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Game 1 goes to the Dogs

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Brock Trotter scored his second goal of the night 14 seconds into overtime as Hamilton opened the Western Conference Finals with a 3-2 win over the Texas Stars at Copps Coliseum on Friday night.

With Texas shorthanded after a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty late in regulation, the Bulldogs controlled the faceoff at the start of the OT period and took to the offensive zone. David Desharnais swooped in low and sent a shot along the ice that Stars goalie Matt Climie (35 saves) blockered away, but the puck went right to Trotter stationed at the side of the net. Trotter lifted it over Climie to give Hamilton the 1-0 series lead.

It was Hamilton’s eighth consecutive playoff overtime win dating back to their last loss in 2004. The Bulldogs are now 18-3 in their last 21 playoff OT games and 20-7 all-time.

Desharnais opened the scoring for Hamilton on a power play 5:22 into the game, finding a rebound of Mike Glumac ’s stuff attempt and beating Climie for his seventh goal of the postseason.

Texas tied the score at 11:01 when Perttu Lindgren stole the puck from Glumac at the Bulldogs blue line and kept it in the offensive zone. Landon Wilson picked it up and fed Jamie Benn , whose wrister from the right-wing circle got past Curtis Sanford (18 saves) to make it 1-1.

A little more than four minutes later, Trotter deflected home a Desharnais shot from the top of the slot to put Hamilton back in front. The Bulldogs finished the opening period with a 15-5 advantage in shots on goal.

The only goal of the second period was Benn’s second power-play goal of the night, a one-timer off a Dan Jancevski feed with 1:45 left in the middle frame. Benn now has 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points in 12 postseason games for the Stars.

Trotter’s game-winner was the fourth-fastest overtime goal in Calder Cup Playoff history.

Game 2 is Sunday afternoon at Copps Coliseum.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., May 14 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Sun., May 16 – Texas at Hamilton, 2:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 19 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30
Game 4 – Fri., May 21 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30
*Game 5 – Sat., May 22 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 24 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 26 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30