CLEVELAND, Ohio (April 19, 2014) — The Grand Rapids Griffins spent 167 straight days leading the AHL’s Midwest Division – right until the last day of the regular season.
Brett Clark beat Tom McCollum for the game-winner in a shootout as The Lake Erie Monster ended the regular season with a 4-3 win over the Griffins on Saturday. The loss means the defending Calder Cup champions miss out on both a Midwest Division title and a two-seed in the AHL playoffs.
The Chicago Wolves clinched the division crown Saturday’s win against the Milwaukee Admirals.
Grand Rapids trailed 3-2 with under seven minutes to play before Ryan Sproul scored his 11th goal of the season to force overtime. Andrej Nestrasil scored his 16th of the year to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead in the second period.
Andreas Athanasiou scored his first AHL goal and assisted on another in just his second career game for Grand Rapids.
The Griffins now fall to a four-seed and will play the five-seed Abbotsford Heat in a best-of-five Western Conference quarterfinal starting April 25 (all times Eastern):
Game 1 (April 25): Griffins at Heat – 10:00 p.m.
Game 2 (April 26): Griffins at Heat – 10:00 p.m.
Game 3 (April 30): Heat at Griffins – 7:00 p.m.
Game 4 (May 2 – if necessary): Heat at Griffins – 7:00 p.m.
Game 5 (May 3 – if necessary): Heat at Griffins – 7:00 p.m.