Calder Cup: Baertschi lifts Comets over Griffins

Sven Baertschi (center) celebrates his hat trick goal with Alex Friesen (left) and Jake Virtanen. (Lindsay A Mogle via TheAHL.com)

Sven Baertschi (center) celebrates his hat trick goal with Alex Friesen (left) and Jake Virtanen. (Lindsay A. Mogle via TheAHL.com)

Courtesy of a Sven Baertschi natural hat trick, the Utica Comets on Thursday took a 2-1 series lead over Grand Rapids in the Western Conference final.

Baertschi scored his fourth, fifth and sixth goals of the playoffs, which all came in an 8:36 span in the second period. Marek Tvrdon scored early in the third stanza to provide the Griffins with some life, but a Cory Conacher tally with 4:37 to play capped the scoring.

Tom McCollum turned away 21 of 25 shots between the Griffins’ pipes, while Jakob Markstrom saved 40 of 41 pucks. The series continues tonight at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena, and will shift back to Utica on Sunday.

The winner will advance to face Manchester in the Calder Cup final, who advanced to their first final after completing a sweep of the Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday.

Icecaps unveil logo

The St. John’s IceCaps unveiled a new logo on Thursday, reflecting their new affiliation with the Montreal Canadiens.

The new logo looks similar to the one utilized by the franchise since its inception in 2011, keeping the same wordmarks and mountain logo. However, the notable update is a change in color to the Canadiens’ familiar bleu, blanc et rouge.

The St. John's IceCaps new logo reflects the colors of their new parent club, the Montreal Canadiens. (SportsLogos.net)

The St. John’s IceCaps new logo reflects the colors of their new parent club, the Montreal Canadiens. (SportsLogos.net)

Unlike their NHL counterparts, the IceCaps don’t boast the league’s best logo (that easily belongs to Milwaukee), but it’s still pretty sleek. New jerseys will be unveiled later this summer as well.

Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61

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