GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - For the first time in four years the Grand Rapids Griffins have advanced to the second round of the American Hockey League playoffs. After splitting the first four games of their opening round series with Houston, the Griffins dominated the Aeros Friday night at Van Andel Arena, in route to a 7-0 series clinching win. It marked the Griffins first playoff shutout in more than ten years.
Frankie Pare put Grand Rapids on the board midway in the first, before the Griffins exploded for four more goals in the second. Tomas Tatar led the way with a pair, while Riley Sheahan and Jan Mursak also lit the lamp to give Grand Rapids a 5-0 lead after two. Adam Almquist and newcomer Teemu Pulkkinen added goals in the third, while Petr Mrzaek kicked away all 24 shots he faced. The Griffins fired 41 shots at Houston goalie Mike Condon.
The third seeded Griffins will now face the second seeded Toronto Marlies in the AHL's Western Conference semifinals. The series will begin in Toronto, with games one and two set for Friday and Saturday, May 10th and 11th at Richo Coliseum. The series will then shift to Grand Rapids, for games three, four and if necessary, five, the following Wednesday (May 15th), Friday and Saturday.
In front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
A man and his girlfriend are accused of staging a robbery at a restaurant in Grand Rapids.