It was a rink of pink in the Jack Gatecliff Arena on Saturday night as the Niagara Ice Dogs crashed past the Battalion 5-2 while wearing bright pink jerseys. The change of uniform was to display the Ice Dog support of Breast Cancer Awareness. While all players added pink tape to their sticks, David Pacan went above and beyond by also dying his hair pink.
Coming off of a win against number one CHL team the London Knights, the Ice Dogs were up against the Battalion for the sixth and final time this season. The win against their division rivals cemented the Ice Dog’s first place standing in the Central Division and are now only two points behind the Eastern Conference leaders Ottawa 67’s.
The game opened with a goal by Steven Shipley only to be followed by a goal tending dual well into the second period. Within 2 and half minutes the Battalion scored two goals placing the Ice Dogs behind the eight ball.
In the third period the Ice Dog’s power play broke out scoring two successful goals to take over the lead once again. After Pacan scored an insurance goal Brampton starter Matej Machovsky displayed his displeasure at being yanked by breaking his stick.
A fourth power play goal by Freddie Hamilton made it a 5-2 final. This Ice Dog win extends goaltender Mark Visentin’s record in 2012 to 9-0. The Ice Dogs are still missing from their line-up Ryan Strome (injury) and Dougie Hamilton (suspension). Hamilton is eligible to return on February 12th as the Ice Dogs face the Generals in Oshawa.
Saturday marked defenseman Brock Beukeboom’s first home game appearance after suffering a concussion. While acknowledging this was the final match up against the Battalion in the regular season, Beukeboom says the Battalion “is always a tough opponent. Their style of game is always frustrating. I imagine we will see them in the playoffs.”