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Uninspired Effort Leads to 4-3 Griffins Loss
Late rally can't overcome uninspired play...
By Jason Kasiorek

The Hamilton Bulldogs rode a David Desharnais hat trick past a flat Griffins squad to take a 4-3 victory at Van Andel Arena. Grand Rapids, playing without blueliner's Sergei Kolosov and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen was guilty of defensive breakdowns to giftwrap the win for Hamilton. Jan Mursak (19), Frankie Pare (12) and Jeremy Williams (18) scored for the home team while Daniel larsson made 30 saves in the loss.

The Griffins found themselves in a familiar place after giving up a bad goal 30 seconds into the game. A turnover ended up on the stick of Desharnais in the neutral zone and he went in on a two-on-one on Larsson, ripping a shot in over his shoulder, stick side. Desharnais made it 2-0 later in the period when he crashed the net and banged home the rebound of shot from Pyatt. Logan Pyett took a stick under his visor and went down behind the net. He was down for awhile before leaving the ice for repairs. Nice goal by Mursak who took a pass from Ritola, skated in and backhanded a shot past Sanford. The Bulldogs carried play most of the period with Grand Rapids unwilling or unable to keep the puck out of their own end. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Ham 19.

Hamilton restored their two goal lead early in the second with Desharnais completing the hat trick. Four griffins were standing around in front of the net and allowed Desharnais to walk right in and snap a shot past Larsson from point blank range. Crosty took his second straight dumb penalty leaving GR short a man, but the penalty killers were up to the task. Larsson in particular made a couple of huge saves during the PK. The Griffins had a pair of powerplays in the period but really didn't get much going. Shots on Goal: GR 8 - Ham 11.

Another Griffins turnover ends up behind Larsson 1:42 into the third to make it 4-1. The griffins caught a break four minutes later with pare and Rissmiller on a two on one break. Pare gained the zone and tried to pass to Rissmiller, but the Bulldog's Henry broke it up and slinged the puck into his own net to cut the lead to two. Williams cut the lead to one midway through the period when he took a pass in the slot and lasered a shot under the bar past Sanford. Grand Rapids still looks out of it, and has not gotten a lift from the rally. The Bulldogs are playing physical and chasing the Griffins around. Newbury in particular has gotten under the skin of the Bulldogs and is a frequent target. Abdelkader and Subban have been after each other all night with Justin wisely not dropping the gloves. Fraser summons Larsson to the bench for the extra skater, but it is to little to late and the Griffins fall again. Shots on Goal: GR 6 - Ham 4. For the Game: GR 26 - Ham 34.

Ritola - Abdelkader - Mursak
Newbury - Rissmiller - Williams
Vigilante - Emmerton - Tardif
Tatar - McGrath - Pare

Kindl - Pyett
Janik - Ehrhardt
Delmore - Crosty

Starter: Larsson
Backup: McCollum


Tatar - McGrath - Pare
Delmore - Kindl

Ritola - Abdelkader - Mursak
Janik - Pyett

Ritola - Abdelkader
Janik - Ehrhardt

Rissmiller - Newbury
Delmore - Kindl

Tardif - Vigilante

Three Stars:
3 Mursak - GR
2 Pyatt - Ham
1 Desharnais - Ham


It is so frustrating to watch this team sleepwalk through another contest. They need to play with some urgency to get out of the basement.

Official Game Sheet