Sanford’s stellar effort goes for naught

The Hamilton Bulldogs were defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins, 3-2, on Wednesday night. Curtis Sanford made 45 saves for the Bulldogs but Evan Rankin scored a third period goal to lead the Griffins to the American Hockey League win. Hamilton had 21 shots on net with a crowd of 6,809 on hand in Grand Rapids.

The Bulldogs opened the game’s scoring at 10:35 of the first period. Olivier Fortier sent the puck to J.T. Wyman, who was positioned at the top of the right faceoff circle. Wyman snapped a shot that beat Grand Rapids goaltender Joey MacDonald.

The Griffins tied the game at 18:56 of the frame. Cory Emmerton passed the puck to Logan Pyett, who was skating down the right side of the ‘Dogs zone. Pyett slapped a low shot that was stopped by Sanford. The rebound bounced off the leg of a Bulldogs player before ending up in the net.

Grand Rapids took a 2-1 lead at 8:14 of the second stanza. Greg Amadio skated to the front of Hamilton’s net before receiving a puck from Ilari Filppula. Amadio tapped the puck past Sanford.

The ‘Dogs tied the game seven minutes into the final frame. Ryan Russell sent the puck to the right point, where Mathieu Carle was positioned. Carle blasted a shot that sailed past MacDonald.

Rankin scored the winner at 8:22 of the third stanza. Sergei Kolosov drove towards the Hamilton net before firing the puck at the net. Rankin jammed the loose puck underneath Sanford and into the net.

The Bulldogs travel to Chicago to battle the Wolves on Saturday, Jan. 8 for an 8 p.m. EST game. All regular season Hamilton Bulldogs broadcasts on AM 820 CHAM will begin with a pre-game show 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.