Matt D’Agostini helped him out to score the winning goal in the 10th round of the shootout as the Bulldogs earned a 4-3 victory over the Manitoba Moose on Thursday. Danis has been involved in all four of his teams’ games that went into extra time. “As a goalie, it’s always fun when you win, I guess it’s a different thing when you lose,” said Danis. “But so far this year I’ve been pretty lucky winning three out of four. It’s something that we work on in practice and it’s paying off for us.”
Andrei Kostitsyn, Mikhail Grabovski, and Corey Locke scored in regulation time for the Bulldogs. Brandon Reid, Shaun Heshka, and Mike Keane replied for Manitoba.
Moose head coach Scott Arniel doesn’t really like the shootout.
“I’ve never ever really been a big fan of it, but I guess it’s entertaining for the fans,” said Arniel. “I guess you’ve got an equal opportunity on both sides.”
With the split in the two-game series, Hamilton moved back into sole possession of second place in the North Division, one point ahead of Manitoba.
Bulldogs assistant coach Ron Wilson was relieved his team won at least one game in the series.
“It was a good win for us. It was a tough loss last night in overtime,” said Wilson. “The guys bounced back. Manitoba is a tough team to play. They don’t give you much. Tonight we stuck to it and won the shootout.”
Despite being outshot 12-3 in the opening period, the Bulldogs went into the second period tied 1-1 thanks to Danis’ goaltending.
Hamilton centre Locke opened the scoring when he took a lead pass from defenceman Jean-Philippe Cote, outraced a pair of defenders, and broke into the clear beating Wade Flaherty on his stick side at 6:02.
The Moose tied the game at 7:29 after Swedish defenceman Alex Edler fired the puck from the blue-line and Danis left a tantalizing rebound at the edge of the crease. Veteran NHLer Keane whipped the puck into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Zack Stortini, Hamilton’s enforcer, traded punches with Moose defenceman Nathan McIver midway through the first and both received major penalties.
Hamilton head coach Don Lever received a game misconduct with 33 seconds remaining in regulation time after arguing a minor penalty for interference being assessed to Kostitsyn.
Defenceman Heshka, on the power play, scored his first pro goal at 5:25 of the second to stake the Moose to a 2-1 lead. Once again Edler’s blue-line drive was blocked by Danis leaving the puck lying at the edge of the crease and the former Everett Silvertips junior playing in deep slammed it in the open side.
“I jumped in from the point,” Heshka said. “The puck came out to me and I just tried to put it back on the net. I didn’t even see it go in. All of a sudden the guys came over to me to celebrate.”
Kostitsyn tied the game 2-2 at 5:09 of the third after backhanding the puck from behind the net into the crease and the puck richocheted off Manitoba defenceman Patrick Coulombe.
Reid extended his goal-scoring streak to five when pounced on Jason Jaffray’s rebound at 10:52 to restore the Moose lead and beat the out-of-position Danis while the teams were playing five aside.
Three minutes later Grabovski fired in a loose puck to tie the game at three.