Despite a tough opening to their 2018 Calder Cup run, the Grand Rapids Griffins were able to secure a win against the Manitoba Moose last Saturday by a score of 5-1. Matthew Ford and Ben Street led the Griffins with three points each as they helped the team pull out a series leveling win.
After going to Winnipeg for the first two games of this first round series, Grand Rapids will host the next three games in Van Andel Arena. The Griffins will have a loud and proud home crowd behind them as they look to take charge against the Moose.
Grand Rapids is seeking to defend their title this season after winning the Calder Cup in 2017. Many of the key contributors on last year’s squad are still a member of this team with fresh faces mixed in. Guys like Axel Holmstrom, Eric Tangradi and Dylan McIlrath are back and will be crucial in getting the Griffins through these playoffs. Grand Rapids also has some new players to contribute in Matt Puempel and Turner Elson. These guys, along with the few that have some Red Wing experience in Evgeny Svechnikov and Joe Hicketts, have made for a very strong roster that is one of the best in the AHL. Grand Rapids is also getting another great player in tonight’s Game 3 in Dennis Cholowski. Reports are that he will be in the lineup and will make his Calder Cup debut, bulking up the Griffins’ already strong defensive core.
With the solid roster and structure that Todd Nelson provides as the coach, look for the Griffins to gain their footing in this series andmake another deep Calder Cup win with some of the Red Wings’ top prospects.