|Michael Caples photo|
They played a great road game, but the Aeros allowed two late third-period goals and lost 4-2 to the Griffins in Game 3 of this best of five series.
The Aeros as they know them will cease to exist after Friday night unless the team can muster enough to force a Game 5 on Saturday at Van Andel Arena. Don't count them out just yet, but it's dicey and the loss of three key players might just be enough to wipe the Aeros off the map.
Erik Haula gave the Aeros a 1-0 lead late in the first, but the Griffins scored the next two to take a 2-1 lead. David McIntyre answered shortly thereafter to make it 2-2, but Grand Rapids scored the go-ahead goal with just about 3:30 left in the game to take the win.
They added an empty-netter, and now all the pressure in the world is on the Aeros to keep this thing going. They have to win Friday, or it's lights out ... for good. If they do force a Game 5, all the pressure then shifts to the Griffins. The cliche is that anything can happen, but it'll be tough for the visitors to win two straight in the same visiting barn.
The last time that happened this year in back-to-back nights you ask? Well ... first the bad news: the Aeros are just 1-for-6 in situations where they play in the same road arena two nights in a row and won both games. The good news, though, is pretty good: the only time they did that was IN Grand Rapids back in late January. That was the weekend they turned their season around with two straight wins at Van Andel.
History will have to repeat itself or the Aeros are gone.
What do you think they need to do better? Well, it has to start with the power play, and Condon is going to have to be just about perfect. Two goals allowed and they have a real good chance, but if Grand Rapids gets to three, it's more than likely over.