Excited for the first Calder Cup Finals game played in Grand Rapids since 2013, a crowd of 8,857 raucous fans packed the Van Andel Arena for Game 1 of this year's edition of the Calder Cup Finals. Given the fact that both teams are playing their best hockey of the year at the perfect time, the fans were not let down by the game they witnessed.
.@griffinshockey defeats the @SyracuseCrunch 3-2 to take a 1-0 series lead. #CalderCup #GRvsSYR pic.twitter.com/NhB8OcNi1d
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) June 3, 2017
Tomas Nosek scored his second goal of the game with 13.9 seconds left in the third period, which secured a 3-2 victory for the Grand Rapids Griffins. His first of the game, which came at the 4:56 mark of the first period, gave the Griffins a 1-0 lead. That lead was erased by a Kevin Lynch short-handed goal which tied the game at one, a score that held at the end of the first period.
Joel Vermin put the Syracuse Crunch on top just 54 seconds into the second period, but Griffins captain Nathan Paetsch was able to tie the game back up at two at the 17:12 mark of the period.
The most pivotal moment of the game came at with just 29 seconds remaining in regulation. The Crunch were whistled for a quite untimely too many men on the ice penalty, which gave the Griffins their sixth power play of the game. Despite missing out on their first five attempts, Grand Rapids would not relinquish their final opportunity. Nosek's second goal of the game was his ninth of the playoffs and gave the Griffins a 1-0 lead in the finals.
Goaltender Jared Coreau turned away 22 of the 24 shots he faced, and continue his run of impressive play in between the pipes for Grand Rapids. Tyler Bertuzzi also had a good night for the Griffins, adding two assists.
There are still tickets available for game two of the series, which will be played Saturday evening at 7 pm at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. You can buy tickets by visiting www.griffinshockey.com.