It is no doubt disappointing that the Griffins were not able to close out the Crunch is Syracuse, but you have to believe that they are excited about the opportunity they have to hoist the Calder Cup in front of their fans. They will now have two chances to do just that.
The Griffins return home after winning one of the three games in Syracuse. Grand Rapids lost to the Crunch 5-1 on Saturday when the hosts scored :17 seconds into the opening period. Then the Griffins found themselves in a deeper hole shortly after that despite arguably out playing the Crunch for most of the game.
Jared Coreau was pulled after giving up the five goals in the first period. Eddie Pasquale played well in relief stopping all 19 shots that he faced from the Crunch. Ben Street scored the only goal for Grand Rapids in the final period. The Griffins are still ahead 3-2 in the 81st Calder Cup Championship.
Grand Rapids looks to bring their league leading power play back to life. Over the last three games, the Griffins have failed to convert on the man advantage. Before their trip to Syracuse, the Griffins scored power play goals in 13 consecutive playoff games. Much of the struggle on the power-play is the amount of penalties the Griffins have been taking. The Griffins were whistled for four more penalties than the Crunch while they were away from home (27-23).
According to reports, the Griffins sold nearly 2500 seats at the completion of the first period. The Crunch were staked to a 5-0 lead.
The series in 2013 also went six games but this time the setting is a little bit different. Syracuse hosted the Griffins for the first two games with the visitors winning both contests. The series shifted back to Grand Rapids with the Griffins winning the first game and losing the next two. The Griffins then traveled back to Syracuse to win game six and their first ever Calder Cup Championship.
The Griffins have been virtually unbeatable at home with a 9-0 record during the postseason and beat the Crunch in games one and two to open the series.
Puck drop is set for just after 7 p.m. tonight. You can catch the action on ESPN 96.1 or ahllive.com for free by entering the promo code Finals17. If you’re in the West Michigan area, the game will be featured on WXSP.