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Division-Leading Griffins Tour Through Illinois, Host Milwaukee

January 15, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal
Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Sam Iannamico/Griffins)

This Week's Games

GRIFFINS at Chicago Wolves // Wed., Jan. 16 // 8 p.m. EST // Allstate Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:35 p.m.

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 1-1-0-0 Road, 3-1-0-0 Overall. Fifth of eight meetings overall, third of four at Allstate Arena

All-Time Series: 42-32-0-2-1 Road, 84-57-2-6-3 Overall

NHL Affiliation: Vegas Golden Knights

Noteworthy: The Griffins have won three in a row against Chicago after a six-game winless streak.

GRIFFINS at Rockford IceHogs // Fri., Jan. 18 // 8 p.m. EST // BMO Harris Bank Center

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:35 p.m.

Watch: AHLTV, AHLTV Facebook Game of the Week

Season Series: 0-1-1-0 Road, 2-1-2-0 Overall. Sixth of 10 meetings overall, third of five at the BMO Harris Bank Center

All-Time Series: 13-20-3-6 Road, 42-30-5-8 Overall

NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks

Noteworthy: Four of the five games this season have been decided by one goal, including two in overtime.

Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS // Sat., Jan. 19 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m.

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 2-0-0-1 Home, 3-1-0-1 Overall. Sixth of 10 meetings overall. Fourth of five at Van Andel Arena

All-Time Series: 52-29-2-2-3 Home, 95-62-7-7-8 Overall

NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators

Noteworthy: The Griffins have points in six of the last eight matchups at Van Andel Arena (4-2-1-1).

Last Week's Results

Wed., Jan. 9 GRIFFINS 3 at Milwaukee Admirals 1 20-12-3-3 (46 points, T2nd Central Division)

Fri., Jan. 11 Belleville Senators 4 at GRIFFINS 3 SO 20-12-3-4 (47 points, T2nd Central)

Sat., Jan. 12 Belleville Senators 2 at GRIFFINS 5 21-12-3-4 (49 points, 1st Central)

Status Update: The Grand Rapids Griffins earned five out of a possible six points in their three games last week and tie Iowa for the Central Division lead with a 21-12-3-4 record (49 points). Grand Rapids is 2-1-0-2 to begin 2019 and shows points in nine of its last 10 outings (6-1-1-2) and in 26 of its last 33 (19-7-3-4). Grand Rapids begins this week with a tour through Illinois, facing the third-place Chicago Wolves on Wednesday before trekking an hour and a half west to play the Rockford IceHogs on Friday and then returning home on Saturday to play the Milwaukee Admirals.

Follow the Leader(s):

Points: Chris Terry (41)

Goals: Terry (23)

Assists: Carter Camper (22)

Plus-Minus: Turner Elson (+14)

PIM: Dylan McIlrath (44)

Wins: Harri Sateri (12)

GAA: Patrik Rybar (2.33)

Save %: Rybar (0.913)

Last Week's Notes:

Wednesday at Milwaukee - Grand Rapids improved to 3-1-0-1 in the 10-game season series...The Griffins are 10-3-0-0 all time at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in the regular season, including wins in eight of the last nine...Carter Camper and Axel Holmstrom both notched their ninth goals of the season in the first period...Patrik Rybar stopped 28 of 29 shots to earn his ninth victory of the year and extend his point streak to four (3-0-1)...Matt Puempel added an empty-net goal at 18:59 of the third period and has lit the lamp a series-high four times in five meetings this season...After representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship, rookie forward Filip Zadina made his first appearance back in the Griffins lineup since Dec. 19. Recap |


Friday vs. Belleville - Filip Zadina scored a game-high three points (2-1-3)...Chris Terry banked his league-leading 23rd goal of the season while on the power play to tie the game with 3:10 remaining in regulation...Patrik Rybar stopped 20 of 23 shots and extended his point streak to five (3-0-2)...Logan Brown was the only scorer in the three-round shootout...Four of the Griffins' last seven games have been tied after 60 minutes. Recap |


Saturday vs. Belleville - Grand Rapids finished the four-game season series against Belleville 2-1-0-1...The Griffins finished 4-for-5 on the power play, marking the first time they have notched four power play goals in a game since scoring four at Rockford on Feb. 5, 2016 (9-1 W)...Grand Rapids scored three power play goals in a span of 2:35 in the second period, the most power play goals in a single frame since tallying three during the second period on Feb. 24, 2013 vs. San Antonio (7-3 W)...Carter Camper recorded four power play assists, the first four-assist game by a Griffin since Andy Miele on Dec. 19, 2014...Harri Sateri turned aside a season-high 41 shots to earn his 12th victory...Sateri's 24 saves in the third period were one shy of the franchise record for saves in a single frame...Matt Puempel (1-2-3) and defenseman Vili Saarijarvi (1-2-3) also banked three-point nights. Recap |


This Week's Promotions: Saturday against Milwaukee is the team's annual Toy Night and the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Griffins Rubik's Cube, courtesy of Eikenhout. Read the full list of promos here.

Great Skate Winterfest Returns This Weekend: Griffins fans can enjoy a day full of winter-inspired events and family activities starting at noon on Saturday as part of the 2019 Great Skate Winterfest, which will run for 34 consecutive hours from Saturday to Sunday at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. The 10th annual Winterfest will begin at noon on Saturday, leading into the Griffins' game versus Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Following the contest, Griffins players will make their way to Rosa Parks Circle for the 16th annual Great Skate, which features at least one player skating with fans for 24 consecutive hours - 10 p.m. on Saturday to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, a schedule of events, or to make a donation to the Griffins Youth Foundation in support of a Griffins player's participation, visit The Great Skate Winterfest is presented by Meijer, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, with support from Mobile GR, Centennial Securities, Smallegan Real Estate, FASTSigns, Connoisseur Design, Gilmore, and Michigan First Credit Union.

Power Ups: The Griffins' power play exploded for a 4-for-5 finish in last Saturday's 5-2 victory, scoring goals in each of their last four opportunities. Wade Megan, Vili Saarijarvi, Matt Puempel and Axel Holmstrom provided the tallies with Carter Camper supplying an assist for each goal. Grand Rapids scored four power play goals for the first time since banking four in a 9-1 win at Rockford on Feb. 5, 2016, and logged four on home ice for the first time since recording four in a 7-4 win vs. San Diego on Nov. 20, 2015. The three power play goals scored in a 2:35 span in the second period marked the most in a single stanza since logging three during the second period on Feb. 24, 2013 vs. San Antonio (7-3 W). Grand Rapids finished 5-for-8 on the power play in the two-game set against Belleville.

Friendly Confines: The Griffins have points in 17 of their first 20 games at Van Andel Arena (13-3-1-3) and in 12 of their last 13 (9-1-1-2). The Griffins' 30 points at home places fifth in the AHL while their 0.750 points percentage ranks third. Grand Rapids is a +14 in goal differential at home while averaging 3.50 goals, compared to -10 and 2.70 on enemy ice.

Happy Camper: Carter Camper recorded an assist on each of Grand Rapids' four power play goals last Saturday, the first four-assist game by a Griffin since Andy Miele on Dec. 19, 2014 vs. Toronto. It is the second time in his career Camper has logged four or more assists after posting a career-high five as a member of the Tucson Roadrunners on March 2, 2018 at Cleveland. His team-high 22 assists tie for 14th in the AHL.

Puemped Up: Following a goal and two assist performance last Saturday, Matt Puempel picked up his team-leading 12th multi-point game of the season. In comparison, Puempel had 15 in all of 2017-18. The sixth-year pro banked both his 100th career AHL assist and his 200th AHL point on Saturday and needs just one more goal to reach 100 in the AHL. He places second on the team in both goals (16) and points (16).

Z-Score: Skating in his second game back in the Griffins lineup after representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship, rookie forward Filip Zadina posted a season-high three points (2-1-3) in last Friday's 4-3 shootout loss. In his first AHL action since Dec. 19, Zadina recorded three points (2-1-3) and a plus-one rating in three games last week. The sixth overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, the 19-year-old leads the Griffins with four multi-goal games and is one of five Griffins with 10 or more tallies. Among AHL rookies, Zadina ties for 15th in goals.

Saari, Not Saari: Second-year defenseman Vili Saarijarvi registered his first career multi-point game with a three-point effort (1-2-3) in last Saturday's 5-2 victory. Both of Saarijarvi's goals this season have come on the power play. Skating in all 40 games, Saarijarvi ranks third among team defensemen with 10 points (2-8-10).

Between the Pipes: Harri Sateri has points in 10 of his last 12 starts (8-2-2) and has allowed two goals or less in three of his last five games. His 12 victories on the season tie for ninth in the league. Patrik Rybar is on a five-game point streak (3-0-2) and shows a 1.91 GAA and a 0.932 save percentage in that stretch. Skating in his first season in North America, Rybar ranks third in the AHL with a 2.33 overall GAA. Griffin netminders have allowed two goals or less in six of the last 10 games.

Terry Selected for 2019 AHL All-Star Classic: The Griffins' top point producer and the league's leading goal scorer, Chris Terry, has been selected to play for the Central Division All-Star Team at the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, to be held Jan. 27-28 in Springfield, Mass. Terry, in his 10th season as a professional and first in Grand Rapids, has earned his third consecutive AHL All-Star bid and fourth overall (2012). The John B. Sollenberger Trophy award winner from 2017-18 as the league's leading scorer and a reigning AHL First All-Star Team selection, Terry paces the league with 23 goals this season and ranks fourth with 41 points in 40 games while adding a plus-12 rating and 20 PIM. He is bidding to join Teemu Pulkkinen (34 in 2014-15) and Donald MacLean (56 in 2005-06) as the only Griffins to lead the league in goals.

(Don't) Put It In Reverse Terr: The AHL's leading scorer from a season ago, Chris Terry sits atop the league's goal leaderboard with 23. The 10th-year pro has reached the 20-goal plateau for the sixth time in his AHL career and is on pace to become just the third Griffin ever to bank 40 or more goals in a single season. He is also one of three active AHL players with 200 or more career goals. Over the last 23 contests since Nov. 24, Terry has accumulated 25 points (12-13-25), which is the third most in the league in that span. He is situated fourth in the league with 41 points overall.

AHL's Active Goal Leaders:

1) Chris Bourque (BRI) - 242

2) Chris Mueller (TOR) - 208

3) Chris Terry - 206

Page Turner: Turner Elson places fourth on the team with 28 points (12-16-28) and is just two shy of matching his career high of 30, which he has attained twice previously (2014-15 with Adirondack and 2015-16 with Stockton). Sixteen assists has already equaled his career best total from 2015-16. He has also bettered his output from his first season with the Griffins in 2017-18 (9-12-21 in 57 GP). Elson has all three of the Griffins' shorthanded goals this season, which also ties for second in the AHL. Three shorties is the most by a Griffin in a single season since Landon Ferraro and Tomas Nosek both collected three in 2014-15.

Hicks Mix: With Filip Hronek on recall with the Red Wings, third-year pro Joe Hicketts is the team's top defenseman in terms of point production with 12 (2-10-12) in 31 games. He has points in four of the last seven games. Hicketts' two goals this season have come in timely fashion, as he scored the game-tying goal with 1:17 remaining in regulation during a 5-4 shootout win Dec. 15 vs. Milwaukee and netted the game-winner on New Year's Eve against Rockford with 4:44 to play.

Wading Back In: Following nearly a month's stay in the NHL with Detroit where he appeared in five games after being recalled on Dec. 4 and assigned on Jan. 3, veteran center Wade Megan has points in four of five contests back in Grand Rapids' lineup (2-3-5). Megan became the 172nd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he made his Red Wings debut on Nov. 1 vs. New Jersey and has skated in 11 games this season and tallied one assist. Appearing in 19 games with the Griffins, the sixth-year pro shows 12 points (5-7-12) and a plus-seven rating.

Milestones Within Reach:

Vili Saarijarvi - needs three games played to reach 100 as a pro

Carter Camper - needs four goals to reach 100 in the AHL, needs three goals to reach 100 as a pro

Derek Hulak - needs four points to reach 100 in the AHL

Matthew Ford - needs four points to reach 400 in the AHL

Matt Puempel - needs one goal to reach 100 in the AHL

Chicago Notes: Current record 22-13-3-1, 48 points, 3rd Central Division...Grand Rapids is 3-1-0-0 in the season series...The Griffins have won three in a row against Chicago after a six-game winless streak (0-5-0-1 from Dec. 15, 2017-Oct. 13, 2018)...In the most recent meeting on Nov. 28 at Van Andel Arena, Turner Elson and Matt Puempel each scored two goals apiece while goaltender Harri Sateri made 33 saves for a 5-2 win that continued Grand Rapids' five-game point streak...The last time the Griffins traveled to Allstate Arena on Nov. 24, Grand Rapids overcame a two-goal deficit in the first period and Filip Hronek netted the overtime goal for a 4-3 victory...Sateri is 3-0-0 against Chicago with a 2.63 GAA and a 0.914 save percentage...Patrik Rybar made his first start in North America on Oct. 13 at Allstate Arena...Elson leads the team with six points (4-2-6) and a plus-seven rating in four games in the season series...Two of Elson's team-high three shorthanded goals have come against Chicago...Puempel also has four goals vs. the Wolves this season...The Griffins have faced the Wolves 152 times in the regular season, the second most of any Grand Rapids opponent...David Pope (Oct. 13) and Vili Saarijarvi (Oct. 20) both netted their first AHL goals against the Wolves this season...Erik Brannstrom, Daniel Carr and Brandon Pirri were selected to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic.

Chicago Connections: Chicago forward Brooks Macek was originally drafted 171st overall by the Red Wings in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft...Griffins first-year head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Brad Tapper won the Calder Cup as players with the Wolves in 2002, their second consecutive season capturing a league championship together after hoisting the IHL's Turner Cup with the Orlando Solar Bears in 2001...Simon logged 196 games with Chicago from 2001-03 and 2004-05, registering 87 points (37-50-87) and 192 PIM...Tapper appeared in 98 games with the Wolves from 2001-04, tallying 58 points (24-34-58) and 130 PIM...Tapper served as an assistant with the Wolves from 2014-16...First-year Griffin Jake Chelios made his AHL debut with Chicago on April 11, 2014 at Iowa and went on to skate in 45 games with the Wolves from 2013-15, picking up 16 points (1-15-16)...First-year Griffin Wade Megan totaled 99 points (44-55-99), a plus-34 rating and 109 PIM in 136 games with Chicago from 2016-18...Megan paced the AHL with 33 goals during his first season with the Wolves in 2016-17 and was named to the AHL First All-Star Team.

Rockford Notes: Current record 16-16-3-5, 40 points, 7th Central Division...Four of the five games this season have been decided by one goal, including two in overtime...Grand Rapids has points in nine of the last 10 meetings overall (6-1-2-1), including an eight-game streak that lasted from Dec. 23, 2017-Dec. 14, 2018...In the last matchup on New Year's Eve at Van Andel Arena, the Griffins snapped a three-game winless streak (0-1-2-0) against Rockford with a 2-1 victory, thanks to Joe Hicketts scoring the game-winning goal with 4:44 remaining in regulation and Harri Sateri making 31 saves...Chris Terry has a team-high four points (2-2-4) in five games vs. Rockford...Facing Rockford, Sateri is 1-0-1 with a 1.93 GAA and a 0.940 save percentage while Patrik Rybar is 1-1-1 with a 2.01 GAA and a 0.926 save percentage...Andrew Campbell (captain) and goaltender Collin Delia were selected to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic...Former Griffin Derek King is the interim head coach of the IceHogs after Jeremy Colliton was brought up to coach the Blackhawks on Nov. 6...King played in Grand Rapids from 1999-01 and 2002-04 and is the franchise's all-time leading playoff scorer (16-25-41) and ranks fifth in regular season points (73-130-203)...King and Ben Simon were both assistant coaches with the Toronto Marlies in 2014-15...Simon also served as an assistant coach with the IceHogs during the 2012-13 season...AHL firsts coming vs. RFD: Givani Smith first goal (Dec. 7, 2018 at RFD), Colin Campbell first goal (March 29, 2014 vs. RFD), Jake Chelios first point (April 18, 2014 at RFD) and Vili Saarijarvi debut and first point (Oct. 28, 2017 at RFD)...Derek Hulak made his Griffins debut at Rockford on Dec. 7 and potted a goal.

Nightmare on Elm Street: The BMO Harris Bank Center, which lists its mailing address on Elm Street, lately has been a tough venue for the Griffins as they are winless in their last eight trips there (0-4-1-3) and have not come out with a victory since March 25, 2017 (4-0 W). On the flip side, Grand Rapids has points in seven in a row (6-0-1-0) over the 'Hogs at Van Andel Arena and in 11 of the last 12 (10-1-1-0). Since the 2012-13 campaign, Grand Rapids is 23-4-2-1 (0.817) against the IceHogs at the Van and 11-13-1-4 (0.466) at Rockford.

Milwaukee Notes: Current record 19-14-6-1, 45 points, 5th Central Division...The Griffins have points in six of the last eight meetings at Van Andel Arena (4-2-1-1)...Grand Rapids has points in six of the last seven matchups overall (5-1-0-1) and is 12-4-1-1 in the last 18 regular season clashes...In the most recent meeting on Jan. 9 at Milwaukee, Carter Camper, Axel Holmstrom and Matt Puempel lit the lamp while Patrik Rybar turned aside 28 shots to help Grand Rapids to a 3-1 win...In the last matchup at Van Andel Arena on Dec. 15, the Griffins rallied back twice from a two-goal deficit, including Joe Hicketts notching the game-tying goal with 1:17 remaining in regulation, to set up Dominic Turgeon scoring the only goal in the shootout for a 5-4 victory...The Griffins have faced the Admirals more than any other opponent in team history as the two clubs will meet up for the 180th time on Saturday...Admirals netminder Tom McCollum played with the Griffins from 2009-16 and 2017-18 and is the franchise's all-time goalie leader in wins (123), games played (263), minutes (14900:25) and saves (6640), helped Grand Rapids win the 2013 Calder Cup and is the team's only four-time AHL Man of the Year nominee...McCollum picked up his first career win against his former club on Dec. 11 after stopping 26 of 28 shots...In three appearances vs. Grand Rapids, McCollum is 1-0-2 with a 1.93 GAA and a 0.946 save percentage...Griffins first-year head coach Ben Simon skated in 18 games with the Admirals during the 2003-04 campaign and finished with four points (1-3-4)...In five games this season, Matt Puempel has accumulated four goals among six points, both of which are the most for either side...In 14 career games vs. Milwaukee as a Griffin, Puempel has 15 points (8-7-15)...Against the Admirals this season, Patrik Rybar is 1-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA and a 0.947 save percentage while Harri Sateri is 2-1-0 with a 2.97 GAA and a 0.873 save percentage...Turner Elson (Oct. 11, 2013 vs. MIL), Joe Hicketts (Nov. 12, 2016 at MIL) and Trevor Hamilton (Dec. 15, 2018 vs. MIL) all picked up their first AHL goals against the Admirals, while Dominik Shine made his pro debut against Milwaukee (March 19, 2017 at MIL)...Defenseman Matt Donovan was selected to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic.

Win Some, Lose Some: Compare the statistics between the Griffins' 21 wins and 19 (including OT and SO) losses:


W (21) 4.10 2.10 20.22% 89.19% 29.90 28.10

L (19) 2.00 4.00 8.54% 67.14% 31.47 28.53

Back to Backs: This weekend will mark the 14th of 26 times total this season the Griffins will play on consecutive nights. Grand Rapids has won nine of its last 11 on the second night and four of the last five.

W L (incl. OT, SO) GF GA PP% PK% SF SA

First Night 3 10 2.77 3.15 15.79% 77.55% 30.38 27.15

Second Night 9 4 3.23 3.08 15.52% 79.17% 29.62 27.54

Third Night 1 1 4.50 3.00 0.00% 50.00% 36.50 32.50

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal
Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate a goal

(Sam Iannamico/Griffins)

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