Tyler Bertuzzi scored a pair of goals and Tom McCollum made 32 saves as Grand Rapids opened their Central Division semifinal series with a big 3-1 road win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night.
Game 2 is Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Bertuzzi, who had seven goals and five assists in 14 playoff games for Grand Rapids after he completed his junior career last spring, tied the game at 1-1 late in the first period and provided the Griffins with some breathing room and a 3-1 lead late in the second.
Martin Frk had a goal and two assists and Ryan Sproul recorded two assists for the Griffins, who had stumbled into the playoffs by losing 10 of their last 13 regular-season games. With the Game 1 win, Grand Rapids has now won 20 of its last 27 meetings with Milwaukee.
McCollum (1-0), who did not start any of the Griffins’ eight games vs. the Admirals during the regular season, got the call for Game 1 and improved to 10-6 in his playoff career.
Central Division Semifinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
C1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. C4-Grand Rapids Griffins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Grand Rapids 3, MILWAUKEE 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Grand Rapids at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 26 – Milwaukee at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 27 – Milwaukee at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 30 – Grand Rapids at Milwaukee, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern