MONTRÉAL -- The Hamilton Bulldogs will be heading to Oklahoma City on Friday as they get set to face off against the Barons. Their tilt with the West Division team will mark only their second of the season played without the services of AHL leading scorer, Max Pacioretty
|Desharnais, with his 25 helpers, also currently ranks second in assists in the AHL. |
Pacioretty received the call to join the Canadiens after Habs’ head-coach Jacques Martin attended the ‘Dogs 5-1 Sunday win over the Toronto Marlies in which the left-winger recorded a goal and an assist. Proving to be one of the team’s most effective players since the start of the 2010-11 season, Pacioretty’s scoring touch helped Hamilton claim the lead in the league’s North Division after 28 games.
Luckily, the Hamilton squad has a lot of depth to draw from – most notably Bulldogs’ center David Desharnais
. Not only was Desharnais tied with Pacioretty for second place in points in the AHL, with both players notching 32, but the crafty center is also tied for the team lead in plus-minus along with defenseman Mathieu Carle with a +11.
Desharnais, with his 25 helpers, also currently ranks second in assists in the AHL, only one short of the Rochester Americans’ Michal Repik. Pacioretty credited much of his current success to Desharnais’ strong play, hailing his former-linemate as one of the best players in the AHL.
Another Bulldogs’ center, Olivier Fortier
hit a personal milestone in Sunday’s matchup, potting three goals for the first hat-trick of his professional career. He also added an assist to his tally for a Bulldogs’ season-high four points.
Like the Canadiens, the Bulldogs will wrap up the month of December with lengthy road trip that will see then make stops in Oklahoma City, Cedar Park, San Antionio, Houston and Toronto, before returning home to cap off the year with games against Chicago and Lake Erie.Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSOLeblanc selected to Team Canada Preliminary results for NHL All-Star Fan voting - After 4 weeks Canadiens recall Max Pacioretty