Back to Grand Rapids- Crunch routs Griffins, forces Game 6

Mike McKenna waves to the crowd after the Crunch's 5-1 win over Grand Rapids in Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals (Niko Tamurian)

Any way you slice it, there's two games left in the American Hockey League season.

The Syracuse Crunch routed the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-1 in front of a wild 6,479 fans at the War Memorial on Saturday night.

From the start, you knew this was the Crunch's night.

Kevin Lynch scored a mere 17 seconds into the game, the raw emotion after scoring is something goalie Mike McKenna said "energized" the the team.

That was just the beginning.

By the end of the first period the Crunch added four more goals for a whopping 5-0 lead at the end of the first period.

The other goals were scored by Mathieu Brodeur (his first in the playoffs), Byron Froese, Cory Conacher and Ben Thomas.

Grand Rapids added a Ben Street goal in the third period but it was far too little too late.

With the win, the Crunch closes the series to a 3-2 gap and forces it back to Grand Rapids for Game 6 on Tuesday night at Van Andel Arena.

The goals in the first period may be what jumps out at you initially, but Mike McKenna was amazing in goal with 36 saves, continuing his outstanding postseason play.

In this best of seven series, any loss for the Crunch will be their last, and they need to win both games in Grand Rapids to win the franchise's first ever Calder Cup Championship.

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