Last-minute Markus Granlund goal keeps Heat's season alive

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Down 0-2 and facing elimination, the Heat pulled through, winning game 3 to force another game.

Game 3 against the Grand Rapids Griffins was a must-win for the Heat. After trailing most of the game by a goal, they came through, scoring two in the third to win their first game of this year's AHL playoffs.

Joni Ortio and Markus Granlund headed the game's stars: the former stopping 34 of 35 shots for a .971 SV%, the latter scoring the game winning goal on a powerplay called with just under two minutes to go.

The Griffins struck first, when Tomas Jurco, fresh from the Red Wings' playoff elimination, scored a powerplay goal in the first period. The Heat were outshot 14-7 in the first, and things weren't looking great for the team facing elimination; fortunately, that was all Ortio let get past him.

Despite a much better second period, where the Heat outshot the Griffins 10-6, they were still unable to score. That all came in the third period, when the Heat were once again outshot, 15-8: but this time, it didn't matter, because Ortio was there, stopping all of the Griffins' shots and denying them the sweep.

As for the Heat's goals, they came from Corey Locke - the result of a tip on a blast from Chris Breen - and, of course, Granlund, with 1:02 left in the game.

You may remember from game 1, Granlund led all players with eight shots on net before the Heat ultimately fell at the end of double overtime. He had three shots this game, while Locke led the way with five.

So chalk this one up to the Flames' Finnish prospects: a stellar performance by the game's second star, Ortio, to keep his team in it the entire time, and a hell of a game winner from the first star Granlund. (Also, Ortio assisted on Granlund's goal, because of course he did: he's assisted on a Granlund goal in the NHL; why not the AHL, too?)

Game 4 is Friday night at 5:00 p.m. MT. The Heat are still facing elimination. They have been outscored in this series 5-10. They still haven't scored more than two goals a game, but hopefully this victory will give them the boost they need, and we'll see a game closer to the first game of the series, but with a better result.

In the meantime, two key Flames prospects played crucial roles in the Heat's victory, and that's all you can really ask for.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Matchsticks and Gasoline

You must be a member of Matchsticks and Gasoline to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Matchsticks and Gasoline. You should read them.

Join Matchsticks and Gasoline

You must be a member of Matchsticks and Gasoline to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Matchsticks and Gasoline. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker