SYRACUSE, N.Y. (theahl.com) … Dan Renouf was the unlikely offensive hero as Grand Rapids moved to within one win of a championship with a 3-2 victory over Syracuse in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals on Friday night.
Holding a 3-1 series lead, the Griffins can capture their second Calder Cup in five years with another win in Game 5 on Saturday night in Syracuse (7 p.m. ET, AHL Live, SiriusXM 91).
Renouf, a rookie defenseman out of the University of Maine, scored twice in Game 4 as the Griffins snapped the Crunch’s 10-game home winning streak in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena.
Grand Rapids weathered an early Syracuse storm — the Crunch had a 6-1 lead in shots just over three minutes into the game — and got on the board first at the 10:00 mark of the opening period when Ben Street knocked in a rebound for his third goal of the series and seventh of the postseason.
The Griffins doubled their lead with 2:12 left in the first when Renouf intercepted a clearing attempt at the left point and fired a long shot past Mike McKenna (32 saves). It was Renouf’s first goal of the playoffs and first in his last 31 games.
Renouf made it 3-0 for the Griffins at 10:33 of the second period, trailing on an odd-man rush and snapping a shot from the hash marks past McKenna. Renouf’s second goal of the night came after he had scored once in his previous 54 contests.
Syracuse closed to within 3-2 with 12:31 left in regulation as Michael Bournival raced past a Griffins defender to get to a loose puck and chip a shot past Coreau for his second goal of the series and eighth of the postseason.
The Crunch pressed for the tie, killing off a 5-on-3 Griffins power play late before picking up their own man advantage and skating 6-on-4 in the game’s final minute. But Grand Rapids prevailed, and now sits on the brink of a title.
NOTES: This was Syracuse’s first regulation loss at home since Mar. 24, a 5-1 defeat vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The Crunch had 14 wins and two shootout loss in theior previous 16 on home ice… Grand Rapids has still not lost back-to-back games since Apr. 8-9, and is now 14-3 this postseason… The Griffins were 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Crunch were 0-for-5… Attendance was 6,523 — the largest for a game at the War Memorial Arena since Mar. 22, 1997 (6,541 vs. Rochester).
2017 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Syracuse Crunch | Finals Infographic
Game 1 – Fri., June 2 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Syracuse 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., June 3 – GRAND RAPIDS 6, Syracuse 5 (2OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Wed., June 7 – SYRACUSE 5, Grand Rapids 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Fri., June 9 – Grand Rapids 3, SYRACUSE 2
Game 5 – Sat., June 10 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 13 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 14 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern