According to the American Hockey League website, the Grand Rapids Griffins eliminated the Abbotsford Heat from Calder Cup competition with a 5-3 victory on Friday evening. With the victory, the Griffins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Heat, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames 3-1 in the best out of five series in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Captain Jeff Hoggan of Hope, British Columbia, led the Griffins attack with two goals and one assist. Hoggan, who was acquired by the Griffins as a free agent on September 28, 2012, has played in 107 National Hockey League games with the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes from 2005-2010.
Other Griffins players who recorded multi-point games were Teemu Pulkkinen, Landon Ferraro (son of former National Hockey League superstar Ray Ferraro) and Mattias Backman. Pulkkinen and Ferraro had a goal and an assist each, while Backman registered two assists.
After the Heat opened the scoring on a first period goal by enforcer Shane O'Brien, the Griffins responded with three second period goals to take a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission. The Griffins then outscored the Heat 2-1 in the third period.
This was the final game for the Abbotsford Heat as an American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames. Last month the Flames announced they will be moving their top farm team away from Abbotsford.
The Griffins join the Norfolk Admirals (affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks), Texas Stars (affiliate of the Dallas Stars), Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins), Toronto Marlies (affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) and St. John's IceCaps (affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets) as teams who will be moving on to the Conference semifinals. The Providence Bruins (affiliate of the Boston Bruins) play the Springfield Falcons (affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets) and the Chicago Wolves (affiliate of the St. Louis Blues) play the Rochester Americans (affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) in the other first round playoff series.