Bulldogs report: Feb. 18, 2009

Wednesday, 18.02.2009 / 2:00 PM / News
canadiens.com
T.J. Kemp
MONTREAL – After a rough, injury-riddled stretch that saw them drop seven of 11 from Jan. 19 through Feb. 4, the Hamilton Bulldogs appear to have found their groove once again and the timing couldn’t be better.

The Habs’ AHL squad has won four of its last five and is 3-1 on a five-game road swing that wraps up Friday in Toronto.  Defense and goaltending have been key factors in that success, as the team has held their opponents to two goals or less in those wins, and the lone loss was by a one-goal margin.

While injuries and Montreal call-ups continue to plague the team, leaving the team to use its final stock available in Cincinnati, the Bulldogs have found some reinforcements of late. 

Originally on a Professional Tryout contract since Jan. 5, left-winger Steve Gainey was signed to an AHL deal late last week. The 30-year-old has proven to be a worthwhile addition to the club, riding a three-game point-streak heading into this weekend's schedule.

The acquisition of defenseman T.J. Kemp has provided an offensive punch to Hamilton’s back end. He’s earned 11 points in 20 games with his new team, already surpassing his output with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 22 contests.

Ben Maxwell continues to enjoy a stellar rookie campaign.  Cruising along with a four-game points-streak, Maxwell’s regular appearances on the scoresheet have been a habit for him in 2008-09.  The fresh-faced pivot has produced five streaks this season lasting at least three games, including an eight-game stretch in January that saw him amass 11 points.

The Bulldogs sit third in the AHL’s North Division, just five points back of second-place Grand Rapids, heading into Wednesday. After their road trip, the club returns home to Copps Coliseum for dates with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Syracuse on Saturday and Sunday.

Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com