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AMERKS SWEEP BULLDOGS

There's no fight left in the 'Dogs.

The Rochester Americans completed a four-game sweep of the Hamilton Bulldogs for the second straight season, finishing them with a 5-4 victory Tuesday night in Copps Coliseum.

Derek Roy scored two goals and Chris Taylor, Jeff Jillson and Thomas Vanek scored once for Rochester. Taylor and Roy each had three points.

For the first time in the series, the Amerks scored the game's first goal, and had a 2-0 lead as Roy and Jillson scored on the power play in the first 23 minutes.

Hamilton then rallied for three goals, forcing Rochester to come from behind in all four games to reach the North Division finals. Tomas Plekanec scored twice in the second period, and Jason Ward put Hamilton ahead at 4:31 of the third.

Taylor brought the Amerks back to even at 5:46, then a prone Vanek fed Roy in the slot for a 4-3 lead at 16:59. Vanek hit an empty net at 18:54, which was fortunate because Ron Hainsey scored with 29 secconds left.

"We always have to be somewhat desperate I guess," Rochester coach Randy Cunneyworth said. "Somehow, the guys came through."

The Amerks will play the winner of the Manitoba-St. John's series starting next Wednesday. Manitoba leads, 2-1.

Moncton hires Nolan

MONCTON, New Brunswick -- Ted Nolan, whose last coaching job was his award-winning year with the Buffalo Sabres, was hired Tuesday as the coach and director of hockey operations of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The QMJHL is one of three major junior leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League.

"You learn from the past, and the only thing I have to say now is that I'm back," Nolan said. "I'm excited, probably more excited than I was when I first started coaching."

Nolan, 47, hasn't coached in the NHL since 1997, when he won the Jack Adams Trophy (league's top coach) after leading the Sabres to a division title.

"Ted Nolan is here today because I want to bring a winner to Moncton, and Ted Nolan is a winner," Wildcats owner Robert Irving said.

After the 1996-97 season, Nolan rejected a one-year contract offer from the Sabres. He also turned down offers from Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders, and never received another NHL offer.

Bertuzzi makes his pitch

NEW YORK -- Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi, whose blindside punch to Steve Moore's head in a game nearly 14 months ago has left the former Colorado forward unable to play, had his long-awaited reinstatement hearing with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

"At the conclusion . . . Commissioner Bettman took the matter under advisement," chief legal officer Bill Daly said in a statement. "There is no immediate timetable for a decision."

Bertuzzi was suspended indefinitely following the hit. Moore, who was playing with the Colorado Avalanche, was left with a broken neck and a concussion.

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