Marco Costantini sparkled, stopping 39 of 41 while Jan Jenik recorded three assists and Arthur Kaliyev added another two goals to bring his total to 18 for the season as the Bulldogs out worked the Mississauga Steelheads late for a 4-2 victory.
The Hamilton Bulldogs had a bit of a slow start to the first period in Mississauga, but goaltender Marco Costantini would allow his teammates the time to find their rhythm offensively making several key stops including a point drive from Steelhead’s leading scorer Thomas Harley. Patience would pay off for the Bulldogs, as the team would earn a late power-play in the first period and once again Jan Jenik, off a nifty curl and drag in neutral ice, would find Bulldogs’ leading goal scorer Arthur Kaliyev who would walk in from the right point, attack the slot and fire his 17th of the season past Kai Edmonds to give Hamilton the 1-0 lead at 19:14 of the opening frame. Costantini would see out the period stopping all 11 shots he faced to take the lead to the locker room.
Mississauga would quickly strike in the second period as Max Dodig would find a loose puck off a tremendous Costantini save from a Varga two-on-one bit, to deposit his 2nd of the year and knotting the game. Just past the midway point of the second period the Bulldogs’ power-play would pick up their second of the game, Jan Jenik’s initial drive would ring the iron but the puck would bounce off the back of Steelheads’ goaltender Edmonds, where Tag Bertuzzi find it and bury the chance, his 5th of the season to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. Both the Bulldogs’ & Steelheads’ penalty kills would stand strong at the end of the second period, along with a Costantini penalty-shot stop on Keean Washkurak and send the game to the second intermission with the Bulldogs leading 2-1.
The third period would open with Costantini splitting across his own goal line and stealing a two-on-one opportunity away from Thomas Harley with the Bulldogs shorthanded. At the conclusion of the penalty kill, Avery Hayes would fly into open space looking to set Arthur Kaliyev streaking down the slot, with the pass blocked, Hayes would regain and navigate into the slot himself and roof the puck over Edmonds to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead at 3:14. Nick Isaacson would make it an interesting finish as he tipped home a Nicholas Canade point shot at 10:42 of the third period, to make it a one goal game once again. That is as close as the Steelheads would get however, Costantini would dabble in the spectacular once again taking away an open opportunity from the slot for James Hardie late in the third before Arthur Kaliyev would hit the empty net for his 18th of the season to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 victory, Costantini would finish the game stopping 39 of 41 on the night.
The Hamilton Bulldogs return to action on Sunday, November 3rd, when they welcome the Ottawa 67’s to FirstOntario Centre for this first time this season in a 2pm puck drop.