According to the American Hockey League website on Saturday, the Grand Rapids Griffins hammered the Abbotsford Heat 7-2 in game two of the Western Conference quarterfinal series. With the victory, the Griffins now have a 2-0 lead in the best out of five series.
The Heat, who are the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames, were outscored 4-0 by the Griffins in the final forty minutes after a relatively even first period that saw Grand Rapids outscore Abbotsford 3-2. The Griffins, who are associated with the Detroit Red Wings, are the defending Calder Cup champions.
Three Griffins players registered three points in the contest. Andrej Nestrasil, who was the Red Wings' third pick, 75th overall in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, registered two goals and one assist. Teemu Pulkkinen and Ryan Sproul notched a goal and two assists. It has been quite the playoff for Sproul so far. The defensive prospect for Detroit had the game winning goal with 34 seconds left in double overtime in game one of the series for Grand Rapids on Friday.
Rapids assistant captain Nathan Paetsch had two assists, while Cory Emmerton scored the game winning goal while the Rapids were shorthanded with 36 seconds remaining in the first period. Both Emmerton and Paetsch have significant National Hockey League experience.
The series will now shift to Grand Rapids on Wednesday evening for game three. The fourth game (if necessary) will be on Friday in Grand Rapids and the fifth game (if necessary) will be in Saturday in Grand Rapids as well.
If the Heat do not come back to win the remaining three games of the series in Grand Rapids, they will have played their last game ever Saturday evening in Abbotsford. The Flames announced earlier this month there will be a new location for their American Hockey League affiliate next hockey season.