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Noel Hoefenmayer leads Ottawa 67’s to dramatic win over Hamilton Bulldogs

The Hamilton Bulldogs lost to the Ottawa 67's for the 10th straight time Friday night.
The Hamilton Bulldogs lost to the Ottawa 67's for the 10th straight time Friday night. Hamilton Bulldogs

The top-ranked Ottawa 67’s kept a couple of long streaks intact, thanks to a hard-fought 5-4 win in overtime over the Hamilton Bulldogs Friday night at FirstOntario Centre.

Noel Hoefenmayer saved a goal, scored the tying goal with just seconds left in regulation, and netted the winning goal in OT as Ottawa (40-7) beat the Dogs (20-22-6-1) for the 10th consecutive time and ran their OHL winning streak to 10 games.

Hamilton’s Logan Morrison scored the only goal of the first period when he redirected a pass from Payton Vescio past 67’s goalie Cedrick Andree 11:31 into the game.

READ MORE: Hamilton Bulldogs beat Windsor Spitfires for third win in five games

The highlight of the opening period, however, belonged to Bulldogs goaltender Marco Costantini after he stuck out his stick to prevent what appeared to be a clear goal by Ottawa.

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Not to be outdone, Hoefenmayer reached behind Andree moments later to swat away the puck before it crossed the goal line.

The Bulldogs doubled their lead 2:27 into the second period when Navrin Mutter took a pass from George Diaco, skated down the right wing and snapped a wrist shot over Andree’s glove and into the short-side top corner.

Just 17 seconds later, Hamilton made it a 3-0 game when Bradey Johnson slotted the puck into a wide-open net after Andree tried to make a save.

Ottawa broke Costantini’s shutout with 4:33 to play in the second period when Jack Quinn scored on a power-play for his Ontario Hockey League-leading 42nd goal of the season.

Quinn added his second goal of the night, 6:26 into the third period, to make it a one-goal game and Austen Keating tied the affair at 3-3 when he slotted his 24th goal of the season from a sharp angle past Costantini.

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READ MORE: Knights netminder Brochu named OHL’s top rookie, goalie for January

Hamilton retook the lead when Isaac Nurse scored his 11th of the year on a goal-mouth scramble just seven seconds into the Bulldogs’ second power-play of the game.

However, with 18 seconds to play in regulation, Hoefenmayer’s slap shot from the blue line found the back of the net to force overtime.

Hoefenmayer scored the winner 1:32 seconds in OT to give the 67’s their league-leading 40th win of the year.

Hamilton’s next game is Saturday at 4 p.m. when the Dogs host the Flint Firebirds.

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