WINNIPEG – Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Guy Boucher talked to his players about boosting their effort a night after a tough loss. It seems they listened.
Defenceman P.K. Subban spun around and fired a wrist shot past goalie Cory Schneider 3:53 into overtime and the Bulldogs beat the Manitoba Moose 5-4 in American Hockey League action Saturday.
“The effort was there from the beginning to the end,” said Boucher, whose team lost to Manitoba 5-3 Friday night.
“I think we were first on the puck the major portion of the game. We made a few mistakes in our structure and it cost us, but the effort was there.
“Making errors of commission, I’ll take, but errors of omission I don’t take as when we freeze and we hold back. We didn’t hold back, we went for it and it paid off.”
Hamilton bumped its record to 11-4-4, while Manitoba (11-9-3) had its three-game winning streak halted.
“The puck just came over the boards, I curled back and I looked and nobody came out to me,” Subban said.
“I just walked in and shot it. I’m not too sure where it went, but the good thing is it went in so I was pretty happy.”
Subban’s goal came in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,582 at MTS Centre, who were treated to a back-and-forth game that included a six-goal barrage in the second period.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the first period when defenceman Mathieu Carle’s point shot through traffic beat Schneider at 10:54.
Fans then enjoyed a goal-filled second.
Carle made it 2-0 at 2:04 and teammate Sergei Kostitsyn scored on a power play at 7:35 to widen the gap to 3-0.
The Moose came to life 38 seconds later when forward Erik Christensen notched his second goal with his new team by redirecting a shot past Hamilton goalie Curtis Sanford.
Veteran Marty Murray cut the lead to 3-2 just over a minute later when he flipped in a rebound past Sanford.
Hamilton responded with its second goal on the power play at 13:09 as David Desharnais lifted a backhand shot over Schneider.
Manitoba made it 4-3 when leading scorer Sergei Shirokov went in alone on goal, deked and fired a low shot between Sanford’s skate and the post for his ninth goal of the season at 19:47.
“It was crazy, back and forth all the time,” Carle said of the second period.
“We’re having a little trouble right now in our second period and we should have played better, but we came out in the third with the lead.”
Carle also had a pair of assists, including one on Subban’s goal. It was the first four-point game of his three-year AHL career.
The Moose tied the game at 10:33 of the third period with a rare power-play marker off a point shot by Marco Rosa. They hadn’t scored on the power play in 36 previous tries.
“For the first two periods, we were pretty good spectators,” Manitoba head coach Scott Arniel said.
“We didn’t really want to compete, didn’t want to battle. It was a little bit of a wakeup call there between periods.”
Manitoba finished 2-4 on the power play, Hamilton was 1-7.
Sanford made 20 saves for Hamilton, while Schneider stopped 31 shots for Manitoba.
Notes: The MTS Centre is usually 15,003 for a sellout, but seating was reduced to make room for an autograph session with Jason Earles, who plays Jackson on the hit TV show Hannah Montana.