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AEROS FORCE GAME 5 WITH 4-1 WIN

Calder Cup Playoffs – Western Conference Quarterfinals – Game 4 – Series Tied, 2-2

Houston Aeros 4 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1

May 3, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– Behind a 41-save performance by Mike Condon, the Houston Aeros rallied for a 4-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday at Van Andel Arena, forcing a decisive Game 5 of this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Grand Rapids.

Luke Glendening scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway just 4:44 into the contest, but despite a commanding 42-19 advantage in shots for the game, the Griffins could not prevent the Aeros from mounting a comeback that kept their franchise’s tenure in Houston alive for at least one more day. The Aeros will move to Des Moines next season and become the Iowa Wild.

Condon, who was finishing his collegiate career at Princeton two months ago, has now stopped 76 of 80 shots (0.950) since being thrust into duty due to the recall of No. 1 goalie Darcy Kuemper to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.

Despite a huge early shot advantage that was whittled to a 15-7 margin by the first intermission, the Griffins found themselves in a 2-1 hole entering the break. Glendening scored the eighth shorthanded goal in Griffins playoff history when he chased down a puck that had slipped past Houston’s point man, broke in alone and flipped a backhand past Condon.

But Grand Rapids’ inability to capitalize on two of its own power plays proved painful when the Aeros converted their second chance at 12:24, with Mikael Granlund slamming home a rebound to the right of the net on just the third shot for the visitors. Then, for the second time in as many games, Houston scored in the final minute of the opening period to take a one-goal lead to the locker room, as Chad Rau circled Petr Mrazek’s cage to score a wraparound goal at the 19:31 mark.

Houston scored its second power play goal in three chances at 10:35 of the second for the only tally of the period, building a 3-1 cushion when Steven Kampfer’s wrister from the left point found the top left corner.

While Grand Rapids continued to pile on the shots in the third to the tune of 18-4, Condon and his defense continued to frustrate the Griffins’ offense. Mrazek went to the bench in favor of an extra attacker with three minutes remaining, and David McIntyre scored into the empty net at 17:55 to seal it.

The Griffins went 0-for-4 on the power play.

Three Stars: 1. HOU Condon (W, 41 saves); 2. HOU Fontaine (three assists); 3. GR Glendening (shorthanded goal)
 

Griffins Game Rewind
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WOOD Radio Highlights:  Glendening SH Goal   Aeros Goal
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