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Griffins Ousted By Milwaukee In Calder Cup Playoffs



sebastian cossa, Grand Rapids griffins,

MILWAUKEE – Early in the third period, the Grand Rapids Griffins found themselves down 2-0 to the Milwaukee Admirals.

They were in the same position Friday night, then scored four goals in the third to take a 4-2 victory.

But lightning didn’t strike twice for the Griffins, who lost to the Admirals 2-0 Sunday night  in the fifth and deciding game of their Central Division championship series.

“We just couldn’t capitalize on our opportunities tonight,” Griffins coach Dan Watson said on the team’s postgame radio show. “But overall, I shared with the guys just their work ethic, their compete level, the attention to detail, their willingness to get better every day. As a coach, that’s all we can ask for.”

Milwaukee will play the Coachella Valley Firebirds in the Western Conference finals, which begin Wednesday. The Firebirds will host the first two games of the best-of-seven series.

The Admirals scored early, when Zach L’Heureux took a pass from Cal O’Reilly at center ice and  scored a short-handed goal at the 4:5e mark.

Milwaukee goalie Troy Grosenick made it stand up.

The Griffins outskated the Admirals for much of  the first half of the game. But they couldn’t solve the 34-year-old Grosenick, who is on his fourth AHL team in as many seasons. He stopped all 30 Griffins shots. Grosenick played because Nashville Predators blue chip prospect Yaroslav Askarov was injured late in Game 4.

Cossa Stands Out in Losing Effort

Grand Rapids netminder Sebastian Cossa was almost as good.  He shone in the third period, making save after save as the Admirals dominated play. The Admirals outshot the Griffins 16-7 in the third period, and 36-30 for the game. Cossa owned a save percentage of .900 or better in seven of his nine playoff starts.

Milwaukee got an insurance g0al from Ryan Ufko at the 3:00 mark and peppered Cossa for the rest of the period.

The Griffins were without defensemen Simon Edvinsson who was injured in Game 4, missing the final seven minutes of that contest. Radim Simek did not dress for the game.  Josiah Didier was inserted into the lineup as the Griffins went with six defensemen rather than the seven they used on Friday.

Watson finished his first season behind the Griffins bench with a 37-28-3 record.