Patrick Holland’s unassisted shorthand goal in the third period gave the Hamilton Bulldogs a 3-2 win over the St. John’s Ice Caps before an announced opening night Copps Coliseum crowd of 5,193 Saturday night. It was the second shorthanded goal of the night for the Bulldogs. Early in the first period, Greg Pateryn worked a give-and-go with Mike Blunden to open the game’s scoring. The veteran Blunden also scored for Hamilton.
For St. John’s who came from behind twice to tie the game it was Andrew Gordon and Ben Chiarot.
The Ice Caps outshot the Bulldogs 35-34. (Game Summary Below)
Although he wasn’t recognized in the three star selection this was an outstanding night for Pateryn. Although starting only his second year as a professional, his college hockey years shone through. He handled his defensive responsibilities calmly and he, along with Swedish rookie Magnus Nygren were the biggest offensive threats from the blueline. Joonas Nattinen, who missed almost all of last year with a shoulder problem, had a very good game. 6’4″ 225lb rightwinger Akim Aliu, who came to the Bulldogs from the Calgary organization on a professional tryout contract and is now working on a 25 game tryout bears watching.
The game’s three stars were Blunden, who had a goal and assist, Holland with the game-winner shorthanded and Ice Caps goaltender Eddie Pasquale.
The Bulldogs will host the defending AHL champion Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday night in their season’s second game.l They are missing three players from their roster because of injury. LW Steve Quailer has been cleared to play and might be in the lineup next week. Stefan Fournier took the warmup before the game but did not play and RW Christian Thomas is currently rehabilitating a training camp injury in Montreal.
The Bulldogs opening night lineup
27-Sven Andrighetto 93-Martin St. Pierre 37-Patrick Holland
14-Michael Blunden- 40-Gabriel Dumont 20-Louis Leblanc
15-Erik Nystrom 42-Ben Duffy 19AkimAliu
74-Nick Tarnasky 23-Joonas Nattinen 9-Justin Courtnall
59-Joel Chouinard 2-Greg Pateryn
22-Drew Schiestel 7-Darren Dietz
11-Nathan McIver- 32-Magnus Nygren
1, Hamilton, Pateryn 1 (Blunden), 4:26 (SH).
2, St. John’s, Gordon 1 (Kichton, Lowry), 10:01 (PP).
Penalties-Chouinard Ham (tripping), 2:39; Schnell Stj (roughing, roughing), 9:47; Dietz Ham (roughing), 9:47; Tarnasky Ham (roughing, roughing), 9:47; O’Neill Stj (hooking), 15:13; Lipon Stj (roughing), 19:41; Blunden Ham (roughing), 19:41; Leblanc Ham (roughing), 19:41.
3, Hamilton, Blunden 1 (Nattinen, Schiestel), 1:55.
4, St. John’s, Chiarot 1 (Jaffray, Samson), 5:41.
Penalties-served by Schnell Stj (bench minor – too many men), 3:08; O’Dell Stj (delay of game), 8:11; McIver Ham (misconduct – continuing altercation), 11:01; Nygren Ham (boarding), 11:01; Samson Stj (slashing), 18:43.
5, Hamilton, Holland 1 5:15 (SH).
Penalties-Dumont Ham (holding), 4:42; Pardy Stj (holding), 13:45; Blunden Ham (hooking), 16:28; O’Neill Stj (hooking), 18:08.
Shots on Goal-St. John’s 10-10-15-35. Hamilton 10-15-9-34.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 1 / 6; Hamilton 0 / 6.
Goalies-St. John’s, Pasquale 1-2-0 (34 shots-31 saves). Hamilton, Tokarski 1-0-0 (35 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47), Tom Chmielewski (43).
Linesmen-Kevin Hastings (61), Jesse Wilmot (19).