The Syracuse Crunch took the Grand Rapids Griffins to six games, but eventually fell in the Calder Cup Finals with a 4-3 loss at Van Andel Arena on Tuesday.
Yanni Gourde led the Syracuse with two goals, while Matt Taormina contributed a goal and an assist each. The Crunch held the lead three times, but the Griffins kept pace before taking control of the game in the final minutes. Grand Rapids took the best-of-seven series, 4-2.
Video: Crunch fall short of Calder Cup Dream
Mike McKenna made 22 saves in net for the Crunch, while Jared Coreau turned aside 29-of-32. Syracuse was unable to convert on four power play opportunities and shut down 3-of-4 Grand Rapids man-advantages.
The Crunch opened scoring at the 14:09 mark of the first period. Cory Conacher forced a turnover after Coreau mishandled the puck behind the net. He sent a feed to the front of the cage for Gourde to chip into the open net.
It took the Griffins 18 seconds into the second period to even the score. Matthew Ford struck on the power play off an assist from Tomas Nosek.
Syracuse went back on top at 7:51, but Grand Rapids tied the game for a second time three minutes later. Taormina cleaned up the rebound of Michael Bournival's shot before Mitch Callahan struck with the help of Ben Street.
The Crunch regained the lead for a third time with 1:50 remaining in the middle frame. Taormina and Dominik Masin both attempted shots on net before Gourde was finally able to get through.
Tyler Bertuzzi and Martin Frk both scored in the third to lift the Griffins to the Calder Cup title.