Bring on the Griffins.
The duo of Alexandre Grenier and Jacob Markstrom propelled the Utica Comets to a 1-0 win in Game 7 on Wednesday night, ousting the Oklahoma City Barons, while advancing to the Western Conference Final where they will face the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Grenier scored the lone goal of Game 7, his fourth of the series and second game-winner after tallying the overtime winner in Game 2. He was named the first or second star of the game on three occasions during the series, a series that saw him post four goals and seven points.
Markstrom shut the door, as he has done all season long, making 35 saves along the way. The Barons could not find a way to beat the 25-year-old, who allowed two goals or less in six of the seven games. In fact, through 12 post-season games, Markstrom has allowed more than two goals only twice. He holds down a 1.85 goals-against average and a .930 save-percentage.
Game 1 – Thursday, May 7th – OK City 2 – Utica 1 (4OT)
Game 2 – Friday, May 8th – Utica 2 – OK City 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Monday, May 11th – Utica 3 – OK City 2
Game 4 – Wednesday, May 13th – Ok City 7 – Utica 4
Game 5 – Thursday, May 14th – Utica 3 – Oklahoma City 1
Game 6 – Monday, May 18th – Oklahoma City 2 – Utica 1
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 20th – Utica 1 – Oklahoma City 0
Game 6: Barons 2 – Comets 1
-Alex Friesen tallied his third of the post-season with just over five minutes to play, cutting the deficit to 2-1, but that was as close as the Comets would come on the night.
-Jacob Markstrom stopped 19-of-21 shots in the game.
-Sven Baertschi, who had an assist on Friesen’s goal, was named the third star of the game.
-The Comets outshot the Barons by a count of 34-21, including 25-8 over the final 40 minutes.
Game 7: Comets 1 – Barons 0
-Alexandre Grenier’s goal 7:11 into the third period was all the Comets needed on this night.
-Jacob Markstrom stopped all 35 shots fired his way for his first shutout of the post-season, while also becoming just the second goalie in AHL history to post a 1-0 shutout in a Game 7, joining the legendary Johnny Bower, who did so back in 1953.
-The Comets held a 40-35 advantage in shots.