ABBOTSFORD, CA (April 26, 2014)- Petr Mrazek made 55 saves and Ryan Sproul scored with 33.4 seconds left in the second overtime as the Grand Rapids Griffins begin their defense of the Calder Cup with a 2-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat late Friday night.
Sproul’s shot from the right-wing half boards hit a body in front and pinballed past Joni Ortio to end the game at 11:01 p.m. PDT (2:01 a.m. EDT).
The Griffins did not play a single overtime game their 2013 Calder Cup Championship run.
Mrazek stopped 43 shots in the final four periods of play including 21 in overtime.
Mattias Backman scored the first goal of his North American pro career for the Griffins with 7:23 remaining in the third period.
Game 2 is Saturday night in Abbotsford, puck drop is slated for 10 p.m.
The Griffins lead the series 1-0.