IceDogs come up short versus Bulldogs
Jake Uberti scored a pair of goals Friday as the Niagara IceDogs dropped a 5-3 decision to the Hamilton Bulldogs at home. Photo by: ALEX LUPUL PHOTOGRAPHY.
Jake Uberti came to play Friday night.
The sophomore centre turned in one of his best efforts of the season, but is still wasn’t enough to lift to Niagara IceDogs out of their prolonged slump.
Uberti netted two goals as the IceDogs dropped a 5-3 decision to the Hamilton Bulldogs in Ontario Hockey League action in St. Catharines.
The loss extends Niagara’s losing streak to 11 games and drops their overall record to 17-32-4-1. They remain one point up on the Kingston Frontenacs for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
IceDogs head coach Billy Burke has seen the big sophomore centre improve dramatically from his rookie season which saw him net two goals in limited action.
“He’s one of the 17-year-olds we think has a bright future,” Burke said. “He’s on NHL radars. He’s a big kid who can skate and he continues to round his game out.
“He’s a guy who went from fourth line not too“ long ago to big-minute centreman for us.”
Uberti, who now has 16 goals, used his size and quickness to his advantage all night and could have netted a couple more with any luck around the net.
“I’m loving his development. He’s just got to keep it going,” Burke added.
Niagara jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead less than four minutes into the game on goals by Ivan Lodnia and Uberti. The Bulldogs rallied back with a pair of goals before the end of the period to head into intermission tied at 2-2.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 3-2 lead early in the second when Los Angeles Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev netted his 38th of the season. Uberti then tied the game late in the second when he netted his second of the game.
Hamilton took a 4-3 lead when Jan Mysak scored the winner with the man advantage at 8:06 of the third. Issac Nurse then added an insurance marker just over four minutes later.
Overall, it was a much better effort from the IceDogs, although still flawed.
“It is a process, but we’re down bodies and played hard tonight and gave ourselves a chance,” Burke said. “It’s frustrating but that’s another sign of our immaturity. We come out on the power play and they get three breakaways. It’s like we’re waiting for something bad to happen.”
The IceDogs did show some signs of life on offence.
“You have to fight to get to the front of the net,” Burke said. “The goalies are too good. If they see it, they’re going to stop it. It’s hard to grunt it out in the D-zone, it’s hard to get it to the net.”
Ice cubes: Christian Sbaraglia and Lucas Theriault, both listed as day to day with lower body injuries, forward Cameron Peters (month to month), and Ryan Campbell did not dress . . . The IceDogs wore special jerseys to commemorate Valentine’s Day. The red and white jerseys featured Bones as Cupid, with trailing hearts. The jerseys were auctioned live post-game with the help of Luke Pasmore and his staff from Luke’s Auctions, who donate their time. Mainstream Niagara, Community Living St. Catharines and The RAFT will share in the proceeds from the auction . . . The IceDogs lost forward Jackson Doherty for a blind side hit in the first period . . . Oliver Castleman picked up two assists and now leads Niagara with 32 helpers, one more than Lodnia.
Bulldogs 5 IceDogs 3
BPSN Star of the Game: Niagara forward Jake Uberti with two goals.
Niagara IceDogs: Uberti 2 (15,16); Ivan Lodnia (23).
Hamilton Bulldogs: Arthur Kaliyev (38); Jan Mysak (12); Isaac Nurse (12); Ryan Winterton (11); Lawson Sherk (4).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By Niagara on Zachary Roy (35), by Hamilton on Andrew MacLean (38); Power plays: Niagara 1-for-5, Hamilton 3-for-5; Penalty minutes: Niagara 15, Hamilton 12.
Attendance: 5,383 (sell out)
Up next: Home to Sudbury Sunday at 2 p.m.
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