The Hamilton Bulldogs snapped their three-game losing streak, defeating the Griffins 5-2 on Saturday night (Dec. 6) in Grand Rapids.
National Hockey League veteran Chris Chelios was in the line-up for the Griffins but was unable to lead Grand Rapids past the Bulldogs and Cedrick Desjardins who made 23 saves on 25 shots in the American Hockey League game.
The Griffins opened the scoring 56 seconds into the game while on the power play. Garrett Stafford fired a shot from the point that bounced off the backboards and landed in front of the net. Darren Haydar grabbed the loose puck and buried it past Desjardins.
While on a five-on-three power play, the ‘Dogs scored 12 minutes later. Yannick Weber’s shot was stopped by Grand Rapids’ goalie Jimmy Howard but Kyle Chipchura put the rebound into the net. Mathieu Aubin scored the Bulldogs second goal at 17:40. Aubin raced to the net and fired a shot that was saved by Howard. Aubin knocked the rebound out of mid-air and past Howard, who was out of position because of the initial save. Howard faced 33 Hamilton shots on the night.
The Bulldogs took a 3-1 lead at 4:26 of the second stanza. David Desharnais grabbed a Dan Jancevski rebound and shovelled the puck underneath Howard for his fifth goal of the season.
Grand Rapids cut Hamilton’s lead to one goal when Cory Emmerton notched a goal at 11:56 of the second frame. It appeared that Desjardins had covered the puck but the whistle had not blown, and Emmerton continued to jam his stick under Desjardins until the puck crossed the line to make the game 3-2.
The Bulldogs scored their fourth goal and second power-play marker of the game at 17:19 of the middle frame. Yanick Lehoux sent a pass to Ryan White, who snapped a shot over the left shoulder of Howard. Chipchura notched his second goal of the game at 10:19 of the third stanza. He rifled a shot that sailed past Howard. Ryan Russell and Mathieu Carle earned assists.
A crowd of 9,628 watched the game.
The ‘Dogs return to Copps Coliseum on Sunday (Dec. 7) to host the Toronto Marlies for a 5 p.m. game. Sunday’s game will be “Stuffed Toy Toss Night”, where fans can throw new stuffed toys onto the ice following the Bulldogs’ first goal.