Bulldogs stay hot by edging Americans in Montreal

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The Canadian Press
2/22/2013 10:18:14 PM
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MONTREAL -- Dustin Tokarski won again at the Bell Centre, this time leading the Hamilton Bulldogs to a victory rather than dealing them a loss.

Tokarski made 17 saves to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 3-2 win over the Rochester Americans on Friday in their latest A-H-L game in Montreal.

Michael Blunden and Steve Quailer scored 1:38 apart early in the second period to send Hamilton (20-25-6) to its sixth win in its last eight games. Jarred Tinordi also scored for the Bulldogs.

A crowd of 10,173 took in the game at the home of the Montreal Canadiens, the Bulldogs' NHL-parent club.

"Any time you can be a part of a game in this building it's something special," said Tokarski, who led Syracuse to a 4-1 win over the Bulldogs before a crowd of 18,582 at the Bell Centre on Nov. 9. "There's a lot of history here and it was a fun game out there. A great crowd, great fans, and a good thing we got the two points."

Tokarski has won two of three starts with Hamilton since he was acquired from Syracuse in a Feb. 14 trade for goalie Cedrick Desjardins. He improved to 20-9-4 overall this season.

"You can tell that he's confident and he brings that to the team," Bulldogs coach Sylvain Lefebvre said.

Mark Pysyk and Maxime Legault scored for Rochester (27-20-3), which led 1-0 and 2-1 in the first. David Leggio stopped 22 shots, while Phil Varone had two assists.

"I think in the second period we just kind of broke down and had a couple of miscues on face-offs," Varone said. "I think we just got complacent and we kind of lost control there. Leggio kept us in the game for a bit and then we started pushing back, but you can't have those kinds of letdowns."

The Americans have lost four of five, including two in a row under new head coach Chadd Cassidy.

"We had a rough patch for about five minutes there where we gave up a couple of opportunities and lost a couple of battles, and that was the difference in the game," Cassidy said.

The Bulldogs were outshot 49-30 in a 4-2 loss to Rochester in Hamilton on Tuesday in what proved to be coach Ron Rolston's last game.

Rochester lost 5-1 to Texas on Wednesday in Cassidy's debut. He took over for Rolston, who was named interim head coach of the Buffalo Sabres after Lindy Ruff was fired.

"Obviously, at first it was a whirlwind there, the first 12 hours or so, having a game that night," Cassidy said. "But once everything kind of got finalized it's business as usual. We've got to get back to playing hockey and doing things the right way and making sure that we're being competitive and winning hockey games."

Blunden's ninth goal of the season 26 seconds into the middle period drew the Bulldogs even at 2-2. Quailer put Hamilton ahead to stay with his fifth goal at 2:04.

"We regrouped here in the intermission and then we came out flying after that, and that's how we've got to play the whole time," Blunden said.

Pysyk gave Rochester the lead midway through the first. He scored his fourth goal on a pass from Varone 10:35 in.

"I thought the first period we came out flying," Varone said. "I know guys were excited, obviously. There are a few guys who have played in this building and it's one of the best buildings in the NHL. I thought we came out hard."

Tinordi got credit for his second goal of the season on an odd play for the tying goal at 11:43. The six-foot-six defenceman's shot from the left point went wide. The puck struck the end boards and bounced back toward the net, where it went in off Leggio's right pad.

The Americans regained the lead at 2-1 on Legault's short-handed goal at 14:02. Brayden McNabb's shot struck the post and Legault put away the rebound.

"The fact that we battled back after the first period and came out and scored two big goals and we didn't look back, that was great," Lefebvre said.

Hamilton Bulldogs (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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