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Hamilton Bulldogs captain D Justin Lemcke suffers fractured fibula in Oct. 4 game against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (Photo: John Rennison/The Hamilton Spectator)

It was a rough weekend for the Hamilton Bulldogs, both on the scoreboard Friday versus the 67s, but more importantly in the case of injuries. It was difficult to watch on Sunday as the team lost two players deemed to be vital to the success of the season.  You don’t wish the type of pain that either Lemcke or Luff went through at the hands of the Soo Greyhounds on even your worst enemies.

Do it for the captain

The Bulldogs announced that Justin Lemcke would be the first team captain in the history of the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday evening. The crowd was just beginning to get into the game when the whistle blew following Lemcke’s crash into the corner to the left of his goalie at 14:53 in the first period.  It was without a doubt the most painful looking accident I’ve seen live. Lemcke suffered a fractured fibula in his right leg on the play that resulted in a period and a half of chippy play between both teams.

The Bulldogs did everything they could to avenge their fallen captain for the rest of the game.  They started with their fists, as Luff, Petti and Fox all received five minute fighting majors. Petti went after the Greyhound’s Katchouck, who guided Lemcke into the boards, and got tossed for the rest of the game for the play. The Bulldogs were able to punish the Greyhounds by winning the game thanks to an overtime winner via Stephen Harper, who’s currently tied with London’s Berisha for second in league scoring with eight points.

Hamilton Bulldogs forward Matt Luff grinds it out against Ottawa 67s, Friday Oct. 2 (Photo: Valerie Wutti / Blitzen Photography)

Hamilton Bulldogs forward Matt Luff grinds it out against Ottawa 67s, Friday Oct. 2 (Photo: Valerie Wutti / Blitzen Photography)

When it rains…

Luck was not on the side of the Bulldogs on the injury front. Luff was blindsided in the Greyhounds offensive zone with an elbow to the head from Keigan Goetz, who received a match penalty on the play. For the second time in the same night, fans sat uncomfortably as they watched one of the team’s best players lay in pain on the ice. Luff is the second player to suffer a concussion this season, and will miss some time to avoid further injury.

Bring on the good news!

Three players scored their first goals of their OHL careers this weekend. Mitch Mendonca scored the only goal for the Bulldogs on Friday night in Ottawa. Cole Candella scored his first goal on the power play against the Greyhounds via a huge slapshot from the point. Candella got a shift on the top unit with Adam Laishram checked out on the bench after getting hit from behind. With that shot, don’t surprised if Candella gets more opportunities to fire bullets from the point in the future.

Strome celebrated the first goal of his career to put the Bulldogs ahead 2-1 midway through the third period. It was great to see his celebration following the frustrating injuries the team was subjected to. Burnett spoke very positively about both Strome and Entwistle’s play after the game. Both players played some big minutes on the penalty kill and power play in the second and early in the third. They’re developing plenty of trust from the coach as the games go on.

The Bulldogs play next on the road against the Sarnia Sting on Friday.

About The Author

Krist Hayes

Krist is fan of the game of hockey that has been moonlighting as a blogger recently writing about the OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs. Reckless since his days as a crease-crasher. Tweet him @kristhayes

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Reckless Restraint

A blog for fans of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League. Updates, reports & musings on the team, players, and prospects.

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