Ryan Russell’s shorthanded goal in the second period proved to be the winner in the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2 decision over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night (April 4) before 5,412 spectators.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring at 8:50 of the first period. T.J. Kemp’s point shot hit a Griffin and bounced onto the stick of Brock Trotter who deposited it behind netminder Jimmy Howard.
The Griffins tied the game 1:58 of the middle frame when. P.J. Atherton sent the puck sailing over the glove of Hamilton goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.
While on the power play, Yannick Weber scored eight minutes later to restore the Bulldogs’ lead. Mathieu Carle sent a pass to David Desharnais, who faked a shot before sending the puck to Weber. Weber blasted a one-timer past a sprawling Howard. Hamilton took a 3-1 lead at 15:04 with a shorthanded marker. Ryan White and Russell skated down the ice on a two-on-one before White sent a pass to Russell to send him on a breakaway. Russell took a slapshot that beat Howard on the blocker side.
Grand Rapids cut the lead to 3-2 at 4:43 of the third stanza while on the power play. Ville Leino sent a pass to Brian Lashoff, who snapped a shot that beat Desjardins over the left shoulder. Darren Haydar also earned an assist on the goal.
Yanick Lehoux added a goal at 15:38 of the final frame. Lehoux intercepted the puck from a Griffins’ defender before skating in alone on goal. Lehoux fell to the ice but took a shot, banking the puck off Howard’s stick and into the back of the net.
Hamilton outshot their visitors to Copps Coliseum, 27-20.
The Bulldogs host their final home game of the 2008-2009 regular season at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (April 8) at Copps Coliseum against the Manitoba Moose.