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Blunden scores twice as Bulldogs extend win streak to three games @NHLdotcom

MONTREAL - Michael Blunden scored twice as the Hamilton Bulldogs extended their win streak to three games by defeating the Syracuse Crunch 4-1 in American Hockey League action Friday night at the Bell Centre.

Gabriel Dumont and Morgan Ellis also scored for the Bulldogs (8-7-3) and Dustin Tokarski stopped 26 shots.

Jean-Philippe Cote was the lone scorer for the Crunch (9-5-2) while Cedrick Desjardins made 22 saves on 25 shots.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring when Blunden put his fourth of the year over Desjardins' shoulder at 15:55 of the first.

Dumont was instrumental on the play, dodging a hit along the boards and skillfully avoiding a sprawling Luke Witkowksi in front of the net before feeding the puck to Blunden. Jarred Tinordi also got an assist on the goal.

Ellis doubled Hamilton's lead when his slap shot from the blue line beat Desjardins at 11:00 of the second period after taking a deflection off a Syracuse denfenceman.

The Bulldogs kept pressing and scored again two minutes later. Blunden returned the favour after his first period goal, this time unselfishly dishing the puck to a wide-open Dumont, who scored his first of the season into a gaping net to give Hamilton a 3-0 lead.

Cote scored a consolation goal for the Crunch at 15:13 of the third period before Blunden added an empty-netter.

Tokarski entered Friday's game with a 2.16 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage.

Notes: The attendance at the Bell Centre was 8,002. ??? Hamilton leading-scorer Sven Andrighetto is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and did not face the Crunch. ??? Syracuse defenceman Cote played eight career NHL games with the Canadiens in 2005. He also played five seasons with Hamilton from 2003 to 2008. ??? Syracuse beat Hamilton 4-1 at the Bell Centre last season in front of 18,582 fans. ??? Syracuse and Hamilton face off tomorrow night at the War Memorial Arena in New York.

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