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Round 3, Game #7 ~ Hamilton Bulldogs @ Houston Aeros. Tuesday, May 24th, 2011.


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Game 7.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011.

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Hamilton Bulldogs website - Houston Aeros website

Bulldogs roster - Aeros roster

Last game

Bulldogs 5, Aeros 4. Double OT.

Game report - Game summary

Bulldogs force game 7

Result of a 5-4 double-overtime win

He’s not proud of it, but he admits that when he was a young man, the history of the game didn’t mean all that much to him. Stories of old guys playing in the old days just didn’t resonate. He had his own history to make and his own stories to forge.

“I appreciate it more now that I’m older,” Randy Cunneyworth says.

The Hamilton Bulldogs’ head coach is talking about the legends and the records and the accomplishments that make up the fabric and the lore of hockey. Stuff that he suspects some of his players who haven’t had the benefit of time to add context don’t really get quite yet.

Yet something they’ll have a chance to become part of in a spectacular way within the next 24 hours that they’ll tell their kids and their kids’ kids about in the years to come.

After appearing all-but-dead less than a week ago, the Hamilton Bulldogs are now close enough to being a part of history to be able to sniff it. A win on Tuesday night and they’ll come all the way back from a 3-0 deficit in the Western Conference Final to advance to the Calder Cup final. Something only two other teams have ever done in the league’s 75-year history.

“That was a very difficult game for a lot of reasons but we stuck with it,” Cunneyworth said after surviving several near-death experiences during Game 6 in Houston only to come out the back end smiling, the result of a 5-4 double-overtime win that cracked open the door to history.

The heroes were all over the place.

There was Nigel Dawes who scored midway through that second overtime period on a perfect two-on-one pass from Aaron Palushaj, adding to his franchise-record output this playoff season. He now has 14 goals in 19 games, two ahead of Jason Ward’s old mark.

There was goalie Drew MacIntyre, who faced an astonishing 61 Houston shots in his 40th-straight start and singlehandedly kept his team alive at times. Again. A guy who was unwanted by the Chicago Wolves earlier this season but is now the Bulldogs’ unquestioned post-season MVP and who’s now a clutch 10-2 in elimination games throughout his career.

And there was Andreas Enqvist, the special teams’ ace who scored twice in the game, including a shorthanded goal early in the third period. The team’s third shorthanded goal in as many outings.

There were others too.

There had to be. This is a team that came into the game 2-6 on the road this spring and honestly looked like it might add to the wrong half of that statistic through the first period. After a decent second, they again looked flat again in the third when Houston poured it on and outshot Hamilton 19-3, eliminating a 4-2 lead and sending the game to extra time.

Yes, the Bulldogs certainly bent. And when Aeros’ sniper Chad Rau had the puck land on his stick late in the third period with MacIntyre down and the entire net – the entire net – gaping in front of him, it looked like the Dogs’ season was about to go pfffft.

But he inexplicably hesitated. When he finally shot, he nicked the post and the Bulldogs stayed alive. After that, they didn’t break. Even during three penalty kills in overtime.

Instead, they seized their moment. While Houston was the more-opportunistic team in the first three games of the series, Hamilton has turned the tables in a big way over the last three.

Which brings us here, into rare territory. Back in 1960 the Rochester Americans came back from 3-0 down to beat Cleveland. In 1989, the Adirondack Red Wings fought back to top Hershey. And in 2011, the Hamilton Bulldogs clawed back to … well … we don’t know yet.

It’s worth pointing out however, that not only are those other two teams the only ones to have come from 0-3 to win, but they’re the only two teams that’ve come back from that deficit even to tie a series.

History then is on Hamilton’s side. Momentum is on Hamilton’s side. Experience is on Hamilton’s side, after going to Game 7 last series against Manitoba.

Pressure, on the other hand, has to be squarely on Houston’s side having squandered a seemingly unblowable lead and now facing the possibility of completing an historic collapse on home ice. Both teams have plenty to lose, but psychologically one has just a little more.

And one has a little more to gain with a win. A chance to make history doesn’t come along every day. If it did, it wouldn’t be special.

This is special.

For a franchise that’s specialized in making history over the years – most goals in a game (15), longest overtime (four periods), longest Game 7 overtime (three periods), fastest goal to start a period (four seconds, ironically set by Jarret Stoll exactly eight years ago) – this would be unique.

Cunneyworth suspects even if his players don’t quite grasp the magnitude of what they’re doing and what they can do on Tuesday, they will eventually. Someday they’ll understand how rare it really is and how fortunate they’ve been to be a part of it.

“History has to be written,” he says. “So if you have to go though it, you might as well make some history in a positive way.”

A win in Game 7 would do that.

http://www.thespec.com/sports/bulldogs/article/535972--bulldogs-force-game-7

Click here to listen to the game live (and for free!).

Follow Derek Wills on Twitter!

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go Dogs go!

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Let's get it done. Would rather watch the Bulldogs cup final then a Boston-Vancouver series.

Ditto. The only interest I have left in the NHL playoffs at this point is hoping someone prevents Boston from winning the Cup. They've broken so many rules this year without being punished that I think it would be a travesty to see them win. The Bulldogs on the other hand have been a resilient bunch coming back from down 3, win or lose Game 7... and let's not forget that most of their key players were called up to the big club this year, so they're doing it with guys who weren't supposed to be the leaders on the team 8 months ago.

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Let's get it done. Would rather watch the Bulldogs cup final then a Boston-Vancouver series.

Yup. They have certainly given me something else to look forward to. Like BigTed said, seeing their resilience and the way they have comeback has been something.

I'm getting excited for tonight. Should be good.

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Let's get it done. Would rather watch the Bulldogs cup final then a Boston-Vancouver series.

Game is at 8 PM,on CHAM 820 or team 990, I'm not aware of any free TV, I will listen to it on the net and watch the Van game in mute. :)

Getting really excited and hope the Dogs can win it in reg. by 5-2 or so. I really don't want OT. :(

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Great GDT Clues I'm hoping the Dawgs will be the third to comeback and win also.This team certainly has some bite in it throughout the lineup.Having a veteran of sorts in Nigel Dawes as a gamebreaker has to be good for their confidence when the games are tight.A repeat of game five would be delightful Go Dogs Go!Does anyone know of a live feed on the internet for this game?

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I just read on Hockeys Futures that Dawes and Boyd are going to sign in the KHL after the AHL playoffs are finished. Wish them all the best if that's the case and it would be great for them to leave the AHL as Calder Cup Champions.

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I just read on Hockeys Futures that Dawes and Boyd are going to sign in the KHL after the AHL playoffs are finished. Wish them all the best if that's the case and it would be great for them to leave the AHL as Calder Cup Champions.

Wow. Can I see a link? thats too bad, I was hoping we'd sign them both and let them compete for a bottom 6 spot. Dawes looked good, and I liked Boyd in the like 5 games he played with us :(

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Guest archey

i rather don't know if this fits, but as you all know i let my horse give the bulldog, lola, her treats. he sort of assents when eating his peppermints and bites off a bit of carrot. she, i must admit doesn't like dealing with sarge, but then i don't like dealing with her.

so anyhow, today sarge gives her like 3 peppermints and like two carrot bite-offs. i thought she's doing well. well 15 minutes later sarge is getting ready to clean a pasture- never tell your horse you know how to work if you're going to let him suggest being clean- horses are one of the cleanest - if not THE cleanest by nature animals on the planet- and i'm resting, and up comes lola and barks the loudest bark in and i mean right in my ear. like not eanough treats she implies. oh well!

does this bode good or bad for us tonight? :lol:

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i rather don't know if this fits, but as you all know i let my horse give the bulldog, lola, her treats. he sort of assents when eating his peppermints and bites off a bit of carrot. she, i must admit doesn't like dealing with sarge, but then i don't like dealing with her.

so anyhow, today sarge gives her like 3 peppermints and like two carrot bite-offs. i thought she's doing well. well 15 minutes later sarge is getting ready to clean a pasture- never tell your horse you know how to work if you're going to let him suggest being clean- horses are one of the cleanest - if not THE cleanest by nature animals on the planet- and i'm resting, and up comes lola and barks the loudest bark in and i mean right in my ear. like not eanough treats she implies. oh well!

does this bode good or bad for us tonight? :lol:

no idea, that's why i suggest everyone to stay tuned :lol:

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Hi Swansee wondering how to get the video feed.

Don't know where there is a free one but I buy it for $10 or $11 from theahl.com - there is a link on the main page, also on the bulldogs main page.

If you are in the Hamilton/Ancaster area - they are showing it at Faloney's tonight in the bar.

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Unfortunately I won't be able to listen tonight but can't wait to find out the good news later tonight.

GO DOGS GO!!!

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You read my mind HRF. Was just gonna post the last lucky piece of the puzzle. ;)

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