0Vili Saarijarvi, Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL
Photo Credit: Jenae Anderson

Grand Rapids Griffins eliminated in first round of Calder Cup playoffs

For the second season in a row, the Grand Rapids Griffins have been eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs in the first round.

The Chicago Wolves won the best-of-five series Sunday, beating the Griffins 4-2 despite being outshot 32-20. The Griffins also lost their best-of-five series to the Manitoba Moose last season.

The Griffins held a 2-1 series lead against the Wolves but couldn’t win their final home game of the series Wednesday nor Sunday’s road game.

Grand Rapids held a 1-0 lead in the first period, as Vili Saarijarvi scored his first career AHL playoff goal.

However, the Wolves scored four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to put the game out of reach.

Colin Campbell scored his third of the playoffs late in the third period.

Harri Sateri made 16 saves for the Griffins, and Oscar Dansk made 30 saves for the Wolves.

Filip Zadina had a pretty good series, scoring two goals and adding an assist in five games. But, all those points came in Game 3, so the argument could be made he had one good game.

I was unable to watch any game this series, so I can’t comment on the team’s play, but from what Matthew Ford said on the radio, it sounded like the team underperformed in Game 5. However, take that how you will, as Ford obviously has a bit of a bias being the captain of the team. Even if he felt the team played poorly, it’s not like he can say that and throw his team under the bus.

New career?

Speaking of Ford, since he was out with an injury, he joined Bob Kaser for the radio call for Game 5. However, it looks like the Griffins captain isn’t ready to join the booth full time just yet, as he tweeted this after doing the radio call for Game 1.

It must have been quite the treat for Ford to see the game from Kaser’s perspective and get an opportunity to get a taste of what life could be like after hockey.