Hamilton Bulldogs Wrapping up the Season

By Mike Marasco

Prior to the start of the week the Bulldogs and their fans got some
disturbing news which was not helped by some of the media. A report that
was leaked out of Ottawa said that the Edmonton Oilers were to move their
farm team to Toronto for the 2003/2004 season.

The news got better for fans as the truth started to come out about the
whole situation. The Bulldogs logo, staff, name and team will remain in
Hamilton. The Oilers will move their players to Toronto. This is all if a
deal can be worked out between the Oilers and Edmonton businessman Lyle
Abraham.

The Oilers, the AHL, and the Bulldogs staff are currently looking for a new
parent club for the Bulldogs. The best scenario would be for that new
parent club and the Oilers to have a duel affiliation next season to make
the transition easier.

The Hamilton Bulldogs played 4 games this past week which saw them start the
week on the road and then finish off the season at home with 2 games. The
Bulldogs went 2-1-1 on the week.

The Bulldogs started the week off in Rochester against the Amerks.

The Hamilton Bulldogs concluded their eight-game regular season series with
the Rochester Americans on Monday with a loss, as they dropped a 2-1
decision. With the loss the Bulldogs record falls to 35 wins, 30 losses, 10
ties and 3 overtime losses. In ten games against the Amerks this season,
the Bulldogs earned a record of 2 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie.

Rochester opened the scoring at the 16:40 mark of the first period when
Craig Charron scored a shorthanded goal, his 12th goal of the season, with
the assists going to Doug Janik and Christian Matte. The Amerks scored the
game winner exactly five minutes into the third period as Janik scored his
sixth goal of the season. Darren VanOene and Matte had assists on the goal.

Kevin Brown had the lone Bulldogs goal on the night at 12:34 of the third
period. Brown’s 25th goal of the season was assisted by Peter Sarno and
Chris Hajt.

Marc Lamothe made 18 saves in the loss for the Bulldogs, while Amerks
goaltender Tom Askey made 19 saves to earn the win.

Next up was a trip to meet up with the River Rats in Albany. The Dogs
looked to allow the Rats to stop their chances of getting a bye to the
second round of the playoffs.

Kevin Brown tied a Hamilton Bulldogs team record with five points on
Wednesday night, as the Bulldogs defeated the River Rats 6-2 in Albany.
Brown tied the franchise mark for points in a single game with three goals
and two assists on the night. The win improves the Bulldogs record to 36
wins, 30 losses, 9 ties and 3 overtime losses on the season.

Brown’s three goals gives him eight goals in his last seven games. Also
scoring goals for Hamilton were Louie DeBrusk, Michael Henrich and Alexei
Semenov. Bulldogs players that had multi-point nights included Louie
DeBrusk (1g,1a) and Peter Sarno (2a). Bulldogs goaltender Marc Lamothe
earned his 21st win of the season, as he made 23 saves on the night.
Hamilton was 0 for 6 on the power play, while Albany was 0 for 3 on the
power play. The Bulldogs finished their season series against Albany with a
record of three wins and one loss.

Then it was back home to play the Moose for two straight games.

Greg Leeb scored with just 51 seconds in regulation time to give Hamilton
Bulldogs a 2-2 tie against the Manitoba in front of 6,802 fans at Copps
Coliseum on Friday night. The tie gives the Bulldogs 36 wins, 30 losses, 10
ties and 3 overtime losses and 85 points on the season.

Also scoring for the Bulldogs on Friday night was Peter Sarno. Scoring for
the Moose were Pat Kavanagh and Jimmy Roy. Bulldogs goaltender Ty Conklin
made 32 saves in net for Hamilton. Moose goaltender Alfie Michaud stopped
33 shots for Manitoba. The Bulldogs now have a record of 5 wins, 5 losses
and 1 ties against the Moose.

Goaltender Ty Conklin was recalled by Edmonton after the game, as goaltender
Jussi Markkanen had to leave the Oilers road trip to be with his pregnant
wife.

The Bulldogs also announced Friday that the club recalled centre Sean
McAslan from Columbus (ECHL), defenseman Alexander Liubimov from Odessa
(CHL) and signed Nate DiCasmirro from St. Cloud State to an A.T.O. contract.

The next night the Dogs looked to solidify at least home ice for the
preliminary round or a home game for the second round.

The Hamilton Bulldogs ended the 2001-02 regular season with a 4-3 victory in
front of 11,015 fans at Copps Coliseum. Jason Chimera led the way with
three goals and set a new Bulldogs record for points in a single season with
77. The Bulldogs concluded the 2001-02 regular season with a record of 37
wins, 30 losses, 10 ties and 3 overtime losses.

Scoring for the Bulldogs were Jason Chimera (3), and Greg Leeb. Moose goals
came from Justin Kurtz, Jimmy Roy and Brandon Reid. Goaltender Marc Lamothe
made 22 saves to earn the win for the Bulldogs. Hamilton was 1 for 5 on the
power play, while the Moose were 1 for 4. The Bulldogs ended their regular
season series with the Moose earning a record of 6 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie.
Also, Sean Selmser became the Bulldogs new Iron Man as he was the first
Bulldog ever to play in all 80 games.

The Bulldogs playoff opponent will not be determined until the conclusion of
Sunday night’s games. Hamilton currently sits in sixth place in the Eastern
Conference.

The ‘Dogs then took the day off and listened to the Moose as they were at
home to play Grand Rapids. Hamilton would like to send out a great big
Thank You to the Griffins for defeating the Moose to give the Bulldogs a bye
to the second round where they will meet Quebec.

GAME #1: Fri., April 12 or Sat. April 13 – Hamilton Bulldogs at Quebec
Citadelles – 7:30 p.m.

GAME #2: Mon., April 15 – Hamilton Bulldogs at Quebec Citadelles – 7:30
p.m.

GAME #3: Wed., April 17 – Quebec Citadelles at Hamilton Bulldogs – 7:30
p.m. – Copps Coliseum

*GAME #4: Fri., April 19 – Quebec Citadelles at Hamilton Bulldogs – 7:30
p.m. – Copps Coliseum

*GAME #5: Sun., April 21 – Hamilton Bulldogs at Quebec Citadelles – 2:00
p.m.

*if necessary

BULLDOGS ANNOUNCE INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

The Hamilton Bulldogs announced on Saturday the winners of the club’s
2001/02 individual player awards. The award winners include:

The Hamilton Spectator Most Valuable Player Award:
* As voted by the Hamilton Bulldogs players

Winner: Brian Swanson

Swanson, a 26-year old native of Eagle River, Alaska, was voted by his
teammates at the Hamilton Bulldogs most valuable player. The 2002 AHL
Second Team All-Star led the Bulldogs in goals (34) and is tops in AHL
plus/minus (+28), despite being recalled by the Edmonton Oilers on March 19,
2002. This season he became the Bulldogs All-time leading scorer and goal
scorer, surpassing former Bulldogs’ forward Michel Riesen in both of those
categories. Swanson was voted a starting forward for the AHL Planet/USA
All-Star Team and was named the Sher-Wood AHL player of the week for the
period ending December 2, 2002. Last year Swanson shared this award with
Paul Healey. Past winners include: Steve Passmore (1998-99), and Daniel
Cleary (1999-00).

The Tim Horton’s Top Defenseman Award:
* As voted on by the local media

Winner: Sven Butenschon

Butenschon, a 6’4″, 215-pound defenseman who was born in Itzehoe, Germany,
but raised in Winnipeg, was the Bulldogs top scoring defenseman this season
as he scored 44 points on 9 goals and 35 assists. His 44 points stands as a
Bulldogs single-season record for most points by a defenseman. The 25-year
old was voted as a starting defenseman for the AHL PlanetUSA All-Star Team.
Butenschon was recall by Edmonton on March 19th. Previous winners include:
Todd Reirden (1998-99), Alexander Zhurik (1999-00) and Rory Fitzpatrick
(2000-01).

The Molson Cup:
* As voted on by the media at each game throughout the season

Winner: Brian Swanson

Over the course of 65 games with the Bulldogs this season, Swanson earned 58
points in the Molson Cup Three Stars standings to capture this award for the
first time. Previous winners include: Steve Passmore (1998-99), Daniel
Cleary (1999-00) and Paul Healey (2000-01)

The PartSource Performer of the Year Award:
* As voted on by the local media at each home game throughout the season

Winner: Jason Chimera

Chimera is the Hamilton Bulldogs 2001/02 PartSource Performer of the Year,
after he accumulated 60 points in the PartSource Sparkplug of the Game
Standings. After each Bulldogs’ home game 10 points were awarded to the
hardest working Bulldogs player, as voted by the media. Chimera, a 22-year
old left-winger, hand an outstanding season with the Bulldogs, as he was the
first player in team history to be selected to the AHL First All-Star Team.
The 6′ 1″ led the Bulldogs in points (77) – a new franchise record, assists
(51), game-winning goals (8), and shorthanded goals (3). He also had 22
multi-point games this season. Chimera was a starting forward for the AHL
Canadian All-Star Team. As well he scored his first NHL goal with the
Edmonton Oilers on December 21, 2001. Previous winners include: Steve
Potvin (1998-99), Brian Swanson (1999-00) and Chad Hinz (2000-01).

The Hamilton Bulldogs Fans’ Choice Award:
* As voted on by The Growl – the Hamilton Bulldogs’ Booster Club

Winner: Brian Swanson

Swanson is the 2001/02 Hamilton Bulldogs Fans’ Choice Award winner, as
selected by ‘The Growl’. With this award, Swanson becomes the first player
in Hamilton Bulldogs franchise history to win three individual team awards
in one season.

The Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Inc (H.E.C.F.I.)
Community Leadership Award:
* As voted on by the staff of the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club

Winner: Alain Nasreddine

Nasreddine made great contributions to the Hamilton community and charitable
organizations throughout the course of the 2001-02 season. He was also
named the Bulldogs HG Insurance/K&K Insurance/ AHL Man of the Year. Along
with being named the Bulldogs Team Captain, Nasreddine was involved in
numerous community initiatives throughout the Hamilton Area including:
being the honorary chairperson for the annual ‘Smiles On Ice Game’; visiting
young patients at the Children’s Hospital; acting as the Bulldogs honorary
captain for the AHL Streetdogs program; was a head table guest at the 51st
B’Nai Brith Dinner held to honour local high-school athletes, was named
honorary captain for the newly named Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs; and has taken
part in many other Bulldogs community events. Previous winners include:
Jeff Daw (1998-99), Mike Minard (1999-00) and Ryan Risidore (2000-01)