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Griffins gut out Game 4 victory, tie series

A three-goal outburst in the second period proved to be enough offense and Petr Mrazek made it stand up with 33 saves as the Grand Rapids Griffins edged the Texas Stars, 3-2, in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday night.

After losing the first two games on the road, the Griffins have battled back to tie the best-of-seven series, 2-2, with Game 5 set for Friday night.

The first period of Game 4 was scoreless, but Texas struck just 13 seconds into the second when Dustin Jeffrey split a pair of defenders and beat Mrazek on a breakaway from the blue line in.

Grand Rapids drew even on a power play at 3:48 as Jeff Hoggan redirected a pass from Cory Emmerton past Cristopher Nilstorp (22 saves) for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

David McIntyre put the Griffins ahead for good with 9:24 left in the second period when he batted the rebound of a Jordin Tootoo shot out of mid-air and in for a 2-1 lead.

Andrej Nestrasil made it 3-1 at 13:58 of the second, knocking in his own rebound after Mitch Callahan worked the puck in front from behind the Stars cage.

Former Griffins defenseman Derek Meech scored on a wraparound with 43.2 seconds left in the second period to cut the Grand Rapids lead to 3-2, but Mrazek stopped all 10 Stars shots in the third to preserve the win.

Western Conference Semifinals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
1-Texas Stars vs. 4-Grand Rapids Griffins
| Series Snapshot
Game 1 – Thu., May 8 – TEXAS 5, Grand Rapids 2
Game 2 – Sat., May 10 – TEXAS 4, Grand Rapids 0 
Game 3 – Tue., May 13 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Texas 2
Game 4 – Wed., May 14 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Texas 2
Game 5 – Fri., May 16 – Texas at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 6 – Sun., May 18 – Grand Rapids at Texas, 8:00
*Game 7 – Mon., May 19 – Grand Rapids at Texas, 8:30
   *if necessary… All times Eastern