Griffins close out series with Game 5 win in Chicago

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey


By @MichaelCaples –

There will be more hockey in Grand Rapids soon.

With a 5-2 victory tonight in Chicago, the Griffins have secured a spot in the AHL’s Western Conference Finals.

The Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate advances after a 4-1 series win in a Central Division Finals showdown against the Chicago Wolves, finalized on the road tonight.

A dominant second-period – thanks to goals from Tyler Bertuzzi, Tomas Nosek and Kyle Criscuolo – led the Griffins to the series-deciding win, while Jared Coreau picked up another victory between the pipes.

Bertuzzi finished with a pair of goals after scoring 30 seconds into the third period, while Evgeny Svechnikov scored the game’s first goal.

Coreau now has seven victories in the postseason after leading Grand Rapids to a first-round series victory in a best-of-five format against the Milwaukee Admirals. Coming into Saturday night’s game, the Northern Michigan alum held a 2.70 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in the postseason.

The Griffins will now take on the San Jose Barracuda in the Western Conference Finals; that series begins on Saturday, May 20 in California.

Here’s the full series schedule:

Game 1 – Sat., May 20 – Grand Rapids at San Jose, 9:00
Game 2 – Sun., May 21 – Grand Rapids at San Jose, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 24 – San Jose at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 26 – San Jose at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 27 – San Jose at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 30 – Grand Rapids at San Jose, 10:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 31 – Grand Rapids at San Jose, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

The Barracuda are the AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks. They were previously the Worcester Sharks AHL franchise before relocating to the SAP Center in San Jose to be a part of the new-look AHL Pacific Division in 2015.

It’s the first time since 1996 that a San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate has reached the Calder Cup conference finals.

Game 5 highlights: