MONTREAL – A hockey season just wouldn’t be a hockey season without its share of ups and downs. With a season-high five-game losing streak out of the way, the Bulldogs have gotten back in the business of winning – and business is good.
Finishing out the month on a high-note the Hamilton squad has bounced back nicely after their rocky stretch, posting wins in four of their last six games, with only a single loss being handed to them in regulation time.
Their winning ways have been enough to vault them out of their slide and back into a three-way tie for first place in the AHL’s North Division. The Manitoba Moose and the Lake Erie Monsters are all even with the ‘Dogs at 70 points apiece, but Hamilton boasts a game on hand over the Moose and a whopping four games over the Monsters.
A key to the Bulldogs recent success can be attributed to the reemergence of a power-play unit that had been struggling for the better part of a month. After running dry on 23 opportunities with the man-advantage over the course of nine games, Hamilton’s power-play has found new life, lighting the lamp eight times in their last seven games.
Activities leading up to the NHL trade deadline have also affected the face of the AHL club over the past weeks, with key players being shipped out and new ones finding their place with the Bulldogs.
Center Ben Maxwell was part of a deal that saw him make the move to the Atlanta Thrashers organization in exchange for defenseman Brent Sopel who immediately joined the Canadiens and forward Nigel Dawes who was assigned to Hamilton. 27-year-old goaltender, Drew MacIntyre represents the newest edition to the Bulldogs lineup after Brett Festerling was sent to join Maxwell in Atlanta.
In what’s hopefully a sign of things to come, Nigel Dawes’ first goal with ‘Dogs came in the first period of his first game with his new team, that just happened to be played on Bell Centre ice, as Hamilton toppled the Adirondack Phantoms 4-1 before a crowd of 14,809 in Montreal.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.comALSO READ:Game Highlights: Canadiens @ ThrashersBusiness as usual Price Earns Molson Cup Get well soon Sigh of relief