Grand Rapids wins Calder Cup

Grand Rapids wins Calder Cup

Congratulations to former Jr. Kings Mitch Callahan for winning the Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

By Sam Walsh
June 20, 2013

The third time was the charm for the Grand Rapids Griffins.

After failing twice on home ice to close out the Syracuse Crunch in the Calder Cup Finals, the Griffins, powered by a three goal third period, were able to finish off the Crunch 5-2 to win the first championship in franchise history.

The sellout crowd at Syracuse’s Onondaga County War Memorial at One Center was poised to see their home team push the series to a decisive Game 7, after trailing three games to none earlier in the series. But as was the story all series, Grand Rapids, affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, was the better team on this ice, winning all three games in Syracuse.

Brennan Evans goal at 9:54 of the third broke a 2-2 tie and proved to be the Cup-clinching goal for the Griffins. Grand Rapids also got goals from Mitch Callahan, Joakim Andersson and two from Tomas Tatar, who won Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the Playoffs most valuable player after scoring a league leading 16 goals in 24 postseason games.

Petr Mrazek stopped 24 of the Crunch’s 26 shots on goal in the win.
Grand Rapids players celebrated on the ice long after the game was over, passing around the trophy and taking pictures.

For Syracuse, it was a tough end to a series they believed would go the distance. Featuring many of the same players that lifted the Calder Cup as part of the Norfolk Admirals last season, they were unable to repeat as champions, as the Griffins proved to be too much, taking the Calder Cup back to Michigan for the first time.