Hamilton takes Game 1 of Mary’s Cup

(stjohnsicecaps.com) — The Hamilton Bulldogs came back from a pair of one-goal deficits as they defeated the St. John’s IceCaps 3-2 in Game 1 of Mary’s Cup action from the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls–Windsor.

It didn’t take long for the IceCaps to open the scoring as former Bridgeport Sound Tiger Mike Cornell fired a seeing-eye shot from the top of the right circle that eluded Bulldogs starting goaltender Joey MacDonald just 2:57 into the contest.

The Bulldogs evened the score at the 8:57 mark of the first as Shane Bakker snuck into the slot and tucked a quick pass from Jared Gomes underneath the glove hand of IceCaps starter Jussi Olkinuora.

The IceCaps restored the lead just over two minutes later as Austen Brassard sent a beautiful saucer pass from the right wing directly on the stick of Chase Balisy who made no mistake on the two-on-one and beat an outstretched MacDonald.

The home team’s lead didn’t last long as Charles Hudon took a pass from Daniel Carr and sent a hard floating shot on net that handcuffed Olkinuora at 5:15.

The Bulldogs surged ahead and scored the lone goal of the second frame at 8:25 as Carr entered the zone with some speed on the right side and squeezed by defenceman Chris Owens near the circle before firing a shot that bounced over the pads of Olkinuora and into the net.

The IceCaps had a great chance to tie the game near the halfway point of the second period. With a pair of Bulldogs in the penalty box, the IceCaps had 55 seconds of 5-on-3 time but were unable to capitalize.

Olkinuora played the full game between the pipes for St. John’s, while Bulldogs starter MacDonald played the first half of the game before being replaced by Franky Palazzese at 9:38 of the second.