Griffins Banish Barons with 5-4 Win|
Jurco's game-winner sends Griffins to Calder Cup Finals...
By Jason Kasiorek
June 5th, 2013
Tomas Jurco scored midway through the third period, to break a tie and send the Griffins to the Calder Cup Finals for the first time in Franchise history. Grand Rapids was able to hold on tonight after losing game six yesterday to two late goals. Tomas Tatar (11), Jan Mursak (7,8) and Gustav Nyquist (1) also scored for the Griffins. Netminder Petr Mrazek made 35 saves for his 11th win of the playoffs.
Almquist fired a point shot on net that Mursak got a piece of for an early Griffins goal. Pileup in the Griffins crease and Davidson bowled over Mrazek, touching off a scrum. Mursak on the rush had a great scoring chance and Glendening almost buried the rebound. Eager hit Ferraro at center ice causing a turnover which VandeVelde took right in on Mrazek and scored five-hole. Shortly thereafter, Hartikainen made it 2-1 Oklahoma City. Tatar evened things up on the powerplay, snapping a shot past Danis for his team record tying 11th goal of the postseason. The Griffins penalty killer came up big again late in the first. Billins got smoked, but got right back up and played the puck. Shots on Goal: GR 12 - OKC 14.
The second period was back and forth with neither team having an advantage. The Griffins took the lead with another powerplay goal midway through the period. Nyquist at the half boards fired a low shot through traffic and behind Danis. Late in the period, Mrazek came way out if the net to make a save, but the rebound hit Grant's skates and rolled into the empty net. Shots on Goal: GR 11 - OKC 9.
Oklahoma City came out with a lot of jump in the third and Grand Rapids had a hard time getting the puck out of their end. Fedun ripped a high shot from the circle that beat Mrazek for a 4-3 lead. Mursak answered back for Grand Rapids when he snapped a bad angle shot past Danis low, stick-side to knot the game at four. Mrazek came up huge to stop a redirected shot right on the doorstep. OKC really pressuring the Grand Rapids net. Jurco split the defense and fired a shot past Danis, high stick-side. The Griffins looked to have scored again a few seconds later, but it was reviewed and ruled no goal. Danis started to leave his net for an extra skater with just over a minute left, but had to go back as GR moved the puck up. The Griffins battled hard the last minute, winning face offs and clearing the puck. Glendening was whistled off with 12.7 seconds remaining for a face off violation, but the Griffins managed to hold off the Baron's two man advantage for a 5-4 win. Shots on Goal: GR 10 - OKC 16. For the Game: GR 33 - OKC 39.
Hoggan - Mursak - Glendening
Tatar - Andersson - Nyquist
Jurco - Sheahan - Pare
Grant - Ferraro - Callahan
Evans - Billins
Paetsch - Almquist
Lashoff - Skinner
Pare - Ferraro - Jurco
Skinner - Billins
Nyquist - Andersson - Tatar
Paetsch - Almquist
Andersson - Ferraro
Paetsch - Almquist
Sheahan/Glendening - Mursak
Evans - Lashoff
Great game! The Griffins were able to hold on and rally back to advance to the Calder Cup finals against Syracuse. One of the most exciting games I have ever been too, and what a celebration after the win.
The Tatar-Andersson-Nyquist line struck for a couple of powerplay goals, making up a little for last night. they still were on the ice for several OKC goals though and will have to pick up their play against Syracuse.
Mursak had a big game scoring a pair of goals on six shots and seeing a ton of ice time at even strength and while shorthanded.
Jurco's game winner was a great goal, and he seems to rise to the occasion with one clutch performance after another.