by Mark Jagord || AHL On The Beat Archive
One of Charles Dickens’ themes in A Tale of Two Cities is redemption. The Hamilton Bulldogs are redeeming a forgetful October in writing this season’s current story: A Tale of Two Months.
With a current November record of 8-2-0-1, Hamilton already has 13 more points than in October. With two more November victories in the games remaining this month, the Bulldogs could surpass the 2001-02 team’s 16-point swing and record their biggest October-November turnaround in franchise history.
Although October may have appeared as a gallimaufry, the numbers told a different story. Only eight goals accounted for six losses, including four one-goal games and two two-goal games. After a rough October start that saw the Bulldogs go 2-6-0-0, they have put together three winning streaks of two games or better so far this month.
Included in the team’s current two-game winning streak are 6-1 and 6-0 victories, the latter over the league-leading Rochester Americans on Nov. 25.
The team can attribute its recent success to a balanced attack and rock-solid goaltending. Twelve and 11 different players recorded points in last weekend’s two victories, while goaltender Jaroslav Halak leads the AHL with a 1.44 goals-against average, a .952 save percentage and three shutouts.
Despite not having a top-20 scorer, Hamilton has six players with five goals or more and nine forwards with 10-plus points. Leading the pack is Duncan Milroy, who recorded his 100th AHL point on Nov. 26, with 10 goals and nine assists. Not too far behind Milroy are Maxim Lapierre (8g, 10a) and Corey Locke (6g, 9a).
The changes from October to November have not been limited to the ice. On Nov. 10, Glenn Stanford was named the team’s new president and governor after previously serving in a similar capacity with the AHL’s former St. John’s franchise for nearly a decade and a half.
The Bulldogs have progressively climbed four spots in the Western Conference’s North Division standings from last month. They are currently tied for second place with Manitoba with 21 points with two games in hand, and look to continue their good fortunes when Milwaukee visits Copps Coliseum on Tuesday night.