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HAT TRICK LEADS BULLDOGS PAST AEROS 4-2
Houston Continues Lengthy Road Trip in Toronto on Feb 18. at 12 p.m.
Hamilton, ON – The Houston Aeros (26-19-4-3, 59 points) were defeated by Hamilton Bulldogs (19-24-1-5, 44 points) 4-2 on Saturday night in front of 4,173 fans at the Copps Coliseum. Hamilton forward Michael Bournival recorded a natural hat trick, scoring all three Bulldogs third-period goals to erase a 2-1 deficit and propel his team to its fourth straight win. Making his Hamilton debut, goalie Dustin Toharski (19-8-4) stopped 24 of 26 in the win, halting the Aeros four-game winning streak. Houston forwards Chad Rau and Justin Fontaine each scored in the defeat, as Houston slipped to 4-2-0-0 on its eight-game road trip. Goalie Matt Hackett (16-17-3) made 29 saves on 32 shots, as the Aeros fell to 13-11-2-1 on the road. Houston will head to Toronto to meet the Marlies on Monday at 12 p.m. CT at Ricoh Coliseum.
Hamilton opened the scoring with the only goal of the opening period. Forward Patrick Holland found defenseman Greg Pateryn at the point in the Aeros zone. Pateryn blasted a shot through traffic that snuck by Aeros goalie Matt Hackett. His third goal of the season made it a 1-0 game after 20 minutes of action.
In the second period, Houston evened the scoring 1:59 into the middle period. Center Chad Rau carried the puck out of the Bulldogs corner towards the Hamilton crease. Rau fired a shot that bounced off the stick of defenseman Jason DeSantis and past goalie Dustin Tokarski for the 1-1 tie. Forwards Ryley Grantham and Charlie Coyle each picked up an assist on Rau’s sixth goal of the season. Justin Fontaine put Houston in front at 12:13 of the period with his 13th goal of the season. Fontaine fired a shot from the right-wing wall, sneaking a shot past Tokarski for the 2-1 lead. Defenseman Drew Bagnall had the lone assist on the team’s second goal of the evening.
Hamilton tied the game 2-2 just 4:20 into the third period. Forward Michael Bournival was credited with his fourth goal of the season, which bounced off the stick of Aeros defenseman Steven Kampfer. Alexander Avstin and Patrick Holland each picked up an assist on Hamilton’s second goal of the game. Bournival struck for the second time in the third period, scoring his fifth goal of the season at 15:58. Bournival redirected a point shot by defenseman Joe Stejskal, tipping the puck past Hackett for the 3-2 lead. He completed his natural hat trick with 30 seconds remaining, scoring an empty-net shorthanded goal to secure the 4-2 Hamilton win.
Houston continues on an eight-game road trip on Monday, Feb. 18 in Toronto at 12 p.m. CT. The Aeros return home on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:05 p.m. as Houston hosts Oklahoma City at Toyota Center. The team will celebrate Boy Scout Night by handing out 2012-13 team posters to the first 2,000 fans.
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