GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A week ago, the Grand Rapids Griffins were faced with a 2-0 deficit to the Toronto Marlies in their Western Conference quarterfinal series in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Only 10 teams in the history of the American Hockey League had won a best-of-five series after losing the first two games.
Make that 11 now.
Tom McCollum stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced -- and Alden Hirschfeld's first goal of the postseason proved to be the difference in a 3-1 win for the Griffins in Game 5 on Sunday at Van Andel Arena -- Grand Rapids' third straight victory, clinching a 3-2 series win and eliminating Toronto from the playoffs.
Louis-Marc Aubry and Andreas Athanasiou added goals for the Griffins, who will now face Midwest Division rivals Rockford in the Western Conference semifinals. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Grand Rapids.