It’s Grand to be a Griffin – Griffins win 5-2 & first Calder Cup title

By Jason Iacona | Corespondent | On Twitter: @nafsnep SYRACUSE, NY — The Grand Rapids Griffins finally took the advice of the Syracuse Crunch.   The Crunch said, down 3-0, “don’t let us win (Game 4)”   The Griffins didn’t listen. The Crunch won 3-2.   The Crunch said, “Don’t let us win Game 5”   The Griffins didn’t listen. The Crunch won 5-2.   Finally, the message got through.   Buoyed by a two goal performance by Tomas Tatar and backstopped by a 24 save by Petr Mrazek, the Grand Rapids Griffins are the Calder Cup Champions, winning in Game 6 5-2 over the Syracuse Crunch.   Radko Gudas made his Calder Cup Finals debut, taking the place of Evan Oberg in the only lineup … Continue reading

Syracuse Forces Six on Saturday — Win 5-2.

By Jason Iacona | Corespondent | On Twitter: @nafsnep GRAND RAPIDS, MI — No AHL game has been played past June 15 in the 75-plus year history of the league. The Syracuse Crunch have changed that. Backstopped by a sterling 40-save performance by Crunch goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, the Syracuse Crunch force this Calder Cup Finals back to Syracuse for a Game 6 Tuesday after winning 5-2 in Grand Rapids tonight. No lineup changes from Game 4. The teams trade power plays in the first five minutes but neither team takes advantage. Ondrej Palat with a relentless backchecking of a Griffins defenseman leads to the Crunch’s first goal. But the tone of the game would be set early, as the Griffins lead in shots by a count … Continue reading

Don’t Panik – Syracuse extends season, wins 3-2

By Jason Iacona | Corespondent | On Twitter: @nafsnep GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The mantra of this series is that if you gave the Grand Rapids Griffins an inch, they took a mile. The very fact that they have the mighty Syracuse Crunch on the brink of elimination proves that. The roles were reversed in Western Michigan tonight. A two point game by RW Richard Panik, and the Syracuse Crunch win 3-2 and live to see another game. That game, Game 5, is Saturday night in Grand Rapids. The Crunch open the game by firing the first four shots at Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek 1:31 into the contest. The Crunch get a power play. Grand Rapids responds with a huge power play, then moments later Joakim Andersson … Continue reading

Griffins continue to dominate, can clinch Calder Cup on Friday night

  GRAND RAPIDS, MI — It is developing into a matchup against a team that could do no wrong for the better part of two seasons vs. a team that simply does not make mistakes. When you don’t make mistakes, you make it look easy. The Grand Rapids Griffins win Game 3 tonight by a score of 4-2 over the Syracuse Crunch and can win the Calder Cup Friday with one more win in the best of seven series. Same lineup for both teams from Sunday in Syracuse. The Crunch open with waves of early pressure on the Griffins defense and their netminder Petr Mrazek. Then, Adam Almquist was hit hard into the boards, went down and stayed down, no call by referee Terry Koharski. … Continue reading

Griffins head home with 2-0 series lead after a wild game 2

By Jason Iacona | Corespondent | On Twitter: @nafsnep Syracuse, NY: The Syracuse Crunch are heavyweights in the AHL. They have themselves in a heck of a fight, and are behind on the cards two games in. A three point night by Landon Ferraro, another sterling performance by goaltender Petr Mrazek and the Grand Rapids Griffins return home to Western Michigan up 2-0 in the Calder Cup Finals winners Sunday evening in Syracuse 6-4 in Game 2. Every time the Griffins landed a shot, the Crunch countered, but the Griffins dodged and delivered the knockout. Game 3 is Wednesday in Grand Rapids. Lineup wise, Cedric Paquette was out for Evan Oberg was the only lineup change for Rob Zettler and the Crunch. No Radko Gudas for … Continue reading

Griffins take game 1 of finals on the back of Petr Mrazek

By Jason Iacona | Corespondent | On Twitter: @nafsnep Syracuse NY – The Syracuse Crunch are 11-1 in the playoffs and have a large majority of players that won the championship last season with the Norfolk Admirals. The Crunch have two players in the top three in AHL playoff scoring including the league MVP, Tyler Johnson. Syracuse was the highest scoring team in the AHL this season. They have scored at least two goals in the playoffs this postseason. Someone forgot to tell Grand Rapids goaltender Petr Mrazek. Mrazek and his Grand Rapids Griffins take Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals by a score of 3-1. The Crunch did not have the services of Radko Gudas, who was injured in the Game 5 clincher vs. … Continue reading

Bears Power Past Bruins in Game 1 on Friday Night

By Jessica Higham | Corespondent – The Pink Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, R.I. — Playoff hockey: it’s what every team works for and what every fan dreams of seeing. Of the 30 AHL teams, 16 compete to be the one team with the honors to call themselves the Calder Cup Champions. The playoffs are a fresh start for all the teams that qualify. It doesn’t matter if you were first or last to make the cut, just that you made it. Everything resets to zero and everyone is on even footing. It’s about who wants it the most. There is no better example of that than the game last night when the Providence Bruins hosted the Hershey Bears. The Bruins were the regular season … Continue reading

Pirates Clinch Playoff Berth w/Authoritative Win over Visiting Sound Tigers

By M. Richter | Corespondent Portland, Maine – Friday was a night filled with relief and good news at the Portland Pirates game, at least for the home team.  Not only did the Pirates clinch their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 3-1 win over the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers, but the entire audience breathed a collective sigh of relief when the announcement was made that the final suspect in the Boston bombings had been apprehended. By an odd stroke of luck, the Pirates officially clinched their slot with 2:07 left in the third period, when the CT Whale’s loss to the Albany Devils was finalized.  While the news brought a welcome reprieve for the fans in the stands, the team didn’t let up, and … Continue reading