MANITOBA, Canada — The defending Calder Cup-champion Grand Rapids Griffins find themselves down one-game-to-none to the Moose in their opening-round playoff series. Manitoba drew first blood Saturday on its home ice in Game One of the best-of-five series, 3-2.
The Griffins held a 2-1 lead with 7:19 to go in the game, after Turner Elson tallied in the 3rd period, according to a GriffinsGameDay Twitter post. But the Moose answered that goal almost immediately to tie it at 2-2. And then, Michael Spacek lit the lamp for Manitoba with barely a minute (1:09) remaining in regulation – and they skated away with the win shortly thereafter.
Ben Street had gotten the Griffins on the board 7:08 into the first frame – the only goal by either team through the first two periods. In fact, Grand Rapids outshot Manitoba, 20-8, in the opening period. But the Moose tied it with 13 minutes to go in the 3rd stanza, on a goal by Jan Kostalek.
The Griffins had more shots in the game, 36-31. Eric Comrie turned aside 34 of them. And Griffins netminder Tom McCollum stopped 28 pucks.
Game 2 – also in Manitoba – faces off at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday. Game 3 will be at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, at 7 p.m. After Sunday, all remaining games in the best-of-five series will be in Grand Rapids.