SYRACUSE, NY – The Syracuse Crunch opened the 2013 Calder Cup Finals with a 3-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins in front of a sell-out crowd tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Grand Rapids now holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The teams will meet back at the War Memorial Arena for Game 2 Sunday night at 6 p.m.
The Grand Rapids Griffins struck first with 6:45 gone in the first period. After a scramble in front of Cedrick Desjardins, Mitch Callahan pushed the puck past the Crunch netminder. Chad Billins and Brennan Evans assisted on the period’s only goal.
After a scoreless second period, Riley Sheahan doubled Grand Rapids’ lead with a goal at the 12-minute mark of the third period. Jan Mursak was credited with an assist on the play. J.P. Cote answered back with a wrist shot from the point just over a minute later. Mike Angelidis and J.T. Brown assisted on the Crunch’s only goal of the game.
Gustav Nyquist’s empty-net power-play goal with 15 seconds left in the game sealed the Griffins’ victory. Joakim Andersson picked up an assist on Grand Rapids’ third goal.
Desjardins ended the night with 18 saves on 20 shots. Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped 28 of the Crunch’s 29 shots for the win.
Crunchables… J.P. Cote is the 16th Crunch player to have a goal during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs…The Crunch lost Game 1 for the second straight playoff series…Radko Gudas sat out his second game of these playoffs due to an injury…Tonight’s crowd of 6,333 was the largest post-season crowd in franchise history…The previous record was 6,321 set against Rochester in 1996