Hamilton Bulldogs used a sustained attack and earned themselves a 4-1 win over the Grand Rapid Griffins on Friday night.
Playing before 6,579 onlookers, Ajay Baines led the Bulldogs 44-shot offensive with a goal and an assist to help Hamilton pick up its 39th win of the campaign at Copps Coliseum. The win left the Bulldogs in third place in the Western Conference’s North Division, one point back of second place Rochester Americans. The Amerks will visit Copps tonight (Saturday, March 31) for a crucial 7 p.m. American Hockey League encounter.
Michael Lambert opened the scoring at 12:45 of the first period when he picked up a loose puck at the side of the Griffins’ net and beat goaltender Jimmy Howard for his 11th goal of the season, an unassisted tally.
Baines then gave the ‘Dogs a two-goal lead 1:10 later. His 12th goal was also unassisted.
Hamilton went up 3-0 at 17:02 of the middle stanza when Dan Jancevski converted a tic-tac-toe passing play from Corey Locke and Andre Benoit on the power play.
Grand Rapids got on the board at 2:20 of the third period when Darryl Bootland beat Yann Danis.
The Bulldogs restored their three-goal lead four minutes later when Kyle Chipchura, with his 11th, scored after Howard stopped ‘Dogs forward Troy Bodie’s initial two shots.
Hamilton was 1-for-8 on the power play, while the Griffins went 0-for-7 with the extra-man.
Danis stopped 25 of 26 shots to earn his 20th win of the season, while Howard made 40 saves on 44 shots.