Syracuse Crunch vs. Grand Rapids Griffins preview: AHL Calder Cup Final Game 3

0-2 series deficit? No problem. They got this.

The bottom line: Syracuse Crunch vs. Grand Rapids Griffins, game 3

The Syracuse Crunch are off to a frustrating start, the likes of which they haven’t really seen so far during this season’s playoffs. But this is the final round. It was made for drama.

It sounds like the Crunch knows what they need to do from top to bottom. As they head back to their home ice for what will hopefully be three games, the team will need to fight harder than ever to keep their series deficit from widening.

Their attitudes definitely seem to be in the right place. Now it’s up to the players to put their money where their mouths are.

There’s no doubt in this fan’s mind that they can do it.

Pre-game reading, listening, and viewing:

  • Winging it in Motown has their game preview over here.
  • Previous previews: game 1, game 2
  • Brandon Curtis’ game recaps: game 1
  • Instead of a recap for game 2, Brandon and I discussed game two and all of its implications from the perspective of two passionate fans.
  • The Crunch is certainly in “regroup mode” as it looks to their contest tonight. What do they need to do to secure a victory? []
  • Crunch goalie Mike McKenna is so matter-of-fact it can’t help but inspire confidence: /
  • A good plan going into tonight: defense, defense, defense. []
  • Defense? Defense: /
  • The Crunch’s SoundCloud is a great place to go for player interviews and tidbits.
  • ESPN Syracuse has an Audio Vault that has a lot of quality Crunch stuff from the past few days.
  • Be sure to check out Syracuse’s YouTube channel if you’re looking for highlights, interviews, and recaps.
  • You can find more coverage from the team’s beat writer and others, including our friend Brent Axe, over at
  • While defenseman Matt Taormina is the only Crunch player remaining from the 2013 squad, the Griffins have three players that faced Syracuse in the finals that year: /

Game night essentials:

  • The pre-game radio broadcast with Dan D’Uva will start at 6:45 EST on ESPN Syracuse. You can stream the game in its entirety for free.
  • Puck drop is at 7:00 ET in Grand Rapids.
  • AHL Live has an amazing special deal this round: watch for free! /
  • The game will also be broadcast on Sirius XM:/
  • Full media information can be found here:/
  • Despite all of the different ways to follow the game, the Crunch needs their fans to come out and continue to support their quest: /
  • Free t-shirt? Free t-shirt!/

Potential lines and pairings for Syracuse:

Starting netminder:

Mike McKenna

Potential lines:

Adam Erne - Yanni Gourde - Cory Conacher

Michael Bournival - Gabriel Dumont - Erik Condra

Tye McGinn - Matthew Peca - Kevin Lynch

Anthony Cirelli - Byron Froese - Joel Vermin

Potential defensive pairings:

Matt Taormina - Dominik Masin

Slater Koekkoek - Ben Thomas

Jake Dotchin - Mathieu Brodeur

Injury updates/news:

-Daniel Walcott was hurt during round 3’s game 2. He has not played since. He is currently listed as day-to-day.

-Be aware that I really have no clue about these lines. it sounded like the coaching staff shuffled them going into the game, so everything might be a bit jumbled.

Potential lines and pairings for Grand Rapids:

Starting netminder:

Jared Coreau

Potential lines:

Tyler Bertuzzi - Tomas Nosek - Martin Frk

Eric Tangradi - Ben Street - Mitch Callahan

Evgeny Svechnikov - Kyle Criscuolo - Matt Lorito

Matthew Ford - Dominic Turgeon - Colin Campbell

Potential defensive pairings:

Brian Lashoff - Robbie Russo

Nathan Paetsch - Joe Hicketts

Dan Renouf - Dylan McIlrath