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WHEN BULLDOGS ATTACK



HAMILTON, Ont. – The Hamilton Bulldogs registered four unanswered goals on their first seven shots Saturday night at Copps Coliseum, as the Grand Rapids Griffins suffered their first loss in regulation in seven games, 5-2.

Griffins goaltender Jimmy Howard struggled in the early-going, surrendering a tip-in goal to left wing Jean-Francois Jacques with just four seconds left in a Hamilton power play at 6:32 of the first. Duncan Milroy followed up with a short-handed strike as Howard hesitated playing the puck at the Grand Rapids blue-line; Milroy capitalized after a frantic race to the puck with an easy put-away for the Bulldogs second goal on four shots.

Emerging from the first intermission with a 2-0 lead, Hamilton continued their efficient attack as Jacques netted his second of the night on the team’s first shot of the second frame at the 3:01 mark. Just over a minute later, Howard was forced to make a tremendous save on a Francis Lemieux shot, but defenseman Matthew Roy was able to pounce on the rebound to make it 4-0 Bulldogs at 4:22 of the period. Drew MacIntyre then relieved Howard, stopping all 13 shots he faced the rest of the way to keep the Griffins in the game.

Center Eric Manlow generated the offense for Grand Rapids, capturing third-star honors by scoring both Griffins goals. His first tally occurred on the power play with assists from Nick Martens and Kyle Quincey to cut the deficit to 4-1 heading into the final period.

Manlow answered the call again late in the third with his eighth goal of the season, assisted by Jiri Hudler and Quincey. With the helper, Hudler extended his AHL-leading points streak to 13 games to start the season – a personal best for the young Czech forward, topping his old mark of 12 set in 2003-04. Hudler needs to register at least one point in his next four contests to match the all-time team mark of 17 established by Derek King in 2000-01.

After MacIntyre was pulled from the net for an extra attacker, Milroy sealed the deal for Hamilton with an empty-netter at 18:45 to make the final score 5-2.

Grand Rapids falls to 9-3-0-1 with the loss, remaining in a first-place tie with Manitoba in the North Division following a 3-2 Moose loss in Cleveland Saturday night. The Griffins welcome Manitoba to Van Andel Arena for the team’s fifth annual matinee game Tuesday, with face-off scheduled for noon.

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