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Griffins, Crunch set for Finals rematch

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The Grand Rapids Griffins and Syracuse Crunch will meet in the 2017 Calder Cup Finals beginning Friday night, June 2, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Griffins and Crunch closed out their respective conference championship series with Game 5 victories on Saturday night. Grand Rapids eliminated San Jose, while Syracuse knocked off Providence.

It will be the second head-to-head meeting in the AHL’s championship series in the last five years for the clubs. The Griffins defeated the Crunch, four games to two, to win the Calder Cup in 2013.

As Western Conference champions, the Griffins, top development affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, have won the Robert W. Clarke Trophy in their second season under head coach Todd Nelson. The Griffins were 47-23-1-5 (100 points, .658) and finished second in the Central Division during the regular season before defeating the Milwaukee Admirals (3-0), the Chicago Wolves (4-1) and the San Jose Barracuda (4-1) en route to the Finals.

Top development team of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Crunch are the winners of the Richard F. Canning Trophy as the AHL’s Eastern Conference champions. Under first-year head coach Benoit Groulx, the Crunch won the North Division with a record of 38-24-7-7 (90 points, .592) and eliminated the St. John’s IceCaps (3-1), Toronto Marlies (4-3) and Providence Bruins (4-1) in the playoffs.

Established in 1990, the AHL’s Western Conference championship trophy honors Robert W. Clarke, who served as the Chairman of the AHL’s Board of Governors from 1967-94. In 1956, Mr. Clarke played an instrumental role in the formation of the Rochester Americans, one of the most successful franchises in AHL history and themselves a seven-time recipient of the Clarke Trophy.

Established in 1990, the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship trophy honors Richard F. Canning, who served the AHL for more than 50 years during his career, including a term as league president from 1958-61. Mr. Canning is recognized as the author of the AHL’s constitution, by-laws and regulations.

2017 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Syracuse Crunch
Game 1 – Fri., June 2 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., June 3 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., June 7 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., June 9 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*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

Founded in 1936 and now with franchises in 30 cities across North America, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 16th year in a row, more than 6 million fans have attended AHL games in 2016-17.