In it to win it
Setting the AHL on fire and rewriting the league and franchise record books in the process is nice, but there’s one more item on the Bulldogs’ dwindling To Do list still to be done. Now, after ousting the Manitoba Moose 4-2 in a 3-2 OT win in Hamilton on Sunday night, there are just 12 victories left between the ‘Dogs and their ultimate prize.
Bulldogs defenseman P.K. Subban carried his All-Star performance from the regular season with him into the playoffs, pacing the Hamilton offense in Round 1 with nine points in six games, including two game-winning tallies. In just his first pro season, the shifty blue-liner ranked fourth in AHL rookie scoring, behind only Tyler Ennis, Lars Eller and Logan Couture – all of whom finished the campaign with their respective NHL teams.
Piling up seven points in the first round, David Desharnais may just be finishing up his second AHL season, but the Montreal native is no stranger to playoff hockey at the pro level. Desharnais will call on his experience leading the Cincinnati Cyclones to their first ECHL title in franchise history in 2007-08, the same year the 5-foot-7 sniper led the league in points as a rookie.
As clutch as they come, the ‘Dogs are now 2-for-2 in Calder Cup playoffs overtime games. While stars like Subban, Desharnais and All-Star netminder Cedrick Desjardins get the lion’s share of headlines in Hamilton, the unsung heroes are chipping in when it matters, too. Grant Stevenson picked the perfect opportunity to pot his first goal of the postseason on Sunday night, sealing Round 1 with the series-clinching marker mid-way through the extra frame.
The Bulldogs get a chance to catch up on some rest in the next few days, awaiting the winner of the Rochester-Abbotsford series which will be decided in Game 7 on Tuesday night.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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