Monday, June 10, 2013

Callahan can taste Calder Cup title

Mitchell Callahan knows what it takes to win a championship.

The 21 year-old captured a WHL title with the Kelowna Rockets in 2009 and now finds himself in a good position to capture an American Hockey League crown.

Callahan and the Grand Rapid's Griffins lead the Syracuse Crunch two games to none in the best of seven league final.

"At the beginning of the year we thought we could go pretty far. When the lockout ended we lost a few guys but that made us a harder working team. Our team really became close together so we though we could go pretty far."

Callahan compares his Grand Rapids team to the Kelowna Rockets WHL championships team from 2009.

"We have great leaders and older guys. In 2009 when I was 17 in Kelowna, we had older guys like Jamie Benn. We have a real close group. When we beat Vancouver in the Western Conference final we knew that everyone was doing it for each other".

The Griffins have faced adversity both on and off the ice. In the AHL semi final against the Oklahoma Barons a game was postponed after a tornado struck the American city.  

"When the guys were halfway dressed, the coach said the game was delayed because of a tornado. We all went down to the parking lot and stayed there until the storm passed. It was pretty scary. I've heard it is the largest tornado in North American history which is pretty tough to believe".

Callahan and the Griffins have a 2-0 lead in the AHL final with the next three games on home ice.

"Our coach always talks about never being to high or to low. By the looks of it we have the advantage even though we are up two games to nothing. We can't take that for granted and we can't let down at all." 

Callahan is enjoying playoff success playing on a line with former WHL players Tristan Grant and Landon Ferraro.

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