The Grand Rapids Griffins were hoping for a sweep of the Abbotsford Heat on Wednesday. Instead, they’ll have to regroup and hope to close out the Heat in four games, as Abbotsford scored twice in the third period to notch the 2-1 Game 3 victory at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins won Games 1 and 2 and could have ended the first-round five-game series with a win, but will have to try again on Friday night.
Markus Granlund scored the game-winning goal with 1:02 remaining in the third period just 18 seconds after Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan took a high-sticking call.
The Heat tied the game early in the third period, as Corey Locke beat Petr Mrazek at the 5:52 mark.
The Griffins outshot the Heat 35-25, including a 14-7 edge in the first period in which the Griffins held a 1-0 lead.
The Heat controlled the second period outshooting the Griffins 10-6 and dictating the play, according to Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, via Peter J. Wallner of MLive.com:
In the second period, I thought we just lost momentum. In two ways: I thought on our penalty kill, we weren’t as sharp … and then we started turning way too many pucks over in the neutral zone.
The Griffins didn’t give up a power-play goal until Granlund’s game-winning goal killing 3 of 4 opportunities. The Griffins scored one power-play goal on four opportunities.
Mitch Callahan made his return after taking a puck to the face from roommate Ryan Sproul on Wednesday, April 2. He finished with an assist and four shots on goal.
How did the Red Wings do?
A couple of Red Wings in Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan found themselves competing for another Calder Cup after the Detroit Red Wings fell to the Boston Bruins in five games.
The duo instantly contributed, as Jurco received a nice pass from Sheahan in front of the net on the power play to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Jurco finished with a minus-1 rating and three shots on goal, and Shahan also had three shots on goal.