HAMILTON - Steve Quailer scored the game's only goal with under four minutes to go in regulation and Cedrick Desjardins stopped all 28 shots he faced Tuesday as the Hamilton Bulldogs shut out the Lake Erie Monsters 1-0 in the American Hockey League.
Quailer broke the scoreless tie at 16:17 of the final period with an eye-catching individual effort. The Hamilton winger held possession over the blue-line and down the right side before deking a defender, shielding the puck and shovelling it past Lake Erie goalie Calvin Pickard from in tight.
Hamilton (9-10-2) began the game the stronger of the two teams and held their visitors without a shot for the first 12 minutes.
Scoring chances were few and far between in the opening period, but the Monsters (12-11-2) came closest on a 2-on-1 break with three minutes remaining, only to be foiled by the alert Desjardins.
A scuffle at the conclusion of the first led to a Bulldogs power play to begin the second period, but winger Mike Blunden hit the post with a wrist shot before Pickard, who finished with 43 saves, produced a timely reaction to preserve the scoreless tie.
Pickard was called into service yet again when the puck fell to Quailer alone in the slot but the goaltender swatted away a wrist shot destined for the top corner.
The Monsters then had a great opportunity to open the scoring when Desjardins intentionally dislodged his net and was whistled for delay of game to hand the Monsters a two-man advantage for 1:18.
But Desjardins redeemed himself with several saves over the course of the penalty kill as the Bulldogs held the Monsters off the scoreboard.
The hosts threatened eight minutes into the third when winger Patrick Holland kept the puck on a 2-on-1 break and fired a close-range wrist shot that was stopped by Pickard.
Brendan Gallagher then had another great chance for Hamilton before Quailer finally found a way past Pickard.
Notes: Hamilton winger Aaron Palushaj left the game after being hit midway through the second period, but returned to start the third. ... Attendance at Copps Coliseum was 3,945. ... Lake Erie's Mike Connolly was held off the score sheet, ending his streak of four consecutive games with at least a point.