Out of the gate the Barons seem inspired. Maybe it was something said in the locker room post game on Thursday night. Perhaps it was the masterminding of defensive pairings. Or perhaps it was simply knowing that Gerber was in net. Whichever of these scenarios you subscribe to (I like them all), the Barons found another notch out of the gate that was missing in game one.
The pace was quickened by the Brad Moran, Alexandre Giroux and Colin McDonald line. This line was nearly non-existent in game one, and given their "veteran" status all eyes were on MGM. But as quick as the start was for the Barons, it quickly dipped into a penalty-filled fiasco it had been just a few nights prior. The Barons would lose to the Bulldogs in the second game of the first round.
After a late period Brad Moran goal, things looked to be headed the way of the Baron. However, Zack Stortini was called for interference with an added roughing penalty with less than a minute in period one. The call seemed very ambiguous as Stortini was the one being tackled after the whistle. With three seconds remaining the Bulldogs score to tie it up at the end of one.
The second period began just as the first period ended. Linus Omark was tagged with a touchy hooking call in the first thirty-five seconds, and Nigel Dawes whipped the puck in net within the first thirty seconds of the power play. The Dawes line continues to parade its dominance over EVERY Barons defender thrown their way. Period two ended with the Bulldogs on top two to one.
The third period was won by the Hamilton defense, as they defended their zone beautifully. Goaltender Drew MacIntyre made the saves needed to keep the lead at a goal despite some excellent scoring punches by the Barons. The final two minutes of regulation were fast and furious, Gerber was pulled with a minute left, and on the ice came six forwards. They had at least four impressive drives, but again the Bulldogs dominated their defensive end.
The Barons lose game number two to the Hamilton Bulldogs, and suddenly they seem buried deep in a playoff hole. The series will return to the Cox Center on Tuesday night. Fans should anticipate a "crunch time" game with scoring now becoming the prevalent topic of discussion.