IceDogs Lose Canine Cup To Bulldogs
Written By: Kyle Akitt (@JustKyle51)
Photo Credit: Brandon Taylor/OHL Images
It was a cold and miserable night at the Meridian Center for Game 4 of the Canine Cup between the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Niagara IceDogs. The weather definitely mirrored in what has been a horrible stretch for the IceDogs who came into this game 1-9 in their last 10 games. A quick early-season turnaround was definitely on the IceDogs radar as some big lineup changes took place going into this game.
Getting the call up to the team was Sami Douglas-Najem from the OJHL Trenton Golden Hawks. A 17-year-old defenceman who was a 2021 free agent signing out of training camp. Sami played 19 games for the Golden Hawks while recording 7 points. With an impressive training camp, he looked to make an immediate impact on an IceDogs team struggling in the defensive category.
Anthony Agostinelli (RW)
Ethan Sims (C)
Cameron Peters (LW)
Landon Cato (D)
Dakota Betts (D)
Tucker Tynan (G)
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As the rain continued to fall outside, the goals against the IceDogs would continue to rain down as Bulldogs forward Ryan Humphrey would open the scoring on the powerplay to put the team up 1-0. Humphrey has proven this season to be a thorn in the IceDogs paw, during the play and on the scoreboard. IceDogs would get a nice spark as Dakota Betts would drop the gloves with Bulldogs captain Colton Krammerer.
This would eventually lead to San Jose Sharks prospect Danil Gushchin scoring his team-leading 12th goal of the season to tie the game at 1 apiece. It wouldn't take long for the Bulldogs to answer back and it was with Montreal Canadians prospect Jan Mysak who tucked in his 14th goal of the season to take back the lead at 2-1. The IceDogs would have a quick answer, a long pass took 2020 OHL 2nd Overall Draft Pick Pano Fimis on a breakaway who would score five-hole on Bulldogs goaltender Matteo Drobac.
This would mark Pano's 5th goal of his OHL career and 11th point.
IceDogs would see some great play and aggressive side from call-up Sami Douglas-Najem this period, even drawing a powerplay for the IceDogs. Unfortunately, the bad luck in special teams would continue to show as nothing came from the powerplay chance which continued to be a storyline this season for the IceDogs. The Bulldogs would then capitalize on the missed chance by the IceDogs as centre Lawson Sherk would score and give the Bulldogs a 3-2 around the 12-minute mark of the period. The defensive woes for the IceDogs continued as another Bulldogs goal would give them a 2 goal lead, this time by defencemen Nathan Staios, whose father Steve Staios, had a long and decorated NHL career.
As the period went on the pace and aggressive play would start to heat up, first with IceDogs Defencemen Isaac Enright with a massive defensive open-ice hit. The Bulldogs would return the favour on an open-ice hit to forward Jake Uberti, which shown on the replay, would be a hit to the head that was unnoticed by the officials.
The IceDogs would continue to struggle to get any sort of momentum for the first half of the period. Some poor breakouts and less time in the offensive end would pin the IceDogs in most cases in their own end and cause multiple scoring chances for the Bulldogs. This made it that much harder for the IceDogs to muster any sort of comeback at this point in the game. Rookie Forward Ryan Struthers continues to elevate his game and is able to pot in his second goal in as many games, after scoring his first career OHL Goal on Sunday in North Bay.
The IceDogs would eventually fall short of any comeback as the Bulldogs would score in the empty net to make it 6-3 and that would be your final score for this one. The IceDogs will travel back to Barrie on Saturday to take on the Colts in their next game.
JERSEY HOUSE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Sami Douglas-Najem
Photo Credit: OntarioHockeyLeague.com/NiagaraIceDogs