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Four In Four Evens the Score

May 24, 2024
Written By: Dylan Rider
1st 2nd 3rd Final
Milwaukee Admirals 1 1 0 2
Grand Rapids Griffins 0 0 4 4

Calder Cup Playoffs - Central Division Finals - Game 4 - Best-of-Five Series Tied, 2-2

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 vs. Milwaukee Admirals 2

[Editor's Note: the AHL on Saturday, May 25 announced scoring corrections to two Griffins goals from Friday’s Game 4, one of which negated one of the three goals originally credited to Jonatan Berggren. On the Griffins' first goal, a power-play tally at 8:03 of the third period, Berggren’s shot was tipped by Marco Kasper. For the Griffins' second goal, on the power play at 9:33 of the third, the secondary assist was changed from Simon Edvinsson to Elmer Soderblom.]

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Jonatan Berggren netted a hat trick within a span of 3:30 to power a third-period comeback for the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday, as they stunned the Milwaukee Admirals with a 4-2 victory in Game 4 of the Central Division Finals at Van Andel Arena to even the best-of-five series at two games apiece.

Grand Rapids and Milwaukee will return to Panther Arena for a winner-take-all Game 5 on Sunday at 6 p.m. EDT.

May 25, 2024  ·  2 Minutes

5-24-24 | Central Division Finals Game 4 Highlights | Milwaukee Admirals

Egor Afanasyev, who was responsible for Milwaukee’s three goals in Game 3, collected his fourth straight Admirals tally by slamming a pass from behind the net past Sebastian Cossa from the doorstep exactly 14 minutes into the first frame. 

Nearing the midpoint of the second period, Jake Livingstone’s blast from the blue line was deflected into the net by Joakim Kemell, widening Milwaukee’s advantage to 2-0 with 11:22 remaining in the stanza. 

Four consecutive Grand Rapids penalties within a span of four and a half minutes during the latter half of the period presented Milwaukee with two separate 5-on-3 power plays, the first lasting 72 seconds and the second two full minutes, but the Griffins killed off both to ignite the crowd and keep the deficit at two heading into the final period.

Presented with a four-minute power play 6:49 into the third on a high-sticking double minor to Liam Foudy, the Griffins roared back to tie the game by scoring on each end of the advantage. First, Berggren took a pass from Carter Mazur, skated into the left circle and released a bullet that beat Yaroslav Askarov’s blocker at 8:03. Joel L’Esperance then found the much-needed equalizer when he spun at the right hashmarks and slapped the puck inside the far post for a 2-2 contest with 10:27 still remaining. 

Shortly after the game-tying goal, a cross-crease pass from Mazur to Berggren made Askarov stumble, and Berggren fired into a gaping net from the bottom of the left circle for his second goal in just over two minutes to give the Griffins the lead at 10:06.

The delirious home crowd then saw Berggren complete his hat trick at the 11:33 mark, as he walked in from the left point to the top of the circle and ripped a shot home to finish off the deluge.

Askarov, who was shaken up while the score was still 2-2 but stayed in the game, yielded to Troy Grosenick in the final minutes, and Milwaukee’s subsequent attempts to get closer with an extra attacker on the ice proved unsuccessful. 

Cossa stopped the final 17 shots he faced and finished with 31 saves, helping the Griffins improve to 11-7 all time when facing playoff elimination at home.

May 25, 2024  ·  21 Minutes

5 - 24 -24 | Post Game Interviews | Milwaukee Admirals

- Berggren's hat trick was the 10th in Griffins playoff history and the first since Mitch Callahan did it in another Game 4 of a division final on May 8, 2017 versus Chicago. 
- Berggren became at least the second Griffin to record three or more goals in a single playoff period, echoing Yves Sarault’s four-goal third frame against Cincinnati in Game 3 of the IHL’s Eastern Conference Finals on May 19, 2000.

Box Score
Milwaukee 1 1 0 - 2
Grand Rapids 0 0 4 - 4

1st Period-1, Milwaukee, Afanasyev 5 (O’Reilly, Kemell), 14:00. Penalties-Edvinsson Gr (cross-checking), 10:39; McKeown Mil (roughing), 15:18; Svechkov Mil (tripping), 15:18; Edvinsson Gr (roughing), 15:18; Wilsby Mil (hooking), 18:30.

2nd Period-2, Milwaukee, Kemell 1 (Livingstone, Afanasyev), 8:38. Penalties-L’Heureux Mil (tripping), 0:16; Berggren Gr (roughing), 10:40; Kasper Gr (tripping), 11:29; Luff Gr (high-sticking), 15:12; L’Esperance Gr (tripping), 15:12; Kemell Mil (interference), 18:33.

3rd Period-3, Grand Rapids, Berggren 4 (Mazur, Czarnik), 8:03 (PP). 4, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 2 (Luff, Edvinsson), 9:33 (PP). 5, Grand Rapids, Berggren 5 (Mazur, Tuomisto), 10:06. 6, Grand Rapids, Berggren 6 (Kasper, Simek), 11:33. Penalties-Foudy Mil (double minor - high-sticking), 6:49; L’Heureux Mil (roughing), 10:41; Tuomisto Gr (roughing), 10:41.

Shots on Goal-Milwaukee 7-16-10-33. Grand Rapids 13-6-12-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Milwaukee 0 / 5; Grand Rapids 2 / 6.
Goalies-Milwaukee, Askarov 2-3 (30 shots-26 saves); Grosenick 3-1 (1 shots-1 saves). Grand Rapids, Cossa 5-3 (33 shots-31 saves).

Three Stars
1. GR Berggren (hat-trick); 2. GR Cossa (W, 31 saves); 3. GR L'Esperance (goal)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 5-3 / Central Division Finals Game 5 / Sun., May 26 at Milwaukee 6 p.m. 
Milwaukee: 5-3 / Central Division Finals Game 5 / Sun., May 26 vs. Grand Rapids 7 p.m. CDT

Photo by Mark Newman