GRIFFINS TAKE GAME 3 WITH A 4-2 WIN, LEAD SERIES 2-1
Game 4 is in Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. on FridayAEROS BROADCASTSRadio
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Houston, TX – The Houston Aeros (1-2) were defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins (2-1) 4-2 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals on Wednesday in front of 4,683 fans at Van Andel Arena. Griffins’ defenseman Adam Alquist scored with 3:38 remaining in regulation, breaking a 2-2 tie and giving Grand Rapids a 2-1 series lead. Griffins’ goalie Petr Mrazek (2-1) stopped 25 of 27 in the win, which moves Grand Rapids within a game of clinching the best of five series. Houston goalie Mike Condon (0-1) stopped 35 of 37 Griffins in the loss. Aeros Erik Haula and David McIntyre each scored in the defeat. Game 4 is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (CT) faceoff at Van Andel Arena on Friday in Grand Rapids.
After nearly an entire scoreless first period of play, Aeros forward Erik Haula scored his first career playoff goal, pushing his team in front 1-0. Houston center Chad Rau found Haula in the high slot of the Griffins zone. The Aeros rookie blasted a slapshot past goalie Petr Mrazek, giving the Aeros a 1-0 lead after one period of play. Forward Jake Dowell added an assist on the goal.
In the second period, Grand Rapids tied the game 5:30 into the middle frame. Jeff Hoggan tipped a centering pass from Nathan Paetsch, evening the scoreboard at 1-1. Tomas Jurco also added an assist on the power-play goal. The Griffins pushed in front 2-1 at 12:42 of the second period, as Teemu Pulkkinen scored off a pass play in front of the Aeros net. Pulkkinen took a centering feed from Tristan Grant and redirected the puck past goalie Mike Condon for his first goal of the playoffs. Houston countered at 14:02, when Justin Fontaine found David McIntyre in the Grand Rapids zone. McIntyre snapped a right-wing circle shot past Mrazek, scoring his first of the playoffs and tying the game 2-2.
In the third period, Griffins defenseman snapped a wrist shot from the high slot, sneaking a shot past Condon at 16:22. Almquist’s first goal of the playoffs snapped a 2-2 tie and put Grand Rapids in front for good. Francis Pare and Nathan Paetsch each had an assist on the team’s third goal of the game. The Griffins finished the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:46 for the 4-2 final. Luke Glendening scored with help from Jan Mursak and Riley Sheahan.
Houston Aeros (6 - Seed) vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (3 - Seed)
1 Grand Rapids 0 at Houston 3
2 Grand Rapids 3 at Houston 2
3 Houston 2 at Grand Rapids 4 (GR leads series 2-1)
4 Houston at Grand Rapids Friday, May 3 7:00 PM (ET)
5 Houston at Grand Rapids Saturday, May 4 7:00 PM (ET) - X
X = If Necessary
Tickets can be purchased at aeros.com, the Toyota Center Box Office and select area Randalls locations. Fans may call 1-866-GO-AEROS or 713-974-PUCK to book a group night to a Calder Cup Playoff game.
Calder Cup Playoff ticket information is available on www.aeros.com. Groups of 15 or more receive a discount on all tickets, to book your group outing to an Aeros Calder Cup Playoff game please call 713-974-PUCK (7825).