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Griffins Host Wild and Condors to End Homestand

March 10, 2020 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Moritz Seider
Grand Rapids Griffins defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Moritz Seider
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Dominic Stankiewicz/Griffins)

This Week's Games

GRIFFINS vs. Iowa Wild // Wed., March 11 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

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

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 1-0-1-0 Home, 1-2-2-0 Overall. Sixth of six meetings overall, third of three at Van Andel Arena

All-Time Series: 15-6-2-2 Home, 32-14-3-2 Overall

NHL Affiliation: Minnesota Wild

Noteworthy: Grand Rapids has points in four of the last five meetings in West Michigan and in eight of the last 12 overall.

GRIFFINS vs. Bakersfield Condors // Fri., March 13 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

GRIFFINS vs. Bakersfield Condors // Sat., March 14 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

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

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 0-0-0-0 Home, 1-1-0-0 Overall. Third and fourth of four meetings overall, first and second of two at Van Andel Arena

All-Time Series: 0-1-0-0 Home, 1-3-0-0 Overall

NHL Affiliation: Edmonton Oilers

Noteworthy: Bakersfield will make its first appearance at Van Andel Arena since beating the Griffins 3-2 on April 16, 2016.

Last Week's Results

Tue., March 3 GRIFFINS 4 at San Antonio Rampage 3 27-26-3-4 (61 pts., 3rd Central Division)

Fri., March 6 GRIFFINS 0 at Rockford IceHogs 4 27-27-3-4 (61 pts., T3rd Central)

Sat., March 7 Rockford IceHogs 0 at GRIFFINS 3 28-27-3-4 (63 pts., 3rd Central)

Status Update: Five weeks and 14 games remain in the regular season for the Grand Rapids Griffins, who have won two of their last three and are alone in third place in the Central Division with 63 points. Chicago (62), Rockford (62), San Antonio (60) and Texas (59) sit right behind. Grand Rapids concludes its four-game homestand this week when the Griffins host second-place Iowa on Wednesday and the Pacific Division's Bakersfield Condors on Friday and Saturday.

Last Week's Notes:

Tuesday at San Antonio (4-3 W) - Grand Rapids snapped a four-game losing streak to San Antonio...Turner Elson netted his eighth career two-goal game and first since Nov. 28, 2018 vs. CHI...Matt Puempel extended his point streak to four games (1-4-5) after scoring his 15th goal of the season and fifth on the power play...Chris Terry bagged his team-high 20th goal of the year...Pat Nagle stopped 44 of 47 shots, setting career highs for both saves and shots faced...San Antonio's 47 shots were the most by a Griffins' opponent this season...Grand Rapids was held to 20 shots, which tied a season low... This was the last regular season game in San Antonio for the Griffins as the Rampage will be moving to Las Vegas starting next year...Grand Rapids finished with an all-time road record of 26-18-0-2-1 in San Antonio.

Friday at Rockford (0-4 L) - Grand Rapids was held off the scoresheet for the sixth time this season and first since Jan. 4 at Texas...Moritz Seider returned to the lineup after missing the previous four games due to injury...The Griffins finished 2-3 at the BMO Harris Bank Center, their most wins at the venue since collecting three in 2016-17...Grand Rapids had its five-game power play goal streak snapped...Rockford's 5-on-3 power play goal at 16:05 of the third period ended the Griffins' streak of consecutive penalties killed against the IceHogs at 26.

Saturday vs. Rockford (3-0 W) - Behind 35 saves, Calvin Pickard recorded his third shutout of the season and 15th of his AHL career...Matt Puempel (16), Chris Terry (PP, 21) and Taro Hirose (5) provided the goals...The Griffins sold out their fourth home game of the year (10,834)...Grand Rapids finished the 10-game season series with a 5-3-0-2 record, notching wins in three of the last four matchups and points in five of the last six...The Griffins went 36-for-38 (94.7%) on the penalty kill against Rockford in the series and both of the IceHogs' power play goals came with a two-man advantage.

Follow the Leaders:

Player GP G A Pts

Chris Terry 57 21 30 51

Matt Puempel 45 16 22 38

Joe Hicketts 50 2 25 27

Matthew Ford 51 10 16 26

Taro Hirose 34 5 21 26

Goalies GP Record GAA SV%

Pat Nagle 20 9-8-1 2.32 0.920

Calvin Pickard 32 16-12-4 2.92 0.902

Home Cooking: The Griffins have points in 11 of their last 14 home games (8-3-1-2) and are 14-11-2-3 overall at Van Andel Arena. Eight of the team's final 14 games will come inside friendly confines.

Isn't That Special: The Griffins have converted on the power play in six of their last seven games overall, going 7-for-28 (25%) in the stretch. The power play has accounted for 29.5% of Grand Rapids' goals and five different players have contributed five or more tallies, led by Chris Terry's 11. In the last eight home appearances, the Griffins have contributed a power play goal in seven of those and gone 10-for-37 (27.0%).

Red Wings Report: There have been 13 players who have played for both Detroit and Grand Rapids this season - Madison Bowey, Dennis Cholowski, Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard (conditioning), Joe Hicketts, Taro Hirose, Brian Lashoff, Gustav Lindstrom, Dylan McIlrath, Calvin Pickard, Givani Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov and Filip Zadina.

Lindstrom's First: Defenseman Gustav Lindstrom picked up his first NHL point while earning the primary assist on Robby Fabbri's game-winning power play goal in Detroit's 2-1 home decision against Chicago last Friday. Lindstrom became the 184th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he debuted on Feb. 6 at Buffalo. Selected in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, Lindstrom is averaging 16:18 of ice time in 15 games with the Red Wings.

Playoff FYI: Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs. The top four teams in each division, ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available), will qualify for the postseason. Based on points percentage (0.508), Grand Rapids is currently tied for third in the Central Division.

Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin Pickard notched his third shutout of the season last Saturday and all three have come at Van Andel Arena (Jan. 10 vs. MB, Oct. 23 vs. MIL). In his last eight home appearances, Pickard shows a 4-2-2 record, a 1.74 GAA, a 0.940 save mark (221-for-235) and two clean sheets.

Back Up, Terr: With 21 goals among 51 points, Chris Terry has racked up 20-plus goals in seven of his nine full AHL seasons and 50-plus points in eight of nine. Overall, he places ninth in the AHL in points (51) while pacing the Griffins in goals (21), assists (30), multi-point games (15) and power play goals (11). His 11 PPG tie for sixth in the league. Terry also led Grand Rapids with 61 points last season and the most recent player to lead GR in scoring in consecutive seasons was Andy Miele in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Puemped Up: Matt Puempel has points in five of his last six outings (2-4-6) and goals in two of the last three. The third-year Griffin ranks second on the team in both goals (16) and points (38).

Net Nagle: Pat Nagle is 6-3 with a 2.33 GAA and a 0.925 save percentage in his last 10 appearances. He faced a career-high 47 shots in last Tuesday's win at San Antonio and stopped a career-high 44 of them. He has allowed two goals or less in five of his last nine starts. The former Ferris State Bulldog has appeared in 20 games for Grand Rapids this season after totaling only eight games in the AHL - including three with the Griffins - during his first eight pro seasons. If Nagle had enough minutes to qualify (3:44 shy), his 2.32 overall season GAA would be seventh in the AHL.

Tar-Oh!: Taro Hirose's 26 points and 21 assists in 34 GP are both team highs since Dec. 3 - the date of his first assignment by Detroit to GR. The former Michigan State Spartan has collected 15 points in his last 17 outings.

Lashoff 500: One of only three players in franchise history to be a part of Grand Rapids' 2017 and 2013 Calder Cup championship teams, defenseman Brian Lashoff needs one more game to become only the second player in team history with 500 or more regular season games played (first chart). There have been 525 players suit up for the Griffins in their 24-year history. Lashoff's 499 career regular season appearances rank first among active AHL players who have spent their entire AHL career with the same club and rank ninth all time in league history (second chart).

Rotating Roster: The Red Wings have recalled or assigned a player from or to Grand Rapids 85 times this season and the Griffins have used 40 different players, including five goalies and 16 different defensemen. In comparison, here is how the current usage stacks up to the final player counts in recent seasons: 2018-19 - 41 players, 2017-18 - 32, 2016-17 - 39, 2015-16 - 37 and 2014-15 - 39.

Milestones Within Reach:

Turner Elson - two points away from 150 in the AHL

Brian Lashoff - one game away from 500 as a Griffin/in the AHL

Michael Rasmussen - one game away from 100 as a pro

Dylan McIlrath - four games away from 400 in the AHL

Griffins in General: Grand Rapids is in the franchise's 24th overall season of play, 19th as a member of the American Hockey League and 18th as the primary affiliate of the 11-time Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings...Grand Rapids is 993-683-27-61-116 (0.583) in the regular season since 1996-97 to go along with 17 playoff appearances, seven division titles and two Calder Cups (2017, 2013)...The Griffins have earned 40 or more wins and accumulated 90 or more points in six of the last seven seasons...Grand Rapids has qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in a franchise-record seven consecutive seasons and advanced to at least the second round on five occasions...The Griffins' 8-5 season-opening win at Chicago on Oct. 5 marked the club's 750th win in the AHL...Grand Rapids' 333 regular season wins since the 2012-13 campaign are third, behind only Providence's 335 and Toronto's 346 while the Griffins' 724 points in that span are also third, trailing Providence (740) and Toronto (750).

Iowa Notes: Current record 37-17-4-4, 82 points, 2nd Central Division...If the season ended today, Grand Rapids and Iowa would meet in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs...Iowa ranks second in the AHL with 82 points and a 0.661 points percentage...Wednesday finishes a six-game road trip for the Wild and they are 2-1-1-1 so far...In the last meeting on Jan. 31 at Wells Fargo Arena, which was the Griffins' first game after the all-star break, Iowa won 4-1...The last time the teams met at Van Andel Arena on Jan. 22, Chris Terry scored the game-tying goal with 57 seconds left in regulation and Grand Rapids claimed a 4-3 shootout victory...Terry (2-2-4 in 5 GP), Taro Hirose (1-3-4 in 4 GP) and Matt Puempel (0-4-4 in 5 GP) lead Grand Rapids in scoring vs. Iowa...Grand Rapids has points in four of the last five meetings in West Michigan (1-1-2-1) and in eight of the last 12 overall (4-4-3-1)...The Griffins won 20 of the first 24 all-time matchups through Nov. 4, 2016 and outscored the Wild 91-43...Since then, Iowa has gone 15-4-2-6 (Griffins' record 12-10-3-2) and outscored Grand Rapids 87-76...19 of the last 29 matchups, which dates to the beginning of the 2016-17 season, have been decided by one goal, including 13 that have been tied after regulation.

Bakersfield Notes: Current record 21-27-5-3, 50 points, 6th Pacific Division...The clubs are matching up for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign as Bakersfield will make its first appearance at Van Andel Arena since beating the Griffins 3-2 on April 16, 2016...The teams split the first two meetings of the season in California, as Taro Hirose scored his second of the night with 12 seconds left in overtime to give the Griffins a 6-5 victory on Dec. 13 and Bakersfield edged Grand Rapids 2-1 a night later...Kyle Wood made his Griffins debut on Dec. 13...Captain Matt Ford, a Los Angeles native, suited up for the Condors during their inaugural AHL season in 2015-16 and led the team in both points (51) and goals (27) in 64 contests...Grand Rapids shows a 27-20-1-1-3 all-time record (0.567) against Edmonton's AHL affiliates (note this does not include the 2006-07 campaign when Edmonton held partial affiliations with five AHL clubs, one of those being the Griffins)...The Griffins hold a 11-13-1-3 ledger (0.464) against current teams in the Pacific Division, including a 6-6-0-1 mark at home.

Condors Connections: Bakersfield forwards Ryan Kuffner, Tomas Jurco and Luke Esposito are former Griffins...The Red Wings on Feb. 24 acquired center Sam Gagner, a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for center Andreas Athanasiou and forward Ryan Kuffner...In 32 games for Grand Rapids this season, his first full as a pro, Kuffner totaled nine points (6-3-9)...A 2013 Calder Cup champion, Jurco was chosen in the second round, 35th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit and skated in 113 career games for the Griffins over parts of four seasons (2012-14; 2015-17), and amassed 71 points (33-38-71)...Esposito spent his rookie campaign in 2017-18 with Grand Rapids and recorded eight points (1-7-8) in 31 games.

Win Some, Lose Some: Compare the statistics between the Griffins' 28 wins and 34 (including OT and SO) losses:


W (28) 4.04 2.07 25.00% 85.85% 30.29 30.11

L (34) 1.76 3.94 16.90% 80.33% 31.44 28.74

Back-to-Back: This weekend will mark the 21st of 25 times total this season the Griffins will play on consecutive nights. Grand Rapids is 9-9-1-1 on the first day and 7-11-1-1 on the second.

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

First Night 9 11 2.90 3.05 25.84% 80.77% 32.60 29.30

Second Night 7 13 2.60 3.20 18.29% 84.51% 30.75 27.30

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Moritz Seider
Grand Rapids Griffins defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Moritz Seider

(Dominic Stankiewicz/Griffins)

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