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Four-goal third sends ‘Dogs to round two

HAMILTON 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 1
Nigel Dawes tallied a pair of goals, and Hamilton scored four times in the third period to collect a series-clinching 4-1 win over visiting Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon in Game 6 of the teams’ North Division semifinal.

The division-champion Bulldogs now advance to the North Division Finals, where they will meet the winner of Tuesday’s Game 7 between Lake Erie and Manitoba.

This contest was scoreless through the first 45 minutes of play before two-time Calder Cup champion Alexandre Giroux put Oklahoma City on the board at 5:41 of the third period.

It marked Giroux’s second goal of this series and his 52nd career Calder Cup playoff goal, moving him into second place in league history behind Darren Haydar.

The Barons’ lead didn’t last long, though, as Dawes pulled Hamilton even just 1:02 later with his fourth postseason goal. Bulldogs defenseman Frederic St. Denis buried the eventual game-winner on the power play with less than three minutes left in regulation, and Dawes and J.T. Wyman added empty-netters late.

Aaron Palushaj assisted on both goals by Dawes and wound up with three helpers in all, and Bulldogs goaltender Drew MacIntyre stopped 24 of 25 shots to pick up the win in net.

Hamilton moves on to the division finals for the second consecutive season. In 2010, the ‘Dogs ousted Manitoba and Abbotsford before falling to Texas in a seven-game conference final.

North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W5-Oklahoma City Barons || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – HAMILTON 5, Oklahoma City 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – HAMILTON 2, Oklahoma City 1
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – OKLAHOMA CITY 2, Hamilton 0
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – OKLAHOMA CITY 5, Hamilton 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Hamilton 2, OKLAHOMA CITY 0
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – HAMILTON 4, Oklahoma City 1