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Manlow's winner puts Bulldogs on brink of Calder Cup after 6-2 win over Hershey

The Bulldogs, who finished third in the AHL's North Division with a

43-28-3-6 record, have yet to trail in any of their four series and can

secure the franchise's first AHL title with another victory Thursday at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton (7:30 p.m. ET).

Michael Lambert also scored for Hamilton (15-6), while Ajay Baines added a

short-handed empty-netter in the final minute. Veteran Duncan Milroy scored another short-handed marker with 34 seconds remaining and also chipped in two assists.

Rookie sensation Carey Price stopped 33 of 35 shots for his team record 14th win in a single post-season.

The 19-year-old Price, who played the majority of the season in junior with

the Tri-City Americans, wasn't as busy as the first three games when he

faced a total of 126 shots. Despite allowing a few uncharacteristic rebounds

early against the Bears, Price was assertive in his crease, aided by a rugged Hamilton defence that minimized any activity in front of the six-foot-three,

212-pounder from Williams Lake, B.C.

At various points in the game, the Hamilton crowd showed their support,

chanting "Car-ey, Car-ey."

His counterpart Frederic Cassivi struggled for Hershey (13-5), making 20

saves on 25 shots faced.

Wingers Jakub Klepis and Tomas Fleischmann scored third-period goals for the Bears, who need to win three consecutive games to repeat as Calder Cup

champions. Klepis has three of Hershey's four goals in the two games at

Copps Coliseum.

With Hershey trailing 4-0 early in the third period, Fleischmann brought the

Bears to within two goals on a great individual effort, backhanding a shot

over Price as he was being wrestled to the ice by Bulldogs' defender

Jean-Philippe Cote at 14:03.

For the second game in a row on home ice, Hamilton jumped out to an early

1-0 lead on Grabovski's fifth goal of the playoffs. Grabovski, a 23-year-old

centre from Potsdam, Germany, initially rang a shot off the post on a

wide-open attempt, but seconds later found the puck and flipped a backhand over the prone Bears' goaltender.

The Bulldogs have an 11-4 record in the 2007 playoffs when scoring first.

Hamilton extended the margin at 10:19 of the first period on the power

play. Defenceman Andre Benoit carried the puck to the bottom of the circle to Cassivi's right and slid a pass to the front of the net that D'Agostini tipped in for an early 2-0 Bulldogs lead.

Hamilton's power play has clicked when most needed, accounting for seven

goals in 26 chances with the man advantage through the first four games of

the series.

Manlow made it 3-0 Hamilton at 4:51 of the second period, a goal that

proved to be the winner. The Bulldogs' winger, with his back to the net,

kept his stick on the ice and tipped in an Benoit point shot, which

Cassivi wasn't able to pick up through traffic.

Lambert held off a defender and scored high on Cassivi's blocker side at

3:29 of the third, before Klepis got one back just under two minutes later

on a quick shot from in close that beat Price on the short side.

Notes: - Despite their 3-1 series lead, the Bulldogs have lacked some

discipline in recent outings, giving the defending Calder Cup champions 29

power play opportunities in the first three games of the Calder Cup final.

Hershey converted only one of 11 chances in the 5-2 Game 3 loss at Copps

Coliseum and just three overall, before coming up empty on its six chances

Wednesdaya Price has the chance to become the first goalie since former Hab

Patrick Roy to jump right from junior and lead a team to the AHL title. Roy,

the all-time wins leader in the National Hockey League, accomplished the

feat back in 1985 with the Sherbrooke Canadiensa Hamilton defenceman Dan

Jancevski extended his point streak to four games with an assist on

Lambert's goal, before adding another helper on Hamilton's sixth goal. The

big blue-liner had a goal and five assists in the previous three Calder Cup

games, the lone marker and an assist coming in Monday's blowout wina

Hamilton native Joey Tenute was scratched from the Hershey lineup for Game

4a The Bulldogs lost to Hershey in the 1997 final and then also came up

short in seven games in 2003, when the Houston Aeros took the Calder Cupa.


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