Hamilton, ON – The Adirondack Flames snapped a three game losing skid in a big way as they defeated the Hamilton bulldogs 5-0 on Saturday evening at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario.
The Flames were powered by the forward line of Emile Poirier, Bill Arnold and Sven Baertschi, which combined for four goals and nine points in the victory. Baertschi led the way with a season high four points (1-3-4), while Poirier added two goals and an assist and Arnold chipped in two points (1-1-2). Goaltender Joni Ortio turned aside 23 shots as he earned his third shutout of the season, tied for second in the AHL.
Adirondack opened the scoring just 1:30 into the game as Poirier collected his ninth tally of the season, a power-play goal. Poirier took a feed at the right point from defenseman Ryan Culkin and put a low wrist shot past Hamilton netminder Joey MacDonald to make it 1-0. The goal was Poirier’s team leading seventeenth point of the season and Culkin’s assist was his fifth in as many games against Hamilton. Center Mathieu Tousignant also had an assist on the play.
The Flames quickly doubled their lead just 36 seconds later as Yonkman scored his first of the season with a booming slapshot from the left point. A nice forecheck from Poirier and Sven Baertschi created a turnover behind MacDonald’s net and the Swiss winger fed Yonkman who fired home. Baertschi’s assist extended his scoring streak against Hamilton to six games, dating back to last season with Abbotsford. Yonkman’s goal was his first in exactly one year, as he last scored on Dec. 27, 2013 with the Norfolk Admirals.
The Adirondack lead grew to three as Poirier collected his second of the evening off of a nice feed from Baertschi. After Arnold forced a neutral zone turnover, Baertschi took the puck in on a 2-on-1 with Poirier, eluded the defenseman and fed Poirier on the back post for the tap in goal.
The visitors added a fourth to open the third period’s scoring as Arnold took a nice feed from Baertschi on a 2-on-1 rush and went top shelf past MacDonald. The goal gave Arnold a multi-point game and Baertschi the second three-assist performance of his AHL career.
Adirondack saved one more for last as Baertschi capped off his stellar evening with the game’s fifth goal. The winger re-directed a Poirier feed in the high slot past MacDonald for the team’s second power-play goal of the game. Culkin also had an assist on the play, his second of the night. Baertschi’s four-point evening was one short of his career high, set on Apr. 4, 2013 against Rockford.
The Flames will return to action tomorrow afternoon as they travel to Toronto for a 3:00 p.m. matinee with the Marlies. Adirondack will be back home on Wednesday, December 31st, for a New Year’s Eve tilt with the Toronto Marlies. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with an indoor fireworks show to occur after the game. Tickets are still available for that contest and all remaining Flames’ home games. Visit the Flames box office, call 518-480-3355, or order online at glensfallscc.com to be a part of a New Year’s Eve celebration with the Flames.
Adirondack Flames Hockey • Fired Up