The Grand Rapids Griffins are showing why the Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate is a viable candidate to win back-to-back Calder Cup championships.
The Barons were the hottest team in the American Hockey League before the Griffins notched back-to-back wins in Oklahoma City, capped by a 4-3 win Saturday night in front of 4,492 fans at the Cox Convention Center.
“I don’t think these two games are indicative of the way our team has played the past two months,” said Barons forward Matthew Ford. “The reason they’re the champs is they work hard. They won a lot of battles, which showed the most in five-on-five play.”
The Barons hadn’t lost a home game in regulation in nearly two months before the Griffins posted a one-goal win Friday night to end OKC’s club record nine-game, home “unbeaten” streak.
Similar to Friday’s game, Grand Rapids never trailed in the rematch Saturday night.
Ford scored with 7:42 left. The Barons had two power-play opportunities the final five minutes but couldn’t record the equalizer.
“We’ve played a lot of good hockey lately, but we have to play the right way every period,” Ford said. “We can’t wait until the third period to turn it on like some other games where we had some heroics late in games.”
All three Barons goals were scored with the man advantage. In a penalty marred game, Oklahoma City was 3-of-10 on the power play and the Griffins were 2-of-6.
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