HAMILTON - The Bulldogs beat the Syracuse Crunch 5-2 Friday at Copps Coliseum and the defending Calder Cup champions are in a playoff spot for literally the first time since the season began in October.
The Bulldogs exploded for three goals in just under three minutes in the first to take control of the game. Corey Locke, who was returned to the Bulldogs Friday by the Montreal Canadiens, scored in his first game back on a power play at 5:34 to get things started.
Duncan Milroy made it 2-0 from the left post on a great feed by Mathieu Carle at the right point at 6:20. Janne Lahti jammed the third goal past former Bulldog killer Karl Goehring from the edge of the crease on another power play at 7:45 of the period.
Zenon Konopka got one back for Syracuse when he deflected a shot from the point past Carey Price, on a power play, 11:20 in the first.
Syracuse continued to press the issue in the second but Matt D'Agostini snuffed out the Crunch momentum with his ninth goal of the season at 10:41. That gives him a six-game point streak.
Daniel Corso, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury, was back and scored at 12:44 to make it 5-1. He left the bench right after the goal, however, and didn't return to the game.
Derek MacKenzie got one back for Syracuse 6:26 into the third.