Desharnais scores three lifting Bulldogs to AHL win

The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-3 on Friday night (Feb. 17). David Desharnais recorded a hat-trick in the win while Grant Stevenson scored the game-winning goal to end a three-game losing streak for the Bulldogs in American Hockey League play.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring 30 seconds into the game. Tom Pyatt received the puck from Frederic St. Denis before sending a pass to Desharnais, who was skating towards the net. Desharnais rifled a shot that sailed over the glove of Grand Rapids goaltender Daniel Larsson. Desharnais added his second goal at 9:49. Pyatt picked up a Brock Trotter rebound before firing a shot that was stopped by Larsson. The puck bounced out to Desharnais, who shot it past Larsson.

The Griffins cut into the Bulldogs’ lead at 16:49 of the first frame when Jan Mursak beat goaltender Curtis Sanford.

Desharnais completed his hat-trick 49 seconds into the second stanza. His initial shot was blocked by Larsson but Desharnais grabbed the rebound and scored. Pyatt earned the assist on the goal, his third of the night.

The ‘Dogs took a 4-1 lead 53 seconds later. Stevenson raced into the Griffins’ zone before snapping a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle. The puck sailed over the glove of Larsson and into the net.

Grand Rapids made the game 4-2 at 5:41. Francis Pare’s shot bounced off the stick of a Bulldogs defender and into the net. Jeremy Williams scored the Griffins’ third goal at 10:38. Kris Newbury carried the puck into the Bulldogs’ zone before passing to Williams who beat Sanford.

Hamilton outshot their hosts 34-26 before a crowd of 8,493.

The Bulldogs travel to Montreal to host the Adirondack Phantoms for a game at Bell Centre on Sunday (Feb. 21) at 1 p.m.