Bulldogs outlast Griffins to cut series deficit to 2-1

Hamilton outlasted Grand Rapids for a crucial 5-4 road win on Monday in Game 3 of the teams’ North Division semifinal at Van Andel Arena. Ryan White tallied the eventual game-winning goal unassisted with 2:43 to play in regulation for the Bulldogs, who now trail the series by a 2-1 margin. The road team has won all three games thus far.

White, Yanick Lehoux, and Ryan Russell each posted a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs, who also received tallies from Kyle Chipchura and Ben Maxwell.

Hamilton built leads of 3-1 and 4-2, but the Griffins continued to battle back to within one goal of tying the score.

White’s goal at 17:17 of the third period gave the Bulldogs a 5-3 edge, and it proved to be the decisive goal when Grand Rapids rookie Justin Abdelkader scored 25 seconds later – his sixth third-period point of the series (4-2-6).

Bulldogs goaltender Marc Denis earned the victory with 27 saves on 31 shots.

Ville Leino and rookie defenseman Brian Lashoff each registered a goal and an assist for the Griffins, Darren McCarty added a marker, and Darren Haydar picked up three assists.

Grand Rapids will host Game 4 of the best-of-7 series on Wednesday, and Game 5 will also be in western Michigan on Friday night.