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WEEKEND IN THE DOGHOUSE

HAMILTON, Ontario – The Grand Rapids Griffins lost to the Hamilton Bulldogs for the second time in as many nights Saturday at Copps Coliseum by a score of 5-1. The Griffins now slip to six points behind third place Hamilton in the North Division race with the loss.

Looking to gain ground in the race, Grand Rapids will continue their four-game road trip Wednesday when they travel to Rochester for the first of a two-game stint against the Americans at 7 p.m.

Special teams action dominated the opening 20 minutes with each team awarded a two man advantage for nearly a full two minutes. Following an unsuccessful attempt by Grand Rapids, the Bulldogs capitalized on their opportunity when Duncan Milroy tucked a rebound under the cross bar at 12:48.

Mikhail Grabovski extended the Bulldogs’ lead just seconds after his four minute spearing penalty expired as he received a pass at center ice upon leaving the box and flew into the zone, making a move to beat Stefan Liv on the stick side at 1:24 of the second.  

Jeff Campbell answered for the Griffins during a power play at 10:29, scooping the puck over a sprawling Yann Danis from the goal mouth while being hit from behind after Derek Meech sent a shot towards the net.

But Hamilton insisted on making it a tough comeback for the Griffins and scored again at 17:03 gaining a two-goal edge. Corey Locke fed a pass from the right corner to a streaking Francis Lemieux on the left side who one-timed a shot into the mesh.

Shortly into the final period Grand Rapids faced a three-goal deficit due to the of the hand-eye coordination of Andrei Kostitsyn, who batted an air born pass from Grabovski into the goal from in close at 5:23.

Adding insult to injury, Lemieux notched his second goal of the evening on an empty net tally from the left boards at 18:25 after Matt Ellis blocked the initial shot.

Liv finished the game with 23 saves and Danis continued to dominate against Grand Rapids with 31 saves and has now only given up six goals in four meetings with the Griffins. 


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