Dawson Carty needed just 20 saves to pick up a win against his former club, as the Kitchener Rangers (31-22-2-2) fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs (28-23-3-2), 5-2, in front of 7,087 fans at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton on Family Day Monday.
It was the fifth straight win for Carty (23-9-1-1) and the fifth consecutive win for the Bulldogs, who led 2-1 after one period of play and 5-2 after two, before the scoreless third.
Lucas Pfeil (0-1-0-0) made his first career Ontario Hockey League start but still waits for his first win, as he was bested five times on 18 shots while making 13 saves.
Brandon Saigeon gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead on the power play at 5:45 of the first period, from Benjamin Gleason and Matthew Strome.
Darby Llewellyn potted the equalizer with a highlight reel play, making it a 1-1 game with his 19th of the season from Nick McHugh and Jake Henderson at 12:20.
The Bulldogs would retake the lead before the period was out as Connor Roberts gave the hosts a 2-1 edge, from Niki Petti and Zachary Jackson, at 15:34.
Shots on goal in the first period of play were just 6-5 in favour of Hamilton.
Just 2:34 into the second period the Bulldogs extended their lead to 3-1 on a goal by Marian Studenic, his 16th of the season from Luke Kutkevicius and Saigeon.
A misplay in front of the Rangers goal midway through the period would give the Bulldogs their fourth goal and Strome his 30th of the season, making it 4-1 at 10:19, unassisted.
With over five minutes to play in the period the Bulldogs made it 5-1, as Will Bitten tallied his 19th of the season, from Michael Cramarossa at 14:33.
Jonathan Yantsis would cut the Bulldogs lead to 5-2, scoring his second of the season with just 1:17 to play in the second period from Elijah Roberts and Dylan Di Perna at 18:43.
Shots on goal in the second period of play were 8-8 for a two-period total of 14-13 Hamilton.
The Rangers would pull Pfeil in favour of an extra attacker with over three minutes to play in the third period, but to no avail as the Bulldogs staved off any comeback attempt by the Rangers.
Final shots on goal were 22-18 Kitchener.
Kitchener was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Hamilton was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Adam Mascherin, Di Perna and Llewellyn each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers captain Frank Hora.
The Blueshirts are back home on Thursday, February 23rd when they host division rival, the Owen Sound Attack, at 7pm.
Regular season tickets to Kitchener Rangers home games are $22.50 each for adults, $18.50 for children 12 and under, including HST and are available in person or by calling the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Box Office or Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or by purchasing online.