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Photo: Sam Iannamico

Moose take down Griffins in Game 5

There will be a new Calder Cup champion in 2018.

The Manitoba Moose officially dethroned the Grand Rapids Griffins with a 5-1 victory in the deciding Game 5 of their first-round series at Van Andel Arena on Monday night.

The Moose advance to the Central Division Finals to face the Rockford IceHogs beginning Friday in Winnipeg.

Brendan Lemieux tallied a goal and two assists and Eric Comrie made 34 saves in the series-clinching win.

Manitoba grabbed a 1-0 lead just 1:49 into the game when captain Patrice Cormier took a pass from Buddy Robinson and backhanded a shot past Jared Coreau for his first goal of the series.

Grand Rapids tied it up on a power play a little over five minutes later, as Matt Puempel ripped home a shot from the top of the left circle over the shoulder of Comrie.

The Moose regained the lead with just 13.1 seconds left in the second period, on what would prove to be the game-winning goal. Lemieux’s shot attempt was deflected to Cameron Schilling, who put home his second goal of the series to make it 2-1.

Manitoba put the series away with three goals in the third period, beginning with Mike Sgarbossa‘s unassisted tally at 6:39.

Lemieux netted his second goal of the series at 11:17, and Chase De Leo finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 3:29 remaining.

Comrie (3-2) finished with a .943 save percentage over the final three games of the series after being pulled after two periods of Game 2.

Coreau (1-2) made 25 saves in Game 5 for the Griffins.

Central Division Semifinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
C2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. C3-Manitoba Moose
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 21 – MANITOBA 3, Grand Rapids 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Grand Rapids 5, MANITOBA 1 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Manitoba 6, GRAND RAPIDS 3 | Recap
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 26 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Manitoba 0 | Recap
Game 5 – Mon., Apr. 30 – Manitoba 5, GRAND RAPIDS 1