Heartbreak in Michigan: Syracuse Crunch surrender late goal in Game 1 of Calder Cup Finals
The Syracuse Crunch once again found themselves back in the Calder Cup Finals, which began with Game 1 on Friday night in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Crunch were taking on the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings.
The Griffins took the 1-0 lead in the first period due to Tomas Nosek's goal less than five minutes into the game.
But the Crunch tied it up roughly five minutes later. Kevin Lynch scored on a pass from Cory Conacher to knot it up at 1-1.
In the second period, Syracuse took the 2-1 lead due to Joel Vermin's goal only 54 seconds into the period. Yanni Gourde earned the assist on the play.
Later in the second period, the Griffins responded with a goal from Nathan Paetsch to tie it up at 2-2 heading into the third period.
It looked as though the Crunch and Griffins were going to be heading to overtime, until Syracuse was called for a penalty for "too many men on the ice."
With only 36 seconds remaining in the contest, it looked as though the game would go to overtime, but Nosek struck again at the 13-second mark, sneaking a rebound attempt past Mike McKenna near-post for the eventual game-winner.
With the 3-2 loss, the Crunch now trails the Griffins in the series, 1-0.
"It's playoff hockey," Crunch head coach Ben Groulx said during his post game press conference. "So, for us, we know it's a roller coaster. You're winning, you're high -- then you're losing, you don't want to get too low. It's one game. Like I said, we feel we missed an unfortunate opportunity. But it's over. What we can control is our team being a better team tomorrow, tweak what we have to tweak, and maybe be more in control."
"You lose games in series, and we lost the first one in St. John's," Syracuse captain Erik Condra said. "We lost three against Toronto on the road and lost the second one in overtime against Providence. But we need to come back tomorrow, steal one on the road, and go back home."
Game two is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. in Grand Rapids, Mich.