Dan Renouf was the unlikely offensive hero as Grand Rapids moved to within one win of a championship with a 3-2 victory over Syracuse in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals on Friday night.
Holding a 3-1 series lead, the Griffins can capture their second Calder Cup in five years with another win in Game 5 on Saturday night at Syracuse (7 p.m. ET, AHL Live, SiriusXM 91).
Renouf, a rookie defenseman out of the University of Maine, scored twice in Game 4 as the Griffins snapped the Crunch’s 10-game home winning streak in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena.
Grand Rapids weathered an early Syracuse storm — the Crunch had a 6-1 lead in shots just over three minutes into the game — and got on the board first at the 10:00 mark of the opening period when Ben Street knocked in a rebound for his third goal of the series and seventh of the postseason.
The Griffins doubled their lead with 2:12 left in the first when Renouf intercepted a clearing attempt at the left point and fired a long shot past Mike McKenna (32 saves). It was Renouf’s first goal of the playoffs and first in his last 31 games.
Renouf made it 3-0 for the Griffins at 10:33 of the second period, trailing on an odd-man rush and snapping a shot from the hash marks past McKenna. Renouf’s second goal of the night came after he had scored once in his previous 54 contests.
Syracuse closed to within 3-2 with 12:31 left in regulation as Michael Bournival raced past a Griffins defender to get to a loose puck and chip a shot past Coreau for his second goal of the series and eighth of the postseason.
The Crunch pressed for the tie, killing off a 5-on-3 Griffins power play late before picking up their own man advantage and skating 6-on-4 in the game’s final minute. But Grand Rapids prevailed, and now sits on the brink of a title.
NOTES: This was Syracuse’s first regulation loss at home since Mar. 24, a 5-1 defeat vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The Crunch had 14 wins and two shootout loss in theior previous 16 on home ice… Grand Rapids has still not lost back-to-back games since Apr. 8-9, and is now 14-3 this postseason… The Griffins were 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Crunch were 0-for-5… Attendance was 6,523 — the largest for a game at the War Memorial Arena since Mar. 22, 1997 (6,541 vs. Rochester). (TheAHL.com)
Grand Rapids 3 – Syracuse 2
|Head Coach: Todd Nelson|
|Assistant Coach: Mike Knuble|
|Assistant Coach: Ben Simon|
|Head Coach: Benoit Groulx|
|Assistant Coach: Jeff Halpern|
|Assistant Coach: Trent Cull|
|10:00||GR||Ben Street (7) ASST: Mitch Callahan (10), Eric Tangradi (16)|
|17:48||GR||Dan Renouf (1) ASST: None|
|10:33||GR||Dan Renouf (2) ASST: Eric Tangradi (17)|
|11:45||SYR||Yanni Gourde (7) ASST: Cory Conacher (14), Tye McGinn (10)|
|7:29||SYR||Michael Bournival (8) ASST: Gabriel Dumont (5), Slater Koekkoek (6)|
|03:17||SYR||Anthony Cirelli, Interference, 2 min PP|
|10:30||SYR||Cory Conacher, Roughing, 2 min PP|
|17:57||SYR||Michael Bournival, Tripping, 2 min PP|
|18:24||GR||Martin Frk, Slashing, 2 min|
|18:24||SYR||Jake Dotchin, Delay of game, 2 min|
|02:18||GR||Dylan McIlrath, Interference, 2 min PP|
|03:28||SYR||Anthony Cirelli, Hooking, 2 min PP|
|05:01||SYR||Jake Dotchin, Roughing, 2 min PP|
|07:34||GR||Tyler Bertuzzi, Tripping, 2 min PP|
|13:31||GR||Kyle Criscuolo, Hooking, 2 min PP|
|04:34||GR||Tomas Nosek, Kneeing, 2 min PP|
|13:35||SYR||Ben Thomas, High-sticking, 2 min PP|
|14:11||SYR||Jake Dotchin, Slashing, 2 min PP|
|17:39||GR||Matthew Ford, Slashing, 2 min PP|
|20:00||GR||Colin Campbell, Fighting, 5 min|
|20:00||SYR||Cory Conacher, Slashing, 2 min|
|20:00||SYR||Matt Taormina, Fighting, 5 min|
Onondaga County War Memorial Arena
Start: 7:03 pm
End: 9:43 pm
Referee: Jake Brenk (42)
Referee: Chris Schlenker (48)
Linesman: Ryan Daisy (81)
Linesman: Bevan Mills (53)
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2017 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Syracuse Crunch | Finals Infographic
Game 1 – Fri., June 2 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Syracuse 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., June 3 – GRAND RAPIDS 6, Syracuse 5 (2OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Wed., June 7 – SYRACUSE 5, Grand Rapids 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Fri., June 9 – Grand Rapids 3, SYRACUSE 2
Game 5 – Sat., June 10 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 13 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 14 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern