Tomas Jurco's unassisted goal with 6:12 remaining in regulation gave the Grand Rapids Griffins a 5-4 victory against the Oklahoma City Barons in Game 7 of the AHL Western Conference Final on Wednesday night, marking the first time since 1992 that a Detroit Red Wings affiliate has advanced to the Calder Cup Final.
Oklahoma City, the top farm team of the Edmonton Oilers, broke a 3-3 tie when Taylor Fedun scored 1:21 into the third period. But Jan Mursak tied it at 6:32 with his second of the game and eighth of the playoffs before Jurco beat goaltender Yann Danis for the winner.
Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots for Grand Rapids, the North Division champion. Danis made 28 saves for the Barons, who lost the West final for the second year in a row.
The 77th Calder Cup will begin in Syracuse with Games 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. The teams have not met in the playoffs since 2008-09.
The Crunch, the top affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in five games to win the Eastern Conference title -- they've lost just once in 12 playoff games this spring.
Ten members of the Crunch will be looking for back-to-back AHL titles from its affiliate -- they were members of the Norfolk Admirals' championship team last spring before Tampa Bay moved its affiliation to Syracuse. The Crunch have not won a Calder Cup since entering the AHL in 1994.
Grand Rapids, which joined the AHL from the International Hockey League in 2001, has never won a Calder Cup. The last Detroit affiliate to capture an AHL title was the Adirondack Red Wings, based in Glens Falls, N.Y., who beat the St. John's Maple Leafs in seven games.
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