Bulldog Andrei Kostitsyn couldn’t have ended his seven-game point streak in better fashion – by scoring two goals.
Kostitsyn was held off the scoresheet Wednesday night while the visiting Bulldogs and Grand Rapids Griffins played to a 2-2 stalemate after three periods and an overtime session. But in the shootout finale, Kostitsyn scored twice to lift Hamilton a 3-2 American Hockey League win that gives the Bulldogs a 12-8-0-1 record after their fourth straight win.
Unfortunately, goals scored in a shootout do not count in a player’s stats.
Mathieu Roy, with his fourth and fifth of the season, had the Bulldogs goals in regulation time. He opened the scoring – the 12th time in their last 14 games Hamilton has clicked first – at 17:53 of the first period. Kyle Chipchura won an offensive zone face-off back to Roy who beat Griffins’ goalie Jimmy Howard with a high shot to the blocker side.
The Griffins pulled even at 5:51 of the middle frame when Brendan Brooks scored. Roy restored the Hamilton lead at 16:23 of the final period but 53 seconds later Darryl Bootland’s counter set up the scoreless overtime period.
Kostitsyn shot and scored first but the Griffins second shooter, Matt Hussey, cancelled that effort. When Duncan Milroy, Maxium Lapierre, Mikhail Grabovski and Corey Locke for Hamilton and Eric Himelfard, Evan McGrath (twice), Josh Langfeld, and Kip Millar missed on their free shots, Kostitsyn settled the matter.
Hamilton outshot Grand Rapids, 41-34 with Yann Danis picking up the win for Hamilton. Hamilton had 21 shots in the first period but could manage only five in the second frame. Each team had six in the final 20 minutes.
The second-place Bulldogs return to Copps Coliseum on Friday (Dec. 1) to play the fifth-place Toronto Marlies at 7.30 p.m.