Thursday , 1 June 2023
Home News “Underdog” Bulldogs even series with Colts

“Underdog” Bulldogs even series with Colts

Story and Pictures by Denis Gibbons

Nick Lardis scored two goals in the Bulldogs win. Hamilton Bulldog photo

Hockey will not leave town with the Easter Bunny this weekend, as was forecast by many pessimistic scribes.

Decided underdogs in their OHL playoff series with Barrie, the Bulldogs beat the Colts twice at First Ontario Centre, 6-3 and 5-3, to tie their best of seven playoff series 2-2.

A viewing party is scheduled for the Wings Sports Bar location in Ancaster Thursday night when the teams return to Barrie for Game 5. The sixth game is set for Hamilton Easter Monday night.

Already drafted by the Dallas Stars, 19-year-old Russian-born defenceman Artyom Grushnikov starred in Sunday’s 6-3 victory, scoring three goals, albeit the last two into an empty net with the Barrie goaltender out for an extra attacker.

Grushnikov was a physical force all night and came through in the clutch defensively in the dying minutes of the game.

“He’s been a monster for us all year,” said Hamilton coach Jay McKee. “He’s a very physical presence and he has great character both on and off the ice.

Grushnikov, who was born in Voskresensk a hockey hotbed that has produced NHL stars like Igor Larionov, Valery Kamensky and Andrei Markov, says it was Markov who taught him how to be a smart defender.

Markov, who played 16 seasons for the Montreal Canadiens, also represented Russia in three Olympics, two World Cups and five World Championships, earning a gold medal at Quebec City in 2008.

Last summer Grushnikov attended the summer camp of the Stars, where Joe Pavelski hosted him at his home for a couple of nights and taught him the rules of American football.

Bulldogs star Artyom Grushnikov signs the jersey of young fan Antonio Pagliaro. Photo by Denis Gibbons

After this season the Bulldogs must move to Brantford to allow for renovations at First Ontario Centre and many fans are unhappy about that.

Elsewhere in local hockey…

It’s been another bonanza season for amateur teams in the Bay Area and, while the Bulldogs are away until Monday, there’ll be lots of other shinny over the holiday weekend.

Leading 3-0 in their best-of-seven Junior B series, the Hamilton Kilty B’s play in Caledonia tonight (Wednesday). If Caledonia wins, the fifth game goes at the Dave Andreychuk Arena on Hamilton Mountain Thursday night.

Bitter rivals over the years, the Glanbrook Rangers and Grimsby Peach Kings open their best of seven Junior C series in Glanbrook tonight (Wednesday) with Game 2 in Grimsby Friday night and Game 3 back in Glanbrook Sunday afternoon.

The Burlington Cougars will host the Collingwood Blues in Game 2 of their Ontario Junior Hockey League Junior A series at Central Arena Friday night.

And finally the Dundas Real McCoys welcome the Hamilton Steelers for the second game of their best-of-three Senior A series at the Grightmire Arena in Dundas tonight (Wednesday). Dundas leads in games 1-0.  A third game, if necessary, will also be played in Dundas Saturday night.

The following week both teams will be involved in the Allan Cup championship tournament in Dundas.

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