Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Grand Rapids Griffins Must Win Next Two After Falling 3-2 in OT in Game 5

The Grand Rapids Griffins are 2-0 in elimination games under coach Jeff Blashill. The Texas Stars haven’t lost two straight home games since early February. One of these trends will have to be broken, as the Griffins fell 3-2 in overtime Friday in Game 5 to trail their series 3-2.

The Griffins were resilient just like they were in Game 4, as they faced a 2-0 deficit early in the first period.

Mitch Callahan got the comeback started as he deflected a shot from Tomas Jurco on the power play to cut the deficit to 2-1 about midway through the second period.

The Griffins completed the comeback about 5:30 later when Cory Emmerton hit Teemu Pulkkinen on a rink-wide pass, and Pulkkinen fired a shot past Jack Campbell to tie the game at the 17:57 mark.

The third period saw no scoring or penalties, but Texas didn’t wait long in overtime to clinch the victory. Just 3:18 into the extra frame, Derek Meech hit Kevin Henderson on a long, stretch pass. Henderson dished it off to Chris Mueller on the right side, who fired a shot over the blocker of Petr Mrazek to give the Stars the 3-2 victory.

The Griffins are behind the 8-ball, but you wouldn’t know it if you asked Mrazek. According to’s Peter J. Wallner, Mrazek is confident his team will come out on top in Texas.

I know we’re down 3-2 but it’s not over yet. We’re going to win both games.

We have to. That’s all that matters, right? We’re playing for wins. They have three, but we’re going to get two more.

I commend Mrazek’s confidence. That’s the mindset you have to have as a player going into an elimination game. It’s possible Mrazek’s heart feels the odds of winning two consecutive road games are low, but he won’t — and shouldn’t — admit it to the media.

How did the Red Wings do?

Riley Sheahan was a minus-one with three shots on goal.

Jurco had the assist on the Callahan goal and three shots on goal, but was a minus-one.

Emmerton had the nice assist on the Pulkinnen goal, was a plus-one and had three shots on goal. He is second on the team in points with nine (two goals, seven assists) in nine games only behind Pulkkinen (10).

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Tags: AHL Playoffs Grand Rapids Griffins

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