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Grand Rapids Griffins Win Calder Cup 0

  • Puckhead
  • Posted by: Dante A. Ciampaglia
  • June 19, 2013, 3:51 PM


grand rapids griffins 2013 calder cup

The Bruins and Blackhawks continue their Stanley Cup Finals series tonight, but yesterday another hockey championship reached its end. The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Syracuse Crunch, 5-2, to win its first Calder Cup.

The who? And the what?

Basically, the Calder Cup is the minor league hockey version of the Stanley Cup. It's the trophy won by the top team in the American Hockey League, which is the top tier of minor league hockey. Each AHL squad is connected to an NHL team — in this case, the Griffins are affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings while the Crunch are part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Prospects and other players in those teams' systems play at the AHL level and wait to get called up to the NHL.

The Griffins defeated the Crunch in six games, 4-2, but it wasn't easy. Grand Rapids jumped out to a 3-0 series lead before Syracuse clawed back to make it a series. But the Griffins finally closed out the Crunch last night to claim their first Calder Cup.

"There was definitely some scary moments, going home and not being able to close it out in front of the home fans," Griffins defenseman Bennan Evans told NHL.com. "But this is the way we've done things all year — the hard way. It's just a testament to the character of these guys and the great job the coaches did."

For more on the Calder Cup, check out NHL.com.

Photo: Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins

"There was definitely some scary moments, going home and not being able to close it out in front of the home fans," Evans said. "But this is the way we've done things all year – the hard way. It's just a testament to the character of these guys and the great job the coaches did."

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