HAMILTON - The Hamilton Bulldogs scored four unanswered goals in the third period en route to a 6-2 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters in American Hockey League play Sunday.
Gabriel Dumont had two goals and an assist, and Patrick Holland also had a three-point night for the Bulldogs (12-10-3) with one goal and two assists. Nick Tarnasky, Stefan Fournier and Louis Leblanc also scored for Hamilton, and Robert Mayer made 28 saves.
Bryan Lerg and Markus Lauridsen had goals for the Monsters (12-10-1). Calvin Pickard stopped 22 shots in a losing effort.
With the win, Hamilton climbed to first place in the AHL's North Division.
A subdued start to Sunday's game saw the two teams combine for just six shots on goal through the first ten minutes of play.
But after successfully killing two penalties, the Bulldogs took advantage of their first power-play opportunity of the afternoon to open the scoring at 14:20 of the first period.
Dumont shovelled the puck toward Pickard on the backhand, and he kicked it out wide and into the path of St. Pierre on the right. The winger's wrist shot never made it through a screen, but the loose puck bounced back to Dumont, who made good on his second attempt.
The Monsters had their best chance to level the game at a goal apiece with four minutes to play in the period. Breaking into the offensive zone with a 3-on-1 advantage, Lake Erie forced a pad save from Mayer before hitting the far post with the follow-up shot.
Hamilton doubled its lead early in the second period, striking at 5:06 when Darren Dietz' shot from the point hit Lake Erie defender Matt Hunwick in front of the net and fell to Tarnasky. The winger turned and swept a low shot toward Pickard that trickled through the goaltender's legs and in.
A moment of rage from Mike Blunden cost the Bulldogs, as the winger retaliated after being checked from behind and was assessed three minor penalties at 13:29 of the second. With a six-minute power play ahead of them, the Monsters wasted little time finding their first goal of the afternoon.
Hunwick controlled the puck along the blue-line and released a rising shot that Lerg tipped down and past Mayer at 14:31 of the second period.
Hamilton's task was made easier when Lake Erie's Garrett Meurs was penalized for hooking, eliminating two minutes from the Bulldogs' extended penalty kill. Mayer made several saves as the Bulldogs survived the stretch without conceding a tying goal.
Insurance arrived for the Bulldogs when Holland struck to restore their two-goal lead at 2:50 of the third period.
Jordan Owens fought off a defender and centred the puck from the right, and Holland bent to meet the puck and one-timed it past Pickard at the near post. It was the winger's third goal, and fifth point, in five games since returning from injury.
Hamilton scored its fourth goal of the afternoon just 48 seconds later, as Stefan Fournier struck for his first professional goal at 3:38 of the third period. The winger was stationed in front of Pickard's crease and corralled a rebound before shifting to his backhand and sliding it past the goaltender.
With Hamilton on the power play, Dumont pounced on a loose puck for his second goal and third point of the game at 9:41 of the third period.
Leblanc stretched Hamilton's lead to five goals when he tipped Maxime Macenauer's wrist shot past Pickard at 15:21 of the third.
Lauridsen found a consolation goal for the Monsters with 44 seconds to play, firing a high wrist shot past Mayer.