Monday, January 30, 2006

The Bulldog Bark

Everyone knows how hockey crazy I am and although the AHL team in Hamilton (the Bulldogs) sit dead last in the division standings, I was able to score some free tix to yesterday's game (thanks Brenda!!) so it was a no-brainer. Who I was really interested in watching was former Ottawa 67 standout Corey Locke, who was drafted by the Montreal Canadians and who now played for their farm team - the Bulldogs.

Things did not start out well, although the Bulldogs held a 1-0 lead in the first, they were constantly on the penalty kill and Locke saw maybe 3 shifts in the first (he was not used on the PK throughout the entire game and not on the power play in the first). They started to play more hockey a third of the way into the second and Locke had a few more shifts. I noticed they played him right away after each of the Manitoba Moose goals, probably to spark some offence as he' currently the leading scorer for the Bulldogs this season.

It was shocking how small he looked out there! I knew he was small but in junior you never really notice because there's so many other small and medium sized guys out there, in this game he looked like one of those Tim Horton's scrimmage kids from the intermission that had lost his way (sizewise, not skillwise).

Locke seemed to gain steam as the game went on, gathering an assist in the second, assisting on another that got disallowed (high stick) and a power play goal in the third to pull the team within one. He even threw a pretty good body check on a guy in the third behind the net, solid. The ending was happy one for Bulldog fans, and I was happy with a solid performance by Locke (discounting the first period) although it was hard to see how he'll be able to elevate his game to the NHL level given the shear differential in physical size and strength. Click the pic below to see Corey Locke's shootout try, the Bulldogs won the shootout 2-1 and the game 5-4.

Overall I'd give the entertainment value of the game a solid 5 out of 5. I'll defiantly have to check out another game soon... Go Bulldogs! :-)

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