HAMILTON, Ontario – The Griffins were outmatched by a high-powered Hamilton Bulldogs offense that fired 44 shots at Jimmy Howard and dealt Grand Rapids a 4-1 loss Friday night at Copps Coliseum.
The Griffins return home tomorrow night to host the Chicago Wolves for the first time since November, 24 in a 7 p.m. match
The Bulldogs carried a 2-0 lead into the first intermission after scoring both tallies 1:10 apart. Michael Lambert notched the first goal at 12:45, capitalizing unassisted on a Griffins turnover and sliding the puck into the left side of the net from the goal mouth.
Ajay Baines also scored unassisted when he flew into the zone along the right boards and snapped a shot over the glove of Howard at the 13:55 mark.
Failing to score during the second period while giving up another goal, the Griffins found themselves facing a 3-0 deficit as Hamilton took the commanding lead off a power play goal at 17:02. Corey Locke fed a pass from the top of the right circle to the left goal post, where Dan Jancevski connected with a one timer.
Darryl Bootland got Grand Rapids on the board 2:20 into the final frame after receiving a feed from Matt Hussey and firing a shot past Yann Danis’ blocker from the left side.
But the Bulldogs quickly regained a three-goal edge as Kyle Chipchura netted Hamilton’s fourth off assists from Troy Bodie and Baines at the 6:08 mark, sealing the Griffins 4-1 fate as the visitors were unable to light the lamp again.
Despite giving up four goals, Howard was stellar in net and made 40 saves while Danis recorded 25 in the crease for the Bulldogs.