Marlieland is quite the place.
You’ve got scraps, Ben Ondrus and Richard Greenop
went at it with a couple of members of the Hamilton Bulldogs as the two teams opened the season at Ricoh Coliseum.
You’ve got goaltending. Joey MacDonald stopped 34 shots and another in the shootout as the Marlies prevailed 3-2 in the aforementioned bonus fun.
ou’ve got late drama. Captain Ben Ondrus scored to knot the game with just seven minutes left to play.
You’ve got people, 4,362 of them ripping it up on a Sunday.
And most of all, you have two points, all thanks to a sniperish goal in the shots by veteran Alex Foster.
“I got to do them maybe once or twice last year,” said Foster, who scored a dozen last season in 80 games.
“They didn’t let me shoot and when I got the chance I didn’t score,” he said. “This is the first one this year, obviously and it was a better turnout.”
The game was scoreless until late in the first when J.T. Wyman shoveled the puck past MacDonald on a goalmouth scramble.
Sixteen seconds later, Kyle Rogers bulled his way to the Hamilton net and pushed the puck past veteran Hamilton netminder Curtis Sanford.
The Bulldogs’ Brock Trotter collected the only goal on a four-on-three power play advantage to send the game into extras.
In the shootout, Jiri Tlusty and Tyler Bozak
scored with impunity, Andre Deveaux saw his shot trickle through Sanford’s pads.
It all made for a happy dressing room.
“We got a lot of young guy, a lot of talent and that showed in the shootout,” said MacDonald.
“These guys can do whatever they want to do with the puck.”
“You want to make it known that this is going to be a hard place to come in and get points,”
Ondrus said. “We want other players from other teams do not feel comfortable here.”
The push that comes with winning a shootout, said MacDonald, a former NHLer, can last a while.
“You’ve got to get that extra point,” he said. “I know it’s the first game but that point can mean a lot down the stretch.”
“As the game went on I think our players felt we were taking over the game,” said Marlies’ coach Dallas Eakins who earned his first win behind the bench.
“I felt we were in better shape. I appreciated how our guys worked hard all summer.”