WINNIPEG – Brock Trotter scored a pair of goals as the Hamilton Bulldogs routed the Manitoba Moose 7-1 in American Hockey League action Wednesday night.
Coming a day after the Moose edged the Bulldogs 3-2, the win bumps Hamilton’s North Division-leading record to 47-16-9. Manitoba remains in fourth place in the division at 35-31-6. Hamilton had a 3-1 lead after the first period on Trotter’s team-leading 32nd and 33rd goals and a single from Aaron Palushaj.
Moose defenceman Lawrence Nycholat notched Manitoba’s lone first-period goal in front of 7,769 fans at the MTS Centre.
The Bulldogs made it 5-1 after two periods on goals by Yannick Weber and Ryan Russell.
After allowing five goals on 20 shots, Moose goalie Cory Schneider was replaced by Daren Machesney to start the third. Machesney stopped five of seven shots.
Cedrick Desjardins went the distance in net for Hamilton and picked up his 25th win of the season with a 17-save performance.
Hamilton’s final two goals were both scored on the power play by Dany Masse and Andrew Conboy late in a chippy third period.
The two clubs might meet in the first round of the playoffs, but they still have two more games against each other in the regular season.
Hamilton travels to Abbotsford for games Friday and Saturday before returning home for four games. First up is Toronto, Rochester and then a double-header against Manitoba.
The Moose have a break before heading out for a six-game road trip, beginning with a pair next Monday and Tuesday in Abbotsford. That’s followed by two against Toronto April 2-3 and Hamilton’s matches April 4 and 6.
Trotter opened the game’s scoring 56 seconds into the first period when he fired into an open net after teammate David Desharnais was in the crease pushed up against Schneider.
Nycholat tied it up three minutes later, but Trotter went in unassisted and made it 2-1 at 7:22.
Palushaj took a pass from Ryan Russell during a 2-on-1 and beat Schneider at 14:03 to close the first-period scoring.
The Moose shot themselves in the skates late in the second period.
Two minutes into a four-minute power play courtesy of Bulldog Shawn Belle’s high-sticking penalty, the Moose were called for too many men and Weber immediately scored to widen the gap 4-1.
Russell made it 5-1 with just under three minutes to go in the second.