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Griffins Maul Bulldogs 4-1
Grand Rapids beats rival Hamilton on the scoreboard and on the ice...
By Jason Kasiorek

Grand Rapids finally put in a 60 minute effort on home ice, and the result was a dominant 4-1 win to take a 3-2 series lead. Darren Haydar led the way with two goals, while Jakub Kindl and Tom Galvin, Wednesday night's goats each added a goal and an assist. The third period featured several brawls as a frustrated Bulldogs team tried to send a message, unfortunately for them the Griffins were ready and gave better than they got. Former AHL All-star Jimmy Howard made 14 saves for the win, rebounding from a pair of shaky performances. The series now shifts to Hamilton for games 6 and 7.

Grand Rapids had good pressure in the first part of the game, despite only getting a couple of shots on goal. They were able to cash in on their first powerplay of the game to take a 1-0 lead. Jakub Kindl took a big blast from the point and Galvin picked up the rebound in the slot firing it right back and past Denis for his first of the playoffs. GR is playing great defensive hockey and really frustrating the Bulldogs who were unable to get anything going. Kindl doubled the lead with another rocket from the blueline just as a Hamilton penalty expired. It looked like it may have been tipped in front by Mursak, but it stands as Kindl's. The Bulldogs finally got on the board late in the period taking advantage of a 5-on-3 powerplay. Glumac rifled a shot from the slot that beat Howard low, glove side. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - Ham 6.

Great pressure by grand Rapids to start the second, with three minutes of solid possession in the Hamilton zone. Tardif Limped off in the middle of a PK shift and went straight to the dressing room. He would return later in the period. Darren Haydar scored his first of the night on a powerplay just past the 11 minute mark. The veteran winger drifted into the slot and snapped a shot in over Denis to make it 3-1. Shots on Goal: GR 7 - Ham 6.

Aaron Downey came late on the play and charged in on Denis to try and knock the puck loose but got a stick in the head instead, with no penalty call. Downey on the forecheck stole the puck at the line and set up a great scoring chance. Two on one with Pare and Emmerton, Pare went shoot all the way and put it in Denis' glove. a few minutes later Haydar and Abdelkader had a two on one with Haydar picking the top corner glove side, and wristed a quick shot into the net. Things boiled over late in the period with a series of brawls breaking out. Stewart tried to get at Tardif, but Downey threw him down and dropped the gloves. Stewart got a couple of good ones in early, but Downey took over and beat him down. Off the nest faceoff, White challenged Kolosov, and the big defenseman destroyed white in a one-sided bout. Next faceoff, Trotter hits Jozsa from behind and drops the gloves. Jozsa grappled him to the ice before they were separated. Tardif and Henry had words, but cooler heads prevailed. Time ran out before another set could break out, but it is sure to be continued on Sunday. Shots on Goal: GR 15 - Ham 3. For the Game: GR 34 - Ham 15.

Tardif - Gagnon - Downey
Leino - Abdelkader - Haydar
Ritola - Andersson - McCarty
Emmerton - Pare - Mursak

Kolosov - Jozsa
Kindl - Galvin
Lashoff - Stafford

Starter: Howard
Backup: Larsson

Oulahen - Hip
McGrath - Shoulder
Axelsson - Groin
Lemieux - ?

Leino - Abdelkader - Haydar
Lashoff - Stafford

Ritola - Andersson - McCarty
Kindl - Galvin

Ritola - Gagnon
Kindl - Galvin

Leino - Tardif
Kolosov - Stafford

Abdelkader - Haydar


Kindl still had a few rough spells in the third, but on the whole rebounded from his poor play the last two games. His defense parter Tom Galvin looked better as well.

Aaron Downey played a whale of a game, creating energy with his hits and scoring chances with his puck pressure. He also took care of business with Stewart who had been taking liberties with griffins all night.
Jimmy Howard was not tested much, but came up with some big saves when needed.

Official Game Sheet