Griffins Clinch Berth in 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins clinched a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs on Saturday following a 4-1 victory at Tucson and Milwaukee’s 5-1 loss at Chicago.
The Griffins have reached the playoffs for a franchise-record sixth consecutive campaign and will attempt to become the first team since Hershey in 2009 and 2010 to repeat as champions. Including Grand Rapids’ first Calder Cup in 2013, the Griffins have advanced to at least the second round in each of the previous five postseasons.
Third-year head coach Todd Nelson is the second coach (Jeff Blashill) in franchise history to lead the Griffins to three straight postseason appearances. This season’s berth also marks the seventh time in as many full seasons as an AHL head coach that Nelson has guided his team to the playoffs.
The Griffins are the third team in the Central Division to clinch a playoff spot as Chicago and Manitoba also punched their postseason tickets tonight. Grand Rapids’ 88 points currently tie Manitoba for second in the division, while trailing first-place Chicago by one and leading fourth-place Rockford by two. The Griffins have three games remaining in the regular season.
Matchups and dates for the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals are still to be determined. Playoff tickets will go on sale Friday, April 13 at 10 a.m.