Hamilton Bulldogs shut out Mississauga for 3-0 series lead
Published May 10, 2022 at 9:39 pm
The goose egg is all well and good, but the Hamilton Bulldogs have accumulated more bumps and bruises.
Hamilton saw their top offensive defenceman Nathan Staios, who is also an alternate captain, leave after a check from behind during the second period of a 3-0 win against the Mississauga Steelheads on Tuesday (May 10). The shutout, which was the first in the postseason by Bulldogs goalie Marco Costantini, puts Hamilton ahead by that same 3-0 margin in the best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Steelheads have to win Game 4 on Friday (May 13) in order to keep their season alive.
Staios, an Oakville native, was taken heavily into the boards by Mississauga forward Jake Uberti midway through the second period. Uberti got a double minor penalty for checking from behind. Staios was shaken up and did not return to the game.
Hamilton is 7-0 so far in the playoffs, and has lost only three games since the OHL trade deadline in January. But the injury to Staios marked the second game in a row that a top-end contributor was injured after a heavy check. On Sunday, second-line centre Jan Mysak left Game 2 of the series with an injury. Mysak, a Montreal Canadiens prosect, was held out of Tuesday’s tilt.
Costantini earned his shutout with a playoffs-high 35 saves. The Hamilton native also assisted the opening goal from George Diaco, which was a power-play tally 5:54 into the second period. The flawless night helped Costantini lower his playoff goals-against average to 1.86, while raising his save percentage to .930.
Logan Morrison added his team-most ninth goal of the postseason, and Seattle Kraken draft choice Ryan Winterton added the Hamilton empty-net clincher.
Hamilton has outscored Mississauga 11-4 over the course of the three contests so far in the series.
Game 4 is a 7 p.m. start at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre on Friday.
If necessary, a Game 5 would be back at FirstOntario Centre at 2 p.m. on Sunday (May 15).
The winner will face either the North Bay Battalion or Kingston Frontenacs in the Eastern Conference final. North Bay is up 2-1 against Kingston in the other Eastern semifinal series.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising