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Hamilton Bulldogs 4 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1

April 4, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Hamilton Bulldogs used a trio of second-period goals to rally for a 4-1 victory on Friday at Van Andel Arena, snapping the Grand Rapids Griffins’ three-game winning streak.
 
The seventh sellout crowd of the season saw the Griffins suffer a regulation loss for just the fourth time in their last 19 games (14-4-0-1) and squander an opportunity to increase their seven-point lead over idle Chicago in the Midwest Division race. Hamilton, meanwhile, kept its flickering playoff hopes alive after entering the night nine points down on the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.
 
The Griffins (44-21-2-4) won’t have to wait long to atone for their performance as they’ll host a rematch with the Bulldogs (31-33-1-5) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The first 2,500 fans will receive replicas of the Griffins’ 2013 Calder Cup championship ring.
 
In a historically rare matchup of the two most recent Calder Cup-winning goaltenders, Petr Mrazek watched his club take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission against Dustin Tokarski, who won the AHL championship with Norfolk in 2012. Off a faceoff win in the Hamilton zone, Jordin Tootoo collected the puck at the left half-wall and centered a pass to David McIntyre, who patiently measured up a wrist shot from the high slot that flew past a completely screened Tokarski at 14:08.
 
The Bulldogs took advantage of some sluggish defensive play by Grand Rapids to light the lamp three times before the second period was nine minutes old. Gabriel Dumont jammed the puck past Mrazek’s pad just 55 seconds into the frame, and the visitors went on top at 4:36 when Mike Bluden warded off a defender to score on a partial break that resulted from a poor Grand Rapids line change.
 
A subsequent timeout by Griffins coach Jeff Blashill couldn’t rouse the troops, as a Sven Andrighetto blast from the left circle found the far corner of the net at 8:11. 
 
The score stayed 3-1 until 3:13 remained in the third period, when Greg Pateryn sailed a long shot into an empty net that Mrazek had vacated for an extra attacker.
 
Mrazek, who had surrendered exactly one goal in each of Grand Rapids’ three straight wins, made 23 saves while sustaining only his second loss in his last 13 decisions. Tokarski countered with 27 saves in the victorious effort.
 
Notes: The Griffins’ seventh sellout (10,834) of the season – and third in the last four games – equals their combined total from the last two seasons and represents their most in a single season since recording eight in 2006-07…Tonight marked just the fourth time in the last seven AHL seasons that the two most recent Calder Cup-winning goalies started against each other. The other three all happened last season between Tokarski (then with Syracuse) and Binghamton’s Robin Lehner…Mark Mowers, who enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons in Griffins history with 34 goals and 81 points in 2002-03, attended the game as a scout for the Montreal Canadiens.
 
Three Stars: 1. HAM Blunden (goal, assist); 2. HAM Tokarski (W, 27 saves); 3. HAM Andrighetto (goal, assist)

 
Griffins Game Rewind
GriffVision Video Highlights & Interviews
WOOD Radio Highlights: McIntyre Goal Dumont Goal Blunden Goal Grant Fight
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

 



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