GRAND RAPIDS – The Hamilton Bulldogs saw their season-high four-game winning streak come to an end as their second period comeback fell short of overtaking the Grand Rapids Griffins in a 4-2 American Hockey League loss.
The Griffins scored the game’s opening goal on a power play with Gustav Nyquist beating netminder Robert Mayer for his 17th goal of the season. He would end the night with three points.
With just 24 seconds to go in the first period, the Griffins doubled the margin when Chris Conner scored his tenth goal of the season.
Grand Rapids took a 3-0 lead when Brendan Smith persisted and scored the Griffins’ second power play goal at 8:10 of the second period.
At 3:40 in the second stanza, Joonas Nattinen put Hamilton on the board, jamming a loose puck past goaltender Ty Conklin to cut the Griffins’ lead to 3-1. Then, with just 0.7 seconds left in the second period, Blake Geoffrion tapped in Garrett Stafford’s shot. The period ended with the Griffins leading 3-2 on the scoreboard and 32-15 on the shot clock.
The Griffins would keep the Bulldogs at bay during the third period and confirmed their victory with an empty net goal from Tomas Tatar with 22 seconds left in the game to make it a 4-2 final.
Mayer was tested 44 times while Conklin faced 24 shots in front of 5,836 fans.
The Bulldogs will now travel to Montreal to take on the St. John’s IceCaps in a home game at the Bell Centre on Friday, Feb.24 at 7:30 p.m.