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Hamilton goalie Jaroslav Halak is making it look too easy. Halak’s blanking of Milwaukee on Tuesday was his seventh career AHL shutout in just 23 games. The shutouts total ties Steve Passmore for the all-time franchise record.

Halak, a second-year pro who split time between Long Beach of the ECHL and Hamilton last season, has come out of almost nowhere to pace the AHL in shutouts (four) goals-against (1.29) and save percentage (.957).

“I think all of the goalies, when they play the game they go into the game thinking, I’m going to get a shutout,’’ said Halak, a ninth-round pick by Montreal in the 2003 draft. “The guys are blocking the shots. They are clearing the rebounds. I see the shot. There is no second shot. They make it easy for me.’’

Speaking of sizzling play, no matter how Halak and his teammates do the rest of the season, they will definitely be a team that really cooks.

In one of the more unusual team-bonding exercises of the season, the Bulldogs recently took a culinary arts class together. After preparing a variety of chicken dishes, the team scarfed them down.

“I knew how to cook before. I’m trying to cook all the time at home,’’ Halak said. “I’m still learning.’’
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