Hamilton Bulldogs gained some ground on the Manitoba Moose and gave themselves a bit more breathing space with Grand Rapids after Friday night’s 2-1 win over the Griffins.
Hamilton’s win, combined with Manitoba’s loss to San Antonio, cut the Moose’s second place lead over the Bulldogs to three points. At the same time, Hamilton padded its cushion to four points over the fourth place Griffins in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference’s North Division.
The Griffins and Bulldogs play the second game of their mini-series tonight (Saturday) at Copps Coliseum where Duncan Milroy score one goal and added an assist in beating Grand Rapids before 4,500 onlookers.
Milroy’s first period goal was his 18th of the season.
Corey Locke scored what stood as the game-winner in the second period.
Josh Langfeld’s powerplay marker in the third period was the only shot to get past Bulldogs netminder Yann Danis, who stopped 23 other shots.
Stefan Liv blocked 26 of the 28 shots he faced but it wasn’t enough to extend his five-game winning streak. Hamilton played with Zack Stortini, who, earlier in the day, was recalled by the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers.
The 21-year-old Stortini has nine goals and six assists in the 41 games he has with the Bulldogs. The rugged 6-3, 230-pound forward leads the AHL in penalty minutes with 172.
Stortini was also recalled by the Oilers in November but did not play. He was a third round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft.