Gregoire, Mouillerat each score as IceCaps edge Bulldogs

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The Canadian Press
12/21/2012 10:27:09 PM
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HAMILTON, Ont. -- The St. John's IceCaps scored two quick goals in the second period en route to a 2-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in American Hockey League action Friday.

Jason Gregoire and Kael Mouillerat scored for the IceCaps (14-15-1), while goaltender Mark Dekanich made 26 saves.

Brendan Gallagher scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs (10-13-3), and Cedrick Desjardins stopped 23 shots.

The game began slowly, with the Bulldogs failing to take advantage of an early power play when Patrice Cormier was whistled for roughing at 1:58 of the first.

At the other end of the ice, a sustained period of pressure nearly resulted in a goal for St. John's 10 minutes into the contest when Hamilton's Kyle Hagel inadvertently tipped a shot from the point toward his own net.

The Bulldogs squandered a golden opportunity of their own with the first drawing to a close and the hosts on a power play. Traffic in front of the net left Dekanich floundering, but neither Mike Blunden nor Michael Bournival could tap the rolling puck in as it came through the crease.

The deadlock was broken at 5:37 of the second, despite two sterling saves by Desjardins only minutes earlier.

With the IceCaps pressing, Will O'Neill launched a shot from the point that hit teammate Carl Klingberg in the back and sat invitingly just outside the crease. Gregoire gathered the loose puck and stepped around the traffic in front before beating the screened Desjardins with a wrist shot.

The visitors doubled their advantage only 4:04 later, when Derek Meech's clever slap-pass found Mouillerat in the slot and the centre stopped to control the puck before firing it past Desjardins.

Hamilton hit back almost immediately through an impressive play between Gallagher and centre Bournival. The centre carried the puck over the blue-line and slipped a no-look pass to Gallagher, who split the defenders down the middle and put the puck through Dekanich's legs for his team-leading ninth goal of the season.

Dekanich was alert to begin the third period as the Bulldogs pressed to find an equalizer. He denied Olivier Fortier from point-blank range before stopping Joonas Nattinen in tight minutes later to preserve the one-goal lead.

Note: Defenceman Cody Wild made his debut for the Bulldogs on Friday after signing a tryout contract with the team before the game. ... St. John's winger Spencer Machacek was held without a goal, breaking his three-game scoring streak.

St. John's IceCaps (Photo: TSN.ca)

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(Photo: TSN.ca)
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