The Grand Rapids Griffins were not able to sweep the Abbortsford Heat, but did finish them off in Game Four by a score of five to three at Van Andel Arena.
Abbortsford got on the board first with a goal from O’Brien fourteen minutes into the first period and it looked as if the Heat were going to extend the series to five after the first period.
Grand Rapids would not go away though and in the second period, the Griffins score two goals in less than three minutes to take the lead. The first goal was off the stick of Teemu Pulkkinen to tie the game and Jeff Hogan picked up the second goal.
The Heat tied the game back up later in the second period, but Jeff Hogan struck again six minutes later to give the Griffins back their one goal lead.
In the third period, Riley Sheahan extended the lead, but the two goal lead did not last long as the Heat were able to cut the lead back to one goal less than a minute later.
The Griffins held on to the one goal lead for the rest of the period, but a late, risky play by goaltender, Petr Mrazek, almost put that lead in jeopardy. Mrazek reached the puck right before the Heat player, but the puck landed on another Heat player’s stick. If it had not been for the back-checking from Mattias Backman and Teemu Pulkkinen to break up the shot it could have been a tie game once again.
Landon Ferraro iced the game by scoring with thirteen seconds left on the empty net to put Grand Rapids through to the next round.
Unlike the Red Wings, the Grand Rapids Griffins will be moving on to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs and the Abbotsford Heat franchise will be moving out of Abbotsford and to a new city next season.
This is the second time in two seasons that the Griffins have effectively ended a franchise. Last year they knocked the Houston Aeros, who move to Des Moines and became the Iowa Wild.