GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- It was do-or-die for the Abbotsford Heat on Wednesday night and the club responded with a gritty effort that led to a 2-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Calgary Flames prospect Markus Granlund played the hero in Game 3, scoring the winning goal with just 1:02 left in regulation. Joni Ortio also came up strong for his club, making 34 saves on 35 shots in the victory.
The Griffins opened the scoring in the first period when Tomas Jurco was able to beat Ortio glove side. The power play marker came at the 17:27 mark with assists going to Riley Sheahan and Mitch Callahan.
The Heat outshot the Griffins 10-6 in the second stanza but Grand Rapids netminder Petr Mrazek turned all 10 aside to keep his team ahead through 40:00.
Corey Locke notched the equalizer at 5:52 of the third frame, deflecting Chris Breen's howitzer from the point past Mrazek. Blair Jones also picked an assist on Locke's first point in the series.
Griffins winger Jeff Hoggan was called for high-sticking at 18:40 of the third period and the Heat were able to capitalize with the man advantage.
Chad Billins hit Granlund with a pass just as the forward was entering the Griffins zone and the Finn was able to cut through two defenders and backhand a shot past Mrazek blocker side. Ortio also was credited with assist on the game-winner.
Game 4 goes on Friday night in Grand Rapids at 5:00 PM MST. The Griffins lead the best-of-five series 2-1.
1) Markus Granlund
2) Joni Ortio
3) Tomas Jurco