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Bulldogs report: Nov. 19, 2008

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – While long layoffs between games aren’t often welcomed by teams, the Hamilton Bulldogs showed no ill-effects from a five-day respite.  Hosting the Rochester Americans in a pair of matchups at Copps Coliseum last weekend, Don Lever’s squad swept away their division rival to improve to 11-4-1-0 overall and 7-3 in their last 10 games, heading into Wednesday’s tilt with the Manchester Monarchs.

Ryan Russell
- Center Ryan Russell notched his first hat trick as a pro in Sunday’s win over the Americans.  That doubled his total for the season and moved him into a four-way tie for second place among Bulldogs goal scoring leaders. The 21-year-old has found the back of the net six times on just 23 shots, a 26.1% success rate that is tops on the Hamilton roster.

- Acquired from the Minnesota Wild for Corey Locke during the offseason, Shawn Belle has provided a steady defensive presence on the Hamilton blue line. The Edmonton native owns a team-best plus-10 differential, a rating that sits sixth-best in the AHL overall.

- Opposing defenses haven’t had it easy when facing Don Lever’s crew.  The ‘Dogs remain among the best in the league at finding the twine, potting 58 goals so far to rank third overall.  Shut out just once so far this season, the team has scored at least three goals in nine of its 11 wins.

- The Bulldogs scored three shorthanded goals – two courtesy of Ryan Russell – in Sunday’s game against Rochester, just one shy of the AHL record.  That upped their season total so far to seven, tops in the AHL, and eclipsed last year’s total of six.

Hamilton closes out a three-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Monarchs, before hitting the road for three games in Peoria (Saturday), Houston (Sunday) and San Antonio (Tuesday).

Heather Engel is a writer for

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