Griffins bit by Wolves, eliminated from AHL playoffs

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Vili Saarijarvi opened the scoring in the do-or-die Game 5, but the Griffins saw their season end in a 4-2 loss.

The Grand Rapids Griffins saw their season come to a bitter end Sunday with a 4-2 loss in Chicago.

The Griffins lost the American Hockey League best-of-five first-round series, 3-2, to the Wolves.

Vili Saarijarvi and Colin Campbell scored goals for the Griffins, while goaltender Harri Sateri stopped 16 shots.

Grand Rapids outshot Chicago, 32-20, but were frustrated by Chicago goalie Oscar Dansk.

BOX SCORE: Chicago 4, Grand Rapids 2

The Griffins failed on their only power-play attempt in the game, while killing 4-of-5 Chicago power plays.

Saarijarvi gave the Griffins a 1-0 lead at 7:22 of the first period, but saw the Wolves respond with four unanswered goals in the second and third periods before Campbell closed out the scoring with 34 seconds left to play.

The Red Wings were hopeful of a long playoff run for the Griffins, giving an opportunity for key prospects to get a taste of pro hockey playoffs.

But in five games, top prospects Filip Zadina (two goals, one assist, minus-2 rating), Dennis Cholowski (two assists, plus-1), and Filip Hronek (three assists, even rating) had difficulty generating consistent offense.

It’s the second consecutive season the Griffins, the Red Wings’ minor league affiliate, have been eliminated in the first round.

Twitter: @tkulfan