Griffins beat Crunch in Game 1 of Calder Cup Finals
The Grand Rapids Griffins, fresh off a Game 7 victory in their Western Conference Finals, were able to carry that momentum into Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals and defeat the Syracuse Crunch 3-1.
The Griffins, minor-league affiliate for the Detroit Red Wings, got goals from Mitch Callahan, Riley Sheahan, and Gustav Nyquist to stun the standing room only crowd at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena.
It was the first Finals game in Syracuse since 1938, according to the AHL’s website.
Petr Mrazek made 28 saves for the Griffins, improving his record to 12-7 this postseason.
Callahan opened the scoring in the first period, as he redirected a shot from Chad Billins and beat Crunch goalie Cedrick Desjardins 6:43 in. Sheahan gave the Griffins some comfort, as his shot beat Desjardins with only eight minutes left in the third, giving Grand Rapids a two goal lead.
The Crunch, affiliate to the Tampa Bay Lightning, were able to answer right back, cutting the deficit back to one only 1:19 later on a goal by Jean-Philippe Cote. That goal ended Mrazek’s road shutout streak at 214:27.
Syracuse was unable to get the equalizer, and Nyquist added an empty-netter to seal the Griffins victory and send the Crunch to only their second loss of the postseason.
The teams will be right back at it Sunday night in Syracuse, as the puck drops for Game 2 of their series.