HAMILTON, ONTARIO – The Hamilton Bulldogs (2-1-0-2) scored twice in the final 2:28 of regulation and again just over a minute into overtime as the club captured its second win of the season in a come-from-behind 5-4 thriller over the Rockford IceHogs (4-2-0-1) Tuesday night at Copps Coliseum.
Rockford forward Garret Ross opened the scoring just 31 seconds into the first period with a rip from the slot that beat Hamilton goaltender Dustin Tokarski blocker side. Forwards Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault earned assists on the play.
The IceHogs took their second lead of the game 14:29 into the second period with a goal from forward Terry Broadhurst, with assists by Jimmy Hayes and Pat Mullane.
Rockford carried that lead into the third period before Hamilton forward Sven Andrighetto tied things up with a short-handed slapper that blew past Simpson. But just 1:33 later, McNeill put Rockford ahead for the third time in the game on the power play, with assists from forwards Terry Broadhurst and Alex Broadhurst.
With less than four minutes to go, McNeill struck again, with assists to Danault and defenceman Adam Clendening, to make the score 4-2.
With the Bulldogs seemingly down and out, Andrighetto notched his second of the game with 2:28 to play, with forwards Erik Nystrom and Ben Duffy drawing assists. Then, with just 19 seconds remaining and Hamilton goaltender Dustin Tokarski pulled, forward Akim Aliu tied the game and forced overtime, with assists to Leblanc and forward Gabriel Dumont.
Just 1:03 into overtime, Leblanc pounced on a rebound in front of the Rockford crease to seal the win for the Bulldogs. Dumont and defenceman Magnus Nygren notched assists.
Tokarski made 24 saves on 28 shots for Hamilton in the victory. Simpson made 31 saves on 36 shots for Rockford in the loss.
The Bulldogs went 0-for-6 on the power play. The IceHogs went 1-for-5 on the power play.
Hamilton’s next game is scheduled for Friday, October 25th, when they will host the Rochester Americans (AHL Affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) at Copps Coliseum at 7:30 p.m.