TORONTO – After a poor outing last week against Toronto, Hamilton Bulldogs goalie Cedrick Desjardins got his revenge Sunday.
Desjardins stopped 34 shots to lead the Bulldogs to a 2-1 win over the Marlies in American Hockey League action Sunday.
A week before, Toronto rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period to win in overtime.
“That’s usually a sign of character when a kid can come back and play the way he did against a team that had his number,” Bulldogs coach Don Lever said. “It was all Cedrick tonight. Without him we had no chance.”
Marlies coach Greg Gilbert agreed.
“He was the deciding factor, no question.”
David Desharnais scored the winner for Hamilton. With the game tied 1-1 late in the third, he skated down the left wing and fired a long wrist shot that floated past Toronto goalie Justin Pogge’s glove.
Mike Glumac also scored for Hamilton (16-9-2), while Ben Ondrus replied for Toronto (12-12-0-1) in a chippy contest played before 4,327 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
Lever admitted that his team was sluggish for much of the game, but was pleased by its ornery play in a second period that included three fights and several skirmishes after stoppages in play.
“That’s the most emotion we’ve played with in a long time,” he said. “We had a few scraps and I didn’t mind that, because we’ve been pretty flat in the last little while.”
Gilbert was incensed that Hamilton’s Ryan Flinn insisted on squaring off against Darryl Boyce, who is nursing a finger injury.
“Darryl Boyce can’t fight,” said Gilbert. “It’s a physical thing. It’s not a mental thing. He’s not scared. He can’t fight.”
Boyce was far less upset than his coach about the fisticuffs, however.
“I’m there to finish my hits and if people don’t like it, I back it up,” he said. “I’m not going to shy away from anything.”
Toronto was playing its third game in as many nights but managed to outshoot Hamilton 10-5 in the first period. Yet the home failed to capitalize on their many chances and headed into the first intermission trailing by a goal.
Glumac opened the scoring for Hamilton on a power play, tipping a shot past Pogge.
Minutes after the Glumac goal, Desjardins denied Robbie Earl on a rebound chance, and with just over a minute remaining in the period, he slid across the net to make a glove save on a one-timer by Mark Bell.
Toronto continued to dominate play in the second period, outshooting the visitors 20-3 but once again failing to beat Desjardins.
The Marlies finally broke through early in the third period as Ben Ondrus’s shot from the slot trickled through Desjardins’ legs and over the goal-line.
Notes: The Dallas Stars reassigned Dan Jancevski to Hamilton on Saturday, but the defenceman was not in the lineup. Defenceman Anton Stralman suited up for the Marlies after being demoted by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.