Matt Lorito scored twice as Grand Rapids defeated San Jose, 4-2, to win Game 5 and clinch the Western Conference Championship Saturday night at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
The Griffins will play the Syracuse Crunch, farm team for Steve Yzerman’s Tampa Bay Lightning, for the Calder Cup. It’s a rematch of the 2013 Calder Cup Finals, won by the Griffins in six games.
The series begins June 2 in Grand Rapids
Brian Lashoff and Mattew Ford scored first period goals for the Griffins. Timo Meier replied for the Barracuda early in the second. Lorito scored a goal midway through the second period and added another early in the third to give the Griffins a 4-2 lead.
Tomas Nosek had assists for the Griffins.
There are a few Griffins still remaining from the 2013 Calder Cup Finals victory over Syracuse. Mitch Callahan, Nathan Paetsch and Brian Lashoff still play for Grand Rapids. No one remains from the Crunch team.
Those Calder Cup finals were stepping stones for many future NHLers, including:
- Ondrej Palat
- Tyler Johnson
- Richard Panik
- Brett Connolly
- JT Brown
- Vladislav Namestnikov
- Andrej Sustr
- Radko Gudas
- Cedric Paquette
- Mark Barberio
- Tomas Tatar
- Luke Glendening
- Tomas Jurco
- Gustav Nyquist
- Danny Dekeyser
- Petr Mrazek
|0:24||GR||Brian Lashoff (1) ASST: Tyler Bertuzzi (7), Tomas Nosek (6)||
|16:11||GR||Matthew Ford (7) ASST: Colin Campbell (2), Dominic Turgeon (1)||
|1:02||SJ||Timo Meier (4) ASST: Buddy Robinson (5)||
|11:42||GR||Matt Lorito (6) ASST: Tomas Nosek (7), Martin Frk (6) (PP)||
|4:53||GR||Matt Lorito (7) ASST: Evgeny Svechnikov (7), Kyle Criscuolo (4)||
|15:29||SJ||Daniel O'Regan (4) ASST: Nick DeSimone (5), Dan Kelly (1)|