GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Who knew a 3-1 series deficit could be so exhilarating?
After trailing 4-1 with 6:29 left in the second period on Tuesday night, the Grand Rapids Griffins scored four unanswered goals against the Lake Erie Monsters -- including Andreas Athanasiou's game-winner with 1:55 left in regulation -- to net a 5-4 comeback win and prevent Lake Erie from sweeping the best-of-seven division finals series in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Players could feel the Monsters' grip on the game -- and possibly the series -- slip during the comeback.
"Yeah, I think by the fourth goal you could tell that they were a little shocked that we came back," Tyler Bertuzzi said after the game. "They weren't too offensive. They were just chipping out, rimming pucks when we would dump it in."
"Momentum's such a crazy thing in the playoffs," Athanasiou said. "We found a way to harness that and roll with it."
Meanwhile -- after a season that saw historic win streaks sandwiched in between losing streaks and inconsistent stretches of hockey -- head coach Todd Nelson has embraced the bipolar nature of his team.
"We're a streaky team, so who knows what can happen? " he said after Tuesday's game with a hint of a grin. "Would it surprise you?" he asked of reporters. Through the chuckles, he answered his own inquiry.
"No...it wouldn't surprise me."
Game 5 of the series is Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in Cleveland.