HAMILTON - Bulldogs centre Gabriel Dumont says the solution to the Hamilton's six-game skid is going to have to come from within the dressing room.
Spencer Machecek scored twice and David Aebischer made 21 saves for his first shutout of the season Friday as the St. John's IceCaps rolled over the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-0.
Aaron Gagnon and Eric O'Dell had the other goals for St. John's (13-4-4).
Nathan Lawson stopped 35 shots in defeat for Hamilton (6-12-2), which doesn't have a single player with a positive plus/minus rating.
?The solution is going to come from within," said a frustrated Dumont after the loss. "We can?t wait for Montreal to send us guys, we can?t wait for guys to come back from injuries. We just have to work harder and this is not what we?re doing right now.?
The win keeps the IceCaps atop the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference standings, while the Bulldogs remain in the AHL's basement.
Hamilton, which came off a five-day rest and gained three players and their starting goalie back from injury, could not keep up with the IceCaps.
They were heavily outshot in the first (18-10), a trend that would only continue throughout the game.
Machecek opened the scoring early, banking the puck in off a Bulldogs defenceman from behind the net just 73 seconds into the first.
It was an unlucky bounce for Lawson, who rode out an upper body injury on the bench during a three-game road trip. Friday was Lawson's first start since Nov. 18, and it would only get worse.
The IceCaps' second goal came on the power-play at 16:29 of the opening period. Lawson stopped the initial point shot from Marco Rosa, but Gagnon knocked home the rebound for his third of season.
Jodoin took the time to air his frustration with the team in the intermission, saying he ???let them know what I was thinking.???
The ???Dogs came out stronger in the second, but they still couldn???t keep pace with the IceCaps. O'Dell made it 3-0 at 8:54 of the second, firing a wrist shot past Lawson from the slot on a broken play.
With the IceCaps up 3-0, frustration crept into Hamilton's game.
An extended period of post-whistle jawing ??? and a shove to linesman Jesse Wilmot ??? saw Zach Fitzgerald tossed late in the period.
Lawson then let in a soft backhand for Machacek's second of the night at 5:54 of the third to make it 4-0.
St. John???s coach Keith McCambridge still wasn???t completely satisfied with the win.
???At times I thought we didn???t manage the momentum well,??? McCambridge said, adding it was a learning game for a team that came off of back-to-back losses to the Toronto Marlies.
He did, however, find sympathy for the ???Dogs, especially on the first goal that banked in off a Hamilton defender???s skate.
???When things are going on the wrong side, as it looks like it is for times in Hamilton, pucks like that go in.???
Hamilton will host the Rochester Americans on Saturday night, while St. John's will move on to play the Toronto Marlies on Sunday afternoon.