(CP) — Cedrick Desjardins made 29 saves to backstop the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps in American Hockey League action Wednesday night.
Carl Klingberg opened the scoring for the IceCaps (8-9-0-0) in the first period.
The Bulldogs (6-7-1-1) managed only two shots on goal in the opening period, and didn’t get their third shot until midway through the second period.
St. John’s controlled the tempo of the game early, although it took a beautiful solo effort from Klingberg to get them on the board at 19:51. Klingberg took a feed from Ben Maxwell before dangling through Hamilton’s zone and sending a wrist shot past Desjardins.
Hamilton began to pour the pressure on and managed to even up the shot total, as both teams finished two periods with 17 shots apiece.
The Bulldogs were rewarded for their pressure when they tied the game with a three-on-one rush.
Derek Meech was the last defender back after his defence partner pinched to try and salvage a puck in the offensive zone. Brendan Gallagher sent a cross-crease pass around a sprawling Meech, which Blunden easily finished.
Quailer benefited from a fortunate bounce off the boards behind IceCaps goalie Mark Dekanich, which he banged home from the door step for the winner.
Klingberg said the IceCaps got deflated after allowing their first goal of the game.
“I thought we played pretty good in the first and the second all the way until they scored, and then we just – just like a balloon – all the air went out of us.”
IceCaps coach Keith McCambridge said St. John’s played with the right amount of intensity in the game, but not consistently.
Desjardins was happy the Bulldogs could come away with a win against the veteran IceCaps.
“Honestly, we battled hard. They have a veteran team, if you compare. They were playing a system of hockey that was back and forth, not a lot of shots, but when the shots would come in they were tough saves.”
The IceCaps pressed hard in the closing seven minutes of the third period, putting up a lot of shots, but Desjardins came up big for the Bulldogs.
Dekanich made 23 saves for the IceCaps.