|Barons and Bulldogs face off at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton for Game 6 of the AHL North Division semi-final Sunday, April 24, 2011. (Photo by Pellerins Photography) |
After Oklahoma City registered the ice-breaker 5:41 into the third period, Hamilton rallied to score four answered goals, including a pair by Nigel Dawes, to surge ahead and capture victory in Game 6 of the North Division Semi-Final series.
Alex Giroux recorded the Barons' lone goal, while Martin Gerber stopped 15 shots as Oklahoma City drops the best-of-seven matchup by a 4-2 count. FIRST PERIOD
The Barons tallied the first shot of the game before taking the first penalty, a high-sticking minor to Greg Stewart at 3:37. The visitors successfully killed the two minutes, thanks in part to a key save by Martin Gerber.
Near the 10-minute mark, the power-play tables turned after Hamilton's Andrew Conboy clipped Brad Moran's face with his stick. Home goalie Drew MacIntyre stopped all three Barons power-play attempts to keep the game scoreless.
Shortly into five-on-five, Stewart took his second penalty of the game, this time for cross-checking. The Barons excelled on the PK and fed Stewart with the puck as soon as he left the penalty box. The speedy winger surged up the left side on a partial breakaway but couldn't beat MacIntyre.
As such, the 0-0 game held until the buzzer, and the Barons headed to the second period with a slim 6-5 shot lead.SECOND PERIOD
Oklahoma City dominated the early minutes of the middle frame, testing MacIntyre with four shots before drawing a slashing penalty from Gabriel Dumont. The power-play sputtered, however, and the scoreless game continued.
Two more infractions kept penalty box doors swinging and exciting scoring plays moving from one end of the ice to the other.
After 40 minutes, the Barons held a commanding 18-9 shot lead, but goaltenders continued to dominate and the scoreless game progressed into the final frame.THIRD PERIOD
A holding minor to Jake Taylor at the second period buzzer put the Bulldogs on the power-play to start the third period. Like the previous man-advantages, this one passed without a goal.
With 14:19 remaining in regulation, a lamp was finally lit. Capping a stretch of steady pressure in the offensive zone, Giroux benefited from some pretty passing by receiving the puck at the corner of the net and lifting it over MacIntyre to give Oklahoma City a 1-0 lead.
But one minute later, Hamilton evened it up. With help from Aaron Palushaj and Dustin Boyd, Nigel Dawes recorded his fourth goal of the playoffs to tie the game at one.
As the third period progressed, Oklahoma City's top line continued to press in search of the go-ahead goal. Following a number of point-blank stops by MacIntyre, Hamilton turned the play up ice where an unsuspecting Jeff Petry
was charged with tripping Bulldogs winger JT Wyman at 15:28.
On the ensuing power-play opportunity, Hamilton snapped Oklahoma City's stretch of perfection on the PK. After gaining possession at the line, a quick point shot by Frederic St. Denis escaped Gerber's grasp, setting the score 2-1 for the Bulldogs with only 2:56 to play.
In the game's waning moments, Oklahoma City challenged hard for the equalizer. Colin McDonald led the surge with a strong presence only moments after St. Denis' leading tally. McDonald's quick snapshot from the near hashmarks eluded MacIntyre, but caught iron on the far side, preserving Hamilton's one-goal advantage.
Dawes and Wyman both scored empty-net goals in the final minute to seal the outcome, as Hamilton won the game 4-1 and the North Division Semi-Final series 4-2.