April 19, 2018 4:00 am

4-goal second period pushes Bulldogs past Kingston in East Final opener

The Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Kingston Frontenacs 6-2 in Game One of the OHL's Eastern Conference Final.

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Advantage Bulldogs.

The Hamilton Bulldogs erupted for three goals in the first three minutes of the second period and cruised to a 6-2 win over Kingston in Game One of the OHL’s Eastern Conference Final.

Brandon Saigeon scored two of those three goals, just 11 seconds apart, in front of 3,734 fans at FirstOntario Centre on Wednesday night.

MacKenzie Entwhistle and Ryan Moore also scored second-period goals to boost Hamilton’s lead to 6-0 by the midway point of the game.

Nicholas Caamano opened the scoring at 9:39 of the first period, and 7:03 later, Ben Gleason doubled Hamilton’s lead going into the first intermission.

Coach John Gruden certainly liked his team’s offensive outburst. “Anytime you can get out on your home ice and jump out to the lead like we did and kinda maintain it through the second period… it was a good start for us,” said Gruden.

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Robert Thomas had three assists while teammate Gleason had a goal and two helpers as Hamilton stopped the Frontenacs’ four-game winning streak.

Bulldogs goaltender Kaden Fulcher stopped 26 shots while Kingston’s star goalie Jeremy Helvig was pulled midway through the second period after allowing six goals on 22 shots.

Max Jones broke Fulcher’s shutout bid with 3:08 remaining in the second frame. Thirty-four seconds later, teammate Jason Robertson scored on the power play.

“That’s only one game,” acknowledged Gruden. “This team [Kingston] is too good. We’re going to see a completely different one come Friday.”

Game Two is Friday night in Hamilton.

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