Griffins, Crunch to meet in Calder Cup Finals

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The Grand Rapids Griffins have won the Robert W. Clarke Trophy as the American Hockey League’s Western Conference champions for 2012-13, advancing to their first Calder Cup Finals with a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Oklahoma City Barons in Game 7 of the conference finals at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Wednesday evening.

The top affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, the Griffins won the North Division title with a record of 42-26-4-4 (92 points) this season. Guided by first-year head coach Jeff Blashill, Grand Rapids defeated the Houston Aeros in the conference quarterfinals (3-2), the Toronto Marlies in the conference semifinals (4-2) and the Barons in the conference finals (4-3) to become the first Red Wings affiliate since 1992 to advance to the Calder Cup Finals.

The 2013 Calder Cup Finals – the AHL’s 77th championship series – will pit the Griffins against the Eastern Conference champion Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay) beginning Saturday in Syracuse. The complete series schedule is below.

Established in 1990, the AHL’s Western Conference championship trophy honors the late Robert W. Clarke. Mr. Clarke served as the Chairman of the AHL’s Board of Governors from 1967-94, and in 1956, he 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.

2013 Calder Cup Finals (best-of-seven)
E3-Syracuse Crunch vs. W3-Grand Rapids Griffins

Game 1 – Sat., June 8 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 2 – Sun., June 9 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 6:00
Game 3 – Wed., June 12 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., June 14 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 15 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 18 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 7 – Thu., June 20 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
  *if necessary… All times Eastern