GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The Abbotsford Heat battled hard in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarter-finals but fell 5-3 to the Grand Rapids Griffins, ending their season.
The Griffins took the best-of-five series 3-1.
The first period was a tightly-contested affair but the Heat came out ahead, outshooting the Griffins 9-8 and taking a 1-0 lead after veteran defenceman Shane O'Brien beat Petr Mrazek at 14:21.
Grand Rapids hit another gear in the second frame and ended up scoring three goals in the stanza. Teemu Pulkkinen evened the game up on the power play at 7:26 and Jeff Hoggan pulled the Griffins ahead at 9:49. Kane Lafranchise responded for the Heat but Hoggan found the back of the net at 19:26 to give the home team a 3-2 lead after 40:00.
Riley Sheahan gave the Griffins a two-goal cushion early in the third period but once again, the Heat proved to be resilient and were able to claw themselves back within a goal. Markus Granlund potted his second goal of the postseason at 5:46 but that was all that Abbotsford could muster. Landon Ferraro's empty-netter made it 5-3 and iced the win for the Griffins.
Joni Ortio made 31 saves on 35 shots in the loss. He made 130 saves on 142 shots in four postseason games, posting a 2.88 GAA and a .915 save percentage.
Granlund led the Heat in postseason scoring with two goals and five points in four games. Max Reinhart trailed him by a single point, recording one goal and four points in his four outings.
1. Jeff Hoggan
2. Markus Granlund
3. Teemu Pulkkinen