MONTREAL, QC.–Tickets went on sale Monday morning for the Hamilton Bulldogs’ playoff-opening round against the Oklahoma City Barons, AHL  affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.  After spending most of March battling for a playoff spot, Hamilton did what many considered to be the unthinkable and clinched the North Division, leading to a divisional crossover with the West that before Sunday evening involved three possibilities: Oklahoma City, Peoria and Texas (who eliminated the Bulldogs last season).  With wins by the San Antonio Rampage and the Houston Aeros, the Barons became the fifth seed in the West.  The resulting best-of-seven series will follow a 2-3-2 format, with the final two games taking place (if needed) in Hamilton.

With the Edmonton Oilers’ season coming to an end, the 40-29-2-9 Barons can also count on the return of Teemu Hartikainen, Chris VandeVelde, Ryan O’Marra, Jeff Petry and Linus Omark to their lineup.  Hamilton (44-27-2-7) carries a three-game winning streak into the series, led by Drew MacIntyre’s 32-save performance in their most recent victory of 3-1 over the Manitoba Moose.

North Division Semifinal Schedule
(N1) Hamilton Bulldogs vs. (W5) Oklahoma City Barons
all times listed are EST

Game 1 – Thursday, April 14th – 7:30 PM (Hamilton)
Game 2 – Saturday, April 16th – 4:00 PM (Hamilton)
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 19th – 8:05 PM (Oklahoma City)
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 20th – 8:05 PM (Oklahoma City)
Game 5 – Friday, April 22nd – 8:05 PM (Oklahoma City) *
Game 6 – Sunday, April 24th – 4:00 PM (Hamilton) *
Game 7 – Monday, April 25th – 7:30 PM (Hamilton) *

* – if necessary

Season Series
Tied at 1
October 24th: Oklahoma City W 3-2 (OT), December 17th: Hamilton W 3-0

Leading Scorers
Hamilton: Nigel Dawes (66 GP, 41-31-72)
Oklahoma:  Alexandre Giroux (70 GP, 32-46-78)

Hamilton: Drew MacIntyre (41 GP, 24W, 2.37 GAA, .922 SV%)
Oklahoma: Martin Gerber (42 GP, 20W,  2.60 GAA, .911 SV%)

The games will be featured on 820 CHAM as well as AHL Live.

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czechtacular (aka Kathy) is the former follower of a single team, whose interests still are and will always be number one in her book (she is the Managing Editor of All HABS, after all!) but making the jump to junior hockey in 2005 has resulted in, well, quite frankly, a mess that no one will ever be able to understand all at once. A former student of photography, history and communications, she has been to games of the NHL, AHL, QMJHL, CIS, LHJAAAQ, LNAH, and even the NWHL, and definitely doesn't intend on stopping there.