HAMILTON, ONTARIO – A three-goal second period and a stellar game in goal by Dustin Tokarski propelled the Hamilton Bulldogs (7-7-0-3) to a 5-1 victory over the Texas Stars (9-6-2-1) on Tuesday evening at Copps Coliseum. The win was the first through 17 games this season in which the ‘Dogs edged their opponents by more than one goal.
Hamilton forward Nick Tarnasky opened the scoring on the power play with his sixth goal of the season at 7:30 of the first period when he banged in a rebound at the edge of the crease. Assists on the play went to forwards Christian Thomas and Martin St. Pierre.
Bulldogs forward Steve Quailer notched his first goal of the year 2:49 into the second frame, with assists going to forwards Stephen MacAulay and Joonas Nattinen.
MacAulay, playing his first American Hockey League game, notched his first career goal and second point of the night at 6:17 of the second period, with forwards Louis Leblanc and Quailer drawing assists.
Less than six minutes after that, Tarnasky notched his second goal of the night and seventh of the season with another rebound goal at the crease, this time with assists from defenceman Jarred Tinordi and Leblanc.
The Stars broke Tokarski’s shutout bid 6:59 into the third period when forward Colton Sceviour notched his league-leading 13th goal of the year, assisted by forward Travis Morin and goaltender Allen York.
Just 47 seconds later, Bulldogs forward Erik Nystrom put the game out of the Stars’ reach for good when he stripped defenceman Cameron Gaunce of the puck in tight and wristed a shot past York for his first career AHL goal.
Tokarski made 30 saves on 31 shots in the Bulldogs net in the win. Cristopher Nilstorp started for Texas, making 21 saves on 25 shots and was credited with the loss. York made seven saves on eight shots for the Stars in relief.
Hamilton went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Texas went 0-for-2.