The Hamilton Bulldogs 2008-09 American Hockey League season came to a close yesterday when the Grand Rapids Griffins beat them 4-1. The victory gave the Griffins the best-of-seven opening round playoff affair 4-2.
With 3,179 fans at Copps Coliseum watching Sunday’s game (April 26) the Bulldogs could beat Jimmy Howard but once on 23 shots before they were eliminated in Game 6.
Hamilton opened the scoring nine seconds into the game when Greg Stewart scored what would prove to be Hamilton’s only success against Howard. It was Stewart’s first goal of the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs.
While on a two-man advantage, the Griffins tied the game when Darren Haydar had a puck bounce off the Hamilton goalpost and he fired the puck over a sprawling Marc Denis five minutes after the Bulldogs’ goal.
Grand Rapids took a 2-1 lead at 4:18 of the middle frame when Justin Abdelkader beat Denis through the legs.
Cory Emmerton increased the Griffins lead at 13:45 of the final frame. Ville Leino would add an empty-net marker to seal the victory for Grand Rapids with 38 seconds left in the game.
Hamilton outshot Grand Rapids 23-18.