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2021 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs Get Their Guy

The Hamilton Bulldogs announced Jay McKee as their fifth Head Coach in the history of the franchise Tuesday.

McKee last coached with the Kitchener Rangers from 2016-2020, cultivating a .533 winning percentage as the bench boss. Behind the bench, McKee led the Rangers to three postseason appearances, notably a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2017-18.

In addition to the the hiring of the former NHL veteran, the team also announced the hiring of fellow assistant coach from the Kitchener days, Andreas Karlsson and Andrew Campbell.

For more information of this story, go to the Hamilton Bulldogs website.

The hiring of the coaching staff is a major move for the team that was falling out in the second half of last season of play.

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2016-2017 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

2016-2017 HAMILTON BULLDOGS SEASON REVIEW COMMENTARY

In the 2016/2017 season, the Hamilton Bulldogs made significant strides this season. 

New coach, new jersey, restructured administration, and a major early season acquisition of Will Bitten proved to the revolving fan base that the Bulldogs are making a major push for the championship. 

Despite the hot start in which they, at one point, were seventh in the top ten CHL rankings in October, the team had a rough stretch from November through mid December. But by the time the holiday break ended, the Bulldogs caught fire.

For the majority of the season, the Bulldogs were not a consistent team. They played well in several winning streaks of four and five in several occasions in the year. But when they lose, they have a long streak of five or six games. In other words, they were hot and cold. Dawson Carty took over the starting goaltender job mid-February and didn’t totally relinquish.

The special teams were a downer for most of the year, but showed glimpses of what can become. The power play improved from the bottom five at the start of the year for three months to the top ten by the final week of the year. The penalty kill showed several bright spots, but wasn’t a consistent force, largely due to the discipline issue.

The playoffs were a roller coaster. Despite the early exit, the main core of the team (Luff, Strome, Entwhistle, Studenic and Roberts just to name a few) gained substantial key game experience in which they can utilize for a championship run next year.

At the end of the year, Bulldogs say farewell to graduates Niki Petti, Dawson Carty, and Michael Crammerosa.

If I could grade the team overall this year…I would give them a B. 

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2016-2017 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

Barrie Colts 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 3

The Hamilton Bulldogs didn’t play their good style of hockey tonight. But they pulled it off in a semi-ugly fashion as they defeated the Barrie Colts 3-2.

Offense

The Bulldogs offensive unit were in “high noon” mode in the first eight minutes of the contest, scoring two goals in the process. However, despite the very good performance in the first twenty, the team stalled in the middle frame, and large part of the third, as they couldn’t shoot effectively despite the overwhelming number of shots. Furthermore, Barrie kept the pressure at their attack zone for most of that period, and eventually fought back to tie the game at two going into the third. 

Marian Studenic scored two goals and one assist, including the eventual game winner in the third, and was rewarded the first star of the game for his performance. Best performance I have seen him in his first year in the OHL. Brandon Saigeon contributed two points (1 goal and 1 assist), and team captain Justin Lemcke helped out with two valuable assists as well.

Defense and Goaltending

For the large part, the Bulldogs defense and goaltending of Dawson Carty was good tonight, especially in the final few minutes. They allowed only single digit shots in all three periods. Their scheme was very effective, and they did a very good job maintaining discipline. However, there were some shaky moments by Carty, but maintained great composure down the stretch.

Special Teams

In regards to the power play, the Bulldogs capitalized on their most of the oppurtunities in this game. They were 2/3 with the man advantage. On the contary to the penalty kill, Hamilton was above average in their four sessions in this game. In the late stages of the third period, however, they played their best PK of the year (in my opinion) when they had to minimize the Barrie extra attacker along with the man advantage for 90 seconds of the two minutes on the PK.
The Hamilton Bulldogs host Niagara IceDogs on Saturday and travel to Oshawa to take on the Eastern Conference leading Generals.

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2016-2017 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

Barrie Colts 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 4

The Hamilton Bulldogs shook off tough start to propel the Colts with a strong second period, to hold off the opposition 4-2.

Offense

The Hamilton offensive attack was at its endless barrage tonight. Once again, they provided multiple scoring chances, but managed to solve the Barrie netminder with three unanswered goals in the second period. Two of the elite forwards of the team, Will Bitten and Matthew Strome, provided the scoring punch, with Strome getting his first ever OHL hat trick. 

Matthew Crammerosa provided support, and was named third star of the game for his efforts. Strome and Bitten were first and second stars of the game respectively. Rookie forward Marian Studenic was the recipient of the Hardest Working Bulldog of the night, as he showed efficient skill with the tenacity to provide oppurtunities to score.

As the game went along, the passing of the puck was much better in both second and third than the opening twenty. The finesse around the net was bit overwhelming though, as their decision making early on was average, given the number of oppurtunities around the vincinity of the Barrie Colts net.

Defense and Goaltending

Overall, the Hamilton Bulldogs defense was good, but not crisp in this game. The discipline was shaky (several minor committed penalties weren’t necessary) as well the coverage of the ice had its errors. 

Fortunately, the Hamilton netminder, Dawson Carty, was again great in between the pipes. He salvaged the defense with multiple timely saves, and had a quality performance.  

Give credit to guys like Nikki Petti and Stephen Templeton for standing ground for the club, and took the bait the right way. Hamilton clearly intimated and made Barrie look like fools.

Special Teams

Great job by the Bulldogs penalty kill unit in this game. Defenseman Cole Candella was the most notable defender in all of the penalty kills, as he dumped the puck out of harms way during the times Hamilton was down a man (best performance of the year). Overall, the Bulldogs PK cleared all seven attempts tonight without conceding a goal. 

Although the power play was not much of a factor to oversee, they managed to score once on just their three attempts. 

In all, the PK played a monumental factor in the outcome of this game.
The Hamilton Bulldogs hosts the Kingston Frontenacs this Saturday. Both teams are currently deadlocked in points as far as the Eastern Conference is concerned.