Generals for the 7th of 8 meetings on the season between the top two teams in the OHL East Division.
The effects of the compacted weekend schedule were evident from the start and the Generals wasted no time in taking advantage. Just 2:47 into the game Tyler Graham set Beckett Sennecke for his 16th of the season to put the Generals up 1-0. The offensive push from the Generals continued towards the middle stages as for the third time on the weekend the Bulldogs fell behind 2-0 when Tyler Graham went from provider to scorer, collecting his 5th of the season from Owen Griffin & Ben Danford to give the Generals a 2-0 advantage. The Bulldogs looked to slow the Generals attack and get on the front foot to mount a comeback but penalty trouble played a factor as the visitors were outshot 12-4 in the opening period and Oshawa struck once more before it was out. Generals captain Stuart Rolofs struck for his 26th of the season at 19:54 from Danford & Callum Ritchie to send the Bulldogs to the locker room down 3-0 through 20 minutes.
Fresh out of the locker room, the Generals again took advantage of an opportunity at 0:49 seconds with Dylan Roobroeck setting Matthew Buckley for his 24th of the season to give the Generals a commanding 4-0 lead. Penalty trouble followed into the middle frame, as the Bulldogs were shorthanded on another three occasions, including a lengthy early 5-on-3. Though the penalty kill unit managed to survive the pressure, the Generals struck twice in 0:14 seconds. First, at 7:19, Roobroeck & Luca Marrelli combined to set Matthew Buckley for his 2nd of the game and 25th of the season to put the Generals ahead by a 5-0 score and spell the end of the night for Matteo Drobac. With David Egorov taking over between the pipes, the Generals quickly jumped on the young netminder before he could even get settled with Luca D’Amato scoring from Beckett Sennecke & Connor Punnett at 7:33. Outshot 14-8 in the middle frame, the Bulldogs hit the locker room after 40 minutes trailing by a 6-0 score.
Heading out for the third period, the Bulldogs looked to finish the weekend by building back a bit of momentum, focusing on winning the final 20 minutes. Calvin Crombie set Patrick Thomas for his 11th of the season and 3rd point in 3 games over his weekend return to get the Bulldogs on the board at 2:22. Shorthanded four times in the final frame and 8 times overall in the hockey game, while only seeing three advantgages of their own, the Bulldogs held the Generals power-play quiet until the 13:13 mark when Luke Torrance struck to give the hosts a 7-1 lead. The Bulldogs did manage to close the night on a high, recording back to back to goals. At the 15-minute mark, Tomas Hamara dropped the puck back through neutral ice to Marek Vanacker who flew through neutral ice, cutting between two Generals defenders, striding in on goal and lighting the lamp past Jacob Oster for his 26th of the season. The Bulldogs collected one more before the night was out with Vanacker this time starting the play to Tomas Hamara who found Zakary Lavoie to collect his 20th of the season, marking the third straight season the Bulldogs forward has crossed the 20 goal mark, at 16:13 to close the night falling by an 8-3 score.
The Brantford Bulldogs will return to action opening another 3-in-3 weekend Friday night, February 9th travelling to the Sleeman Centre for the only time this season to square off with the Guelph Storm. The Bulldogs will return to the Brantford Civic Centre hosting the Flint Firebirds on Saturday, February 10th at 4:00pm followed by the Peterborough Petes on Sunday, February 11th at 2:00pm.