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Griffins Head to Manitoba for Weekend Road Series

October 19, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins in action
Grand Rapids Griffins in action
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins)

This Week's Games

GRIFFINS at Manitoba Moose // Fri., Oct. 22 // 8 p.m. EDT // Canada Life Centre

GRIFFINS at Manitoba Moose // Sun., Oct. 24 // 3 p.m. EDT // Canada Life Centre

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:35 p.m. Fri. and 2:35 p.m. Sun.

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: First and second of eight meetings overall, first and second of four at Canada Life Centre

All-Time Series: 65-33-1-1-7 Overall, 30-19-0-0-2 Road

NHL Affiliation: Winnipeg Jets

Noteworthy: This game will mark the first time the two franchises will meet since Jan. 11, 2020 as they did not match up against each other during the 2020-21 campaign. Since the Moose rejoined the AHL in 2015-16, Grand Rapids is 21-9 against them and has outscored them 98-69.

Last Week's Notes

Friday vs. Rockford (6-1 W) - Six different Griffins lit the lamp and five enjoyed two-point nights as Grand Rapids recorded its largest-ever victory in a Van Andel Arena opener. Chase Pearson, Tyler Spezia and Dennis Yan all tallied a goal and an assist while both Ryan Murphy and Kirill Tyutyayev added a pair of helpers. Turner Elson secured his 100th point as a Griffin on a goal off a feed from Jonatan Berggren. Calvin Pickard stood tall in net as he stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced. Grand Rapids' special teams were on full display as the power play went 2-for-3 and the penalty kill went 3-for-3. Recap | Highlights

Saturday at Milwaukee (3-7 L) - Joe Veleno's two-goal outing fell short as the Griffins allowed seven goals during the first meeting against the Admirals since the 2019-20 season. This marked the first time Grand Rapids has lost a road opener by more than two goals, one night after posting its largest margin of victory in a home opener. Seven tallies were also the most goals allowed by the Griffins in a road opener. The Grand Rapids power play added two more goals on the year as it went 2-for-7 in the contest. Victor Brattstrom made 24 saves during his North America debut. Hayden Verbeek skated in his 100th pro game while Dan Renouf appeared in his 300th. Recap | Highlights

Hot Starts: Six different Griffins lit the lamp and five enjoyed two-point nights during the 6-1 victory on opening night against Rockford on Friday, Oct. 15. The five-goal margin is the largest-ever victory in a Van Andel Arena opener. Forwards Taro Hirose and Joe Veleno carried that momentum into last Saturday's game against Milwaukee as both snagged two points. Veleno now has three goals in two games to start the season while Hirose has registered three points (0-3-3) in two outings. Fellow forward Chase Pearson joins the pair with three points (1-2-3) to begin his fourth season as a Griffin. Reigning AHL Defensemen of the Year Ryan Murphy paces the roster with four helpers, which ranks second on the circuit.

Hometown Hero: Holland, Mich. Native Luke Witkowski became the fourth West Michigander to play with the Griffins on Friday against Rockford. Witkowski joined East Grand Rapids native Luke Glendening, Kentwood local Mike Knuble and Muskegon legend Justin Abdelkader. Witkowski spent two years with Detroit from 2017-19 but never saw action in the AHL.

Powerful Play: Following a 2019-20 campaign in which they finished sixth in the AHL's power play rankings at 20.9%, the Griffins exceeded that mark in 2020-21 with a power play conversion rate of 21.5%, the fifth best on the circuit. Grand Rapids' home power play ranked third-to-last in the AHL, converting 13.1% of its chances. However, the road power play was deadly at 30%, which was the second-highest percentage in the league a year ago. This season has been no different through two games as the power play is converting on 40% of its opportunities, which ranks second in the AHL behind San Diego.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins in action
Grand Rapids Griffins in action

(Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins)

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