Backs against the wall- Grand Rapids beats Syracuse, takes 3-0 lead in Calder Cup Finals

In a must-win game to keep their Calder Cup trophy hopes alive, the Syracuse Crunch falls in heartbreaking fashion.

Syracuse started the game off to a positive note with an early goal from Richard Panik after a barrage of shots within the Grand Rapidsâ?? goal area.

However, Grand Rapids would take the lead in the 2nd with a quick succession of goals from Tomas Tatar and Luke Glendening.

But, the Crunch would fight back to tie the game, 2-2, to keep their Calder Cup series hope alive with a wicked shot from Dan Sexton.

Then in the 3rd, Crunch goalkeeper Cedrick Desjardins became the story of the game for the moment by making several fantastic saves, of which he had 25 on the night.

But, this would not be enough as Jeff Hoggan struck twice for the Grand Rapids to take an overwhelming lead of 4-2 over the Crunch to win the third game of the series .

Game four is on Friday night in Grand Rapids, if the Griffins win that contest, they win the 2013 Calder Cup, of course, ending the Crunchâ??s season in the process.

Hereâ??s the report from the Syracuse Crunch:

Grand Rapids, MI â?? The Syracuse Crunch drop to 3-0 in the best-of-seven Calder Cup Finals after dropping Game 3 4-2 tonight at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.

Richard Panik gave the Crunch a 1-0 lead just over halfway through the opening frame. Panik recovered the puck after making a hit along the boards and beat a Griffins defender before lifting the puck over Gand Rapids netminder Petr Mrazek.

The Griffins evened the score 2:09 into the middle frame with a wraparound goal from Tomas Tatar and took a 2-1 lead with 15:07 to play in the second. The Griffins go-ahead goal came after Crunch netminder Cedrick Desjardins made an initial save on a Danny Dekeyser shot and the Crunch were unable to clear the rebound before Luke Glendening found the back of the net.

Dan Sexton scored his fifth playoff goal to level the score at 2-2 halfway through the middle frame. Sextonâ??s wrist shot from the right point floated past Mrazek and was assisted by JP Cote.

Jan Mursak scored, what would hold up as the game-winning goal, at the 15:11 mark of the third period. Mursak spun around and fired the shot from a sharp angle, the puck found its way through traffic in the crease and into the back of Desjardinsâ?? net.

The Griffins secured their 3-0 series lead with a goal from Jeff Hoggan at the 17:32 mark of the final frame. Game 4 is scheduled for Friday, June 14 at the Van Andel Arena.

Crunchables: Radko Gudas missed his third consecutive game with an injuryâ?¦With Richard Panikâ??s first period goal the Crunch took their first lead of the seriesâ?¦The Crunch are 7-1 this postseason when scoring firstâ?¦Tonightâ??s game was the first game this post-season the Crunch gave up a lead.