Peterborough Petes scored early and often to defeat the Brantford Bulldogs 7-3 in Ontario Hockey League (OHL) action on Friday, October 13, 2023.
Coming off a solid win in the home opener against the Oshawa Generals, the Brantford Bulldogs were looking to repeat their winning ways at home in front of another sold-out crowd at the Brantford Civic Centre.
The first twenty minutes was a tough one for the black and gold. The Petes got things started at the 4:31 mark. While pressuring for a goal in their attacking zone, an unfortunate miscue on centre ice by two Bulldogs defensemen led to Petes right winger Braydon McCallum scoring on a breakaway backhand shot, which went past Bulldogs netminder Matteo Drobac for a 1-0 lead for the visitors.
With over six minutes remaining, Peterborough increased their lead on the power play as centre Tommy Purdeller buried the rebound past Drobac for a 2-0 lead. Just over two minutes later, the Petes added another as Defenseman Konnor Smith shot from the point, the puck going through traffic at the front of the net and getting past the right side of Drobac.
Following the Smith goal, Drobac got pulled from the game for rookie goaltender David Egorov. The 20-year-old overager exited the game, allowing three goals in nine shots.
The Petes capped off a solid period with under four minutes remaining in the period as Defenseman Carson Cameron overpowered Bulldogs defenseman Noah Van Vliet off the boards in the Bulldogs zone, with the shot getting through the left pad of Egorov for a 4-0 lead. That was Cameron’s first career goal in the Ontario Hockey League. Despite registering 11 shots on goal and two powerplay opportunities, the Bulldogs’ offense could not solve the Petes netminder Liam Sztuska in the opening frame.
The Bulldogs got a better start in the second period, creating several opportunities in the Petes zone. Their effort paid off at 4:32 as the returning Centreman Luca Testa shot top corner past Petes’ netminder Sztuska to give the home team on the board. Ben Bujold received credit for the assist. Peterborough thought they brought the lead back to 4 at the 6:41 mark, only to have the goal disallowed by the official following a brief video review.
Bulldogs cut the deficit into two as right winger Cole Brown goes top-shelf past Stuzska with over three minutes remaining in the period. Bujold got his second assist of the game, while forward Jake O’Brien notched his first assist. Despite the limited work in the middle frame, Egorov kept the game close in the second period, stopping all six Peterborough shots he faced.
As the third period started, the Petes regained control. They extended their lead back to three as they scored their second powerplay goal, courtesy of former Bulldog left winger Jonathan Melee. Petes put the game out of reach at 6:44 as centre Owen Beck hustled through the Bulldogs’ zone and sneaked the puck past between the pads of Egorov. Bulldogs got one back with less than six minutes left as Van Vliet shot from the blue line, and the puck went past Sztuska for a 5-3 score.
The Petes responded twenty seconds later as Prudeller tallied his second goal of the evening at 14:53. Peterborough would add one more with Purdeller outmuscled the Bulldogs defence for his second of the game. The next home game for the Bulldogs is on Wednesday, October 18, against one of the country’s top teams, the London Knights.