HAMILTON - The Bulldogs were so soft on the puck in their own end, goalie Carey Price tried to stickhandle and shoot it out himself in the second period of Hamilton's 7-2 loss to the Peoria Rivermen on Tuesday night.
Feedback from the crowd at Copps Coliseum was negative and almost instantaneous. Price's clearing try was intercepted at the blue-line by Peoria defenceman Jeff Woywitka and shot past the out-of-position goalie. The Bulldogs' loss was another disconnected effort against a team that had just one day off after three games in as many days.
Peoria looked more like the rested outfit on their way to a seventh straight win and eighth straight on the road. The Rivermen's three second-period goals off a 13-5 edge in shots put this one out of range for the Dogs with 20 minutes to go. In a spirited play, Greg Stewart stepped up after Corey Locke was rocked by a hit, winning a quick decision over the Rivermen's Ryan Glenn.
The loss could drop Hamilton another notch in the AHL North as Grand Rapids is poised to defeat division-worst Rochester.
The teams traded goals quickly in the third with Lemtyugov's second and Matt D'Agostini replying for the Bulldogs. It was Hamilton's fourth goal in the past four games. Things turned sour for the Bulldogs when a soft goal bit Price late in the first period with the score 1-1.
Martin Kariya backhanded the puck off a butterflied Price with the short side uncovered. The power play score, with Andrew Archer off for interference, tilted an otherwise even 20 minutes with Peoria edging Hamilton 10-7 in shots.
The Bulldogs got a leg up on the Rivermen at 11:50 when Locke used Jonathan Ferland as a decoy on a 2-on-1 and wristed a shot high glove side on Hannu Toivonen.
Peoria evened it at 14:47 when a turnover outside the Dogs blue-line led to a quick counterattack with Nicholas Drazenovic finishing from the slot with a wrister to Price's stick side.