Black and Gold are back in style now that this year’s Ontario Hockey League season has started up again. After last year’s playoff run was ended during the conference quarter-finals, this team is ready to get back in there and show the league who’s the big dog on the ice. Your favorite players return under the guidance of Head Coach Vince Laise with big hopes for a winning season that will take the team back to the playoffs for another championship bid. But with so many strong players to compete against, it’s anyone’s guess where the Bulldogs will land this season, but one thing is certain. If you want to see the very best in intense hockey action, then you can’t miss out on ordering tickets to see the Bulldogs home games at the FirstOntario Centre. With your ticket, you could be cheering on one of the most charismatic teams in the league and watch every surprise shot, every defensive play, and the action hot enough that you swear the ice will melt.
Already the team has landed a crucial year against Kingston in a 3-2 victorious defense of their home arena. With the team’s leadership and starting talent on the ice, the team might just be able to build on their momentum and score bigger wins for the record book. This team, entering only it’s the fifth year under the Bulldogs name, is sure to make a big splash in the league and this is your chance to get front row seats to see the action. So don’t delay! Check out the upcoming Bulldogs games through this website.
How the Bulldogs Got A Lot Done in Five Seasons
The Hamilton Bulldogs are a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. The team began to play in the 2015-16 season after Michael Andlauer announced that he acquired the Belleville Bulls and planned to move the team to Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre. The move was met with surprise as the team would take on the name of the former AHL team of the same name, that Andlauer had previously owned and had been sold to the Montreal Canadians and moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland. The new Hamilton Bulldogs had a lot to prove after this decision.
The team’s first season of play was a challenging one, as they ended the season with a 25-35-8 record, scoring 197 goals but allowing 260. The team led then by Head Coach George Burnett, ended the season with a 5th East rating. The next year, the team was led by John Gruden from 2016-2018. During these two seasons, the team showed marked improvement with a 33-27-4-4 record in 2016 and a 43-18-4-3 record in 2017. This second season was famously noted as the team’s first 1st East standing placement since they took on the Bulldogs’ name. Dave Matsos replaced Gruden as the team’s head coach for the 2018-2019 year, where sportswriters expected the team to continue their upward climb in the ranks. But this season was a reversal for the franchise, as they ended the season with a .463%, that landed them back in the 4th East slot.
Now that Vince Laise leads the Hamilton Bulldogs, it will be exciting for hockey fans to see how far the team will go. Sportswriters are hoping to see the boys in Black and Gold improve and hit the greatness they had during Gruden’s era, but that will be decided in this season. So make sure you order your tickets to see the best Bulldogs actions during this season’s home games.
Why Fans Keep Coming Back to FirstOntario Centre
FirstOntario Centre is more than just an excellent ice hockey arena. It also represents the home of hockey in Hamilton after the demolition of the Barton Street Arena in 1977. Construction began on FirstOntario Centre in 1983 and was later completed two years later for a cost of $33.5 million, not including the money spent on a full parking garage. The project was overseen by Joseph Pigott, a local Hamiltonian. Originally the venue was named Copps Coliseum after mayor Victor Copps, who was the patriarch of the Hamilton political family including his daughter was a former member of Parliament of Canada. Some of the features of the arena, including the arena’s first scoreboard clock, were purchased from other arenas. But many of these features were replaced and built in the Hamilton area, including the current scoreboard which was built by Media Resources and featured an LED video board on each side.
Over the years, the arena has hosted many events and teams, including The Hamilton Steelhawks of the Ontario Hockey League in ‘85. The arena also hosted major championships including the 1986 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and the 1987 Canada Cup. The center, which had a capacity of over 17,000 during hockey events and over 18,000 during concerts, had a special appeal to media outlets across the continent. That’s why the first WWE Royal Rumble shown on the USA Network was held in the arena on January 24, 1988. Later, that same year, the arena hosted the Billy Graham Crusade, which was attended by 19,000 spectators each night of the event.
There’s something special about FirstOntario Centre that draws in crowds, concerts, special events, and major television spectacles. It’s incredible to think that a stadium that was built to address a need for community hockey, has become so famous in the American continents.