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Heat strike late, down Griffins

The Abbotsford Heat scored twice in the third period, including Markus Granlund‘s game-winning goal with 1:02 remaining, to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins, 2-1, at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday night.

The Griffins still lead the teams’ best-of-five Western Conference quarterfinal series, two games to one. Game 4 is scheduled for Friday.

Granlund’s goal handed the Griffins their first regulation loss all season when leading after two periods. Grand Rapids was 36-0-1-2 in that situation during the regular season.

Tomas Jurco, in his first game back with Grand Rapids after finishing the season with the parent Detroit Red Wings, scored the Griffins’ lone goal of Game 3 on a power play with 2:33 left in the first period.

After a scoreless second period, two-time Calder Cup champion Corey Locke netted his 26th career AHL playoff goal at 5:52 of the third.

Granlund’s game-winner came on a power play with just 62 seconds remaining.

Joni Ortio earned his first playoff win with 34 saves for Abbotsford. Petr Mrazek stopped 23 of 25 shots in the loss.

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
4-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 5-Abbotsford Heat
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Grand Rapids 2, ABBOTSFORD 1 (2OT)
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Grand Rapids 7, ABBOTSFORD 2
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 30 – Abbotsford 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Game 4 – Fri., May 2 – Abbotsford at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 –Sat., May 3 – Abbotsford at Grand Rapids, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern