Generals end homestand with loss to Bulldogs

The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Oshawa Generals 6-4 on Sunday night at Tribute Communities Centre.

Ryan Stepien’s first career OHL hat-trick wasn’t enough to earn the Generals a winning record on the homestand, as they finish 2-3 during the five-game stretch.

Logan Morrison had five points as the Hamilton Bulldogs moved to 12-5-1-2 on the season and extended their lead atop the East Division.

Hamilton’s Jorian Donovan got the scoring started with his second of the season 12:16 into the first period to give the Bulldogs the lead. Less than a minute later, the two Ryan’s completed a great passing play as Gagnier fooled the goaltender before passing back to Stepien, who buries it to tie the game 1-1.

Less than a minute after that, Hamilton regained the lead, with Avery Hayes scoring his 9th of the season to make it a 2-1 game. That would be the score not just entering the first intermission but the second intermission as well.

Both teams found their offence in the third period, with seven combined goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Ryan Stepien kicked things off by scoring his second of the game with a powerplay goal to tie the game 2-2.

Hamilton then scored three straight goals, the first two of which were on the powerplay, to jump out to a 5-2 lead quickly.

Oshawa would then begin to mount a comeback, as Luke Torrance scores his third of the season to bring the Generals within two. Shortly after, with the goaltender pulled, Ryan Stepien found some open ice and snapped home his third of the night and earned himself his first career OHL hat-trick.

However, the comeback would fall short as 35 seconds after Stepien made it a 5-4 game; Logan Morrison gets his fifth point the game with a goal into the empty net. The Hamilton Bulldogs leave Oshawa with a 6-4 victory and move six points up on Oshawa in the East Division standings.

Oshawa goaltender Zachary Paputsakis made his first start since October 22nd in this game, making 33 saves. He missed time with an injury, but after the game said his body felt great, and he feels completely healthy.

“I worked hard to get my body back in game shape, and I was thrilled to get back into game action,” said Paputsakis after the game. “Not the result we wanted tonight, but I believe in our group, and we will string together some wins here soon.”

The Generals will now head on the road for four straight games beginning next Friday as they travel to Kingston to play the Frontenacs.

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