Griffins leave Steeltown with two-game advantage

The Hamilton Bulldogs now trail the Grand Rapid Griffins 2-0 in their best-of-seven American Hockey League opening playoff series.

The visiting Griffins scored a 3-1 decision over the Bulldogs on Saturday night (April 18) in front of only 2,296 fans at Copps Coliseum. Justin Abdelkader had two goals and an assist to lead the Griffins.

Neither team could get on the scoreboard in the first period as the Griffins fired 15 shots on Hamilton goaltender Marc Denis while the Bulldogs sent seven shots on Grand Rapids netminder Jimmy Howard.

Hamilton opened the scoring at 3:39 of the middle frame. Ryan White grabbed the loose puck and shot over it over the shoulder of Howard.

The Griffins tied the game at 5:39 of the final frame. While on the power play, Darren Haydar fed a pass to Ville Leino who beat Denis. Justin Abdelkader gave Grand Rapids a 2-1 lead three minutes later.

Abdelkader scored his second goal at 19:54 when he shot the puck into the empty net after the Bulldogs pulled Denis in favour of an extra skater.

The Bulldogs travel to Grand Rapids to battle the Griffins in Game 3 of their first-round series on Monday (April 20) at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on TALK 820 radio. Fans can also listen or watch at by clicking on the ‘AHL Live’ or ‘TALK 820’ icons on the Bulldogs website. All post-season radio and online broadcasts will begin with a pre-game show 30 minutes prior to each scheduled game-time.