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Griffins roast IceHogs, advance to conference finals

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ROCKFORD, Ill. — After losing their first three road games of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Grand Rapids Griffins had apparently had enough.

The 2013 AHL champions followed up a 2-1 overtime win at Rockford on Thursday — their first road win of the playoffs — with a 5-3 victory over their Midwest Division rival IceHogs on Sunday at BMO Harris Bank Center, clinching the Western Conference Semifinal series four games to one — and advancing to the conference finals for the second time in three seasons.

Teemu Pulkkinen opened the scoring with his 13th goal of the postseason to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead after the first period. The flood gates opened in the second period — with Andy Miele, Marek Tvrdon, and Tyler Bertuzzi scoring in a span of 11:48. Miele also added two assists.

Jeff Hoggan completed the Griffins’ scoring with an empty-netter in the third period.

Tom McCollum closed out the series by stopping 24 of 27 Rockford shots.

Grand Rapids now waits for the winner of the Utica/Oklahoma City series in the Western Conference Finals.

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