The Syracuse Crunch extended the Calder Cup Finals another day on Saturday night, defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-2 in Game 5. Grand Rapids still leads the series 3-2, but the series comes back to Syracuse for Game 6 and if necessary, Game 7.
The Crunch scoring started with Ondrej Palat, the AHL leading playoff point scorer who intercepted a Griffins clear attempt in front of Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek less then ten minutes into the game and scored, giving Syracuse a 1-0 lead.
Syracuse took a two-goal lead when Brett Connolly scored with about five minutes remaining in the first on a power play. Tyler Johnson put a perfect pass in front of the net to Connolly who scored in one motion, giving Syracuse a 2-0 lead.
Grand Rapids, as they have done all series long, responded, scoring less than a minute later as Triston Grant scored on a rebound, moving the game to 2-1 at the end of the first period.
In the second period, Grand Rapids tied the game on a powerplay odd man rush after a Crunch turnover in the neutral zone, with Tomas Tatar scoring the goal to make it 2-2.
Cedrick Desjardins kept the Crunch in the game in the second period, stopping 20 Griffins shots in the period alone. He finished up with 40 saves on the night.
The Crunch used their own powerplay though, to regain the lead, as Richard Panik shot through two Griffins defenders to make it 3-2 going into the third period.
Just 36 seconds into the third, Tyler Johnson scored his first goal of the Calder Cup Finals to make it 4-2 Crunch. Dan Sexton added an empty netter to make it a 5-2 Crunch win.
Game 6 is scheduled for Tuesday in the War Memorial at 7pm, with Game 7 (if necessary) scheduled for Thursday at the War Memorial, also at 7pm.