GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Grand Rapid Griffins beat the Syracuse Crunch 4-2 Wednesday night, winning Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals and taking a commanding lead in the series.
The Crunch scored first about halfway through the first period, but Tomas Tatar and Luke Glendening responded with a goal each in the second. Another goal from Syracuse left the game tied at the end of the second period.
In the third period, Jan Mursak broke that tie to give the Griffins the lead. The crowd rose to its feet after team captain Jeff Hoggan scored with only 2:28 left in the game to secure the win.
- Jeff Hoggan scores with 2:28 left. Griffins lead 4-2.
- Jan Mursak scores at 15:11. Griffins lead 3-2.
- Dan Sexton of Syracuse scores at 9:56. 2-2.
- Luke Glendening of East Grand Rapids scores at 4:53. Grand Rapids leads 2-1.
- Tomas Tatar scores at 2:09. His 13th playoff goal. Score tied 1-1.
- Richard Panik of Syracuse scores at 10:21. Crunch leads 1-0.
The Griffins won the first two games of the series in Syracuse. Locking down Game 3 was a tall order to fill: The Crunch had yet to lose a road game and has won four games in a row three times this post-season.
Fans came out in droves to watch the team play in the first-ever Calder Cup playoff game in Grand Rapids. About 10,000 people attended Game 3. Friday's Game 4 sold out Wednesday.
Capacity for hockey games at Van Andel is just over 10,800.
Wednesday's game and Friday's game will be the two biggest crowds in Griffins AHL and Calder Cup playoff history, which dates back to 2000.
Game 4 of the Calder Cup series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Van Andel Arena. If the Griffins win, they will earn their first Calder Cup ever.
Police are investigating a report of a home invasion, but say there are inconsistencies.
A Kalamazoo County sheriff's deputy will not face criminal sexual conduct charges.
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night for an innocent bystander who was shot and killed in October.