Grand Rapids, MI – The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-3 on Monday night. The Bulldogs scored four unanswered goals including three in the third period to tie the series 2-2.
The Griffins opened the game’s scoring 34 seconds into the first period. Jason Jozsa sent a pass up the middle of the ice to give Aaron Gagnon a breakaway. Gagnon skated in alone on Hamilton starting goaltender Marc Denis before using a backhand-to-forehand deke and sliding the puck past the goaltender to give the Grand Rapids a 1-1 lead.
Jamie Tardif gave the Griffins a 2-0 lead at 9:37 of the middle frame. Gagnon skated around Denis before sending the puck behind the goaltender and into the crease. Tardif raced into the crease and banged the loose puck into the back of the net for the goal.
Grand Rapids scored 44 seconds into the third frame to take a 3-0 lead. Brian Lashoff fired a shot from the left side that was stopped by Denis. The rebound bounced to Justin Abdelkader, who released a shot past a sprawling Denis.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard at 7:58 of the final stanza. While shorthanded, Ryan Russell fed a pass behind a Griffins’ defender and onto the stick of Kyle Chipchura to give Chipchura a breakaway. Chipchura raced in towards the net, backhanding the puck through the legs of Grand Rapids starting goaltender Jimmy Howard. Ben Maxwell cut the lead to one goal at 9:41 while on the power play. David Desharnais received the puck from Mike Glumac before sending the puck across the ice to Maxwell. Maxwell snapped a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle that sailed over the left shoulder of Howard. Maxwell added his second goal at 11:27 while on the power play. Mathieu Carle passed the puck along the blue line to Desharnais, who waited with the puck before setting-up Maxwell for a one-timer. Maxwell blasted the one-time shot from the right faceoff dot that beat Howard on the glove side.
With the score tied, the game headed to sudden death overtime. At 2:42 of the first overtime period the Bulldogs scored to win the game. Ryan White received the puck from Dan Jancevski before firing a shot towards the net. The puck bounced off a Griffins’ defender and past Howard.
The Bulldogs continue their series with Game 5 on Friday, April 24thd for a 7:00 p.m. game in Grand Rapids. All home playoff games can be seen on Cable 14. Fans can listen to every ‘Dogs game on the flagship station of the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network, TALK 820. Fans can also listen or watch at www.hamiltonbulldogs.com 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.