GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Griffins beat the Texas Stars Tuesday, avoiding a large deficit in their second-round Calder Cup playoff series.
Grand Rapids’ hockey team won 5-2.
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The first two games against the Stars couldn’t have gone much worse for the defending Calder Cup Champions. The Griffins lost both of those games, having been outscored 9-2. In the history of the American Hockey League, only three of 127 teams have come back from three straight losses to win a playoff series. The Griffins needed a win Tuesday.
And they got it. The home crowd at Van Andel Arena seemed to give them some spark and motivation to play their best hockey.
The Griffins and their goalie Petr Mrazek held Texas scoreless until the third period.
Tomas Jurco led Grand Rapids with a hat trick before the end of the second period.
The Griffins took an early 3-0 lead before the Stars brought in goalie Cristopher Nilstorp, who shut out Grand Rapids in Game 2, halfway through the second period, according to the Griffins’ game day Twitter account. Regardless, Grand Rapids scored twice more before the buzzer sounded.
The Griffins’ shutout was ruined when the Stars’ Mike Hedden scored early in the third period, according to the Griffins. Brendan Ranford scored next for Texas.
But the Griffins held the Stars off and earned their first win of the series. Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins had hoped to get two big names back Tuesday, but had to settle for one. They were without Jordin Tootoo, who missed his sixth straight game with a lower body injury.
They got back Teemu Pulkkinen, their leading scorer during the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. He scored one goal in Game 3, according to the Griffins.