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Grand Rapids Griffins rally around 2013 Calder Cup

June 19, 2013
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We are the Champions (of the AHL)
The Grand Rapids Griffins surround the Calder Cup in Syracuse after winning the AHL Championship four games to two. Image via fb.com

It’s time to celebrate, and everyone is invited.

The city’s newly crowned champions, the Grand Rapids Griffins, will hold a championship rally this evening, beginning at 6 p.m. at Van Andel Arena — following their dramatic 5-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch in game six last night to capture the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup.

The arena doors will open this afternoon at 5 p.m. for the rally, and the first 3,000 fans will receive a Griffins Calder Cup Champion T-shirt.

Championship run

The Griffins won the best-of-seven series four games to two by winning three on the Crunch’s ice.

Gutsy shot blocking, outstanding goaltending and timely scoring brought first-year head coach Jeff Blashill and longtime owners Dan and Pamella DeVos and David Van Andel the title.

The Griffins finished the playoffs with a 15-9 record.

A first

The championship is the Griffins’ first in the franchise’s 12 seasons in the AHL and the club’s 17-year history.

Grand Rapids spent its first five years in the International Hockey League and played for the Turner Cup in 2000, but lost to Chicago.

The Calder Cup win also is the first professional hockey championship for the city in the 27 years the game has been played here.

MVP

Griffins forward Tomas Tatar won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the playoff MVP.

Tatar scored 16 goals and netted 5 assists for 21 points in 24 playoff games. He scored twice in last night’s clincher.

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