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Griffins Trek to Texas for Two

October 16, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

This Week's Games

GRIFFINS at Texas Stars // Fri., Oct. 18 // 8 p.m. EDT // H-E-B Center at Cedar Park

GRIFFINS at Texas Stars // Sat., Oct. 19 // 8 p.m. EDT // H-E-B Center at Cedar Park

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

ESPN 96.1 FM at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: First and second of eight meetings overall, first and second of four at the H-E-B Center

All-Time Series: 14-9-2-0 Road, 30-15-2-3 Overall

NHL Affiliation: Dallas Stars

Noteworthy: Grand Rapids finished 5-3 against Texas last season, including 2-2 away.

Last Week's Results

Fri., Oct. 11 Milwaukee Admirals 4 at GRIFFINS 1 1-1-0-0 (2 pts., T3rd Central Division)

Sat., Oct. 12 GRIFFINS 4 at Rockford IceHogs 2 2-1-0-0 (4 pts., T3rd Central)

24th Season Underway: The Grand Rapids Griffins have won two of their first three games to open the 2019-20 campaign. Grand Rapids is 2-0 away from Van Andel Arena and will conclude its three-game road trip this weekend with games at Texas on Friday and Saturday. The Griffins will then wrap up October with four consecutive home contests.

Last Week's Notes:

Friday vs. Milwaukee - Grand Rapids sold out its 24th consecutive home opener and is 13-10-0-1 in those games...The Griffins banked another power play goal and are 4-for-10 to open the season...Chris Terry scored on the man-advantage at 7:22 of the second period...Grand Rapids had its three-game winning streak in home openers snapped.

Saturday at Rockford - Grand Rapids started 2-0 on the road for the ninth time in team history and the first since 2016-17...In his pro debut, goaltender Filip Larsson recorded 24 saves to earn the victory...Rookie Jarid Lukosevicius scored his first pro goal at 14:46 of the first period...Michael Rasmussen and Chris Terry both extended their season-opening point streaks to three games...Filip Zadina and Dominik Shine netted their first goals of the season...Grand Rapids finished 1-for-4 on the power play and has at least one PPG in all three games to open the year.

Follow the Leaders:

Player GP G A Pts

Chris Terry 3 2 4 6

Michael Rasmussen 3 2 3 5

Matthew Ford 3 2 2 4

Goalies GP Record GAA SV%

Filip Larsson 1 1-0-0 2.01 0.923

Calvin Pickard 2 1-1-0 4.02 0.881

Back Up, Terr: The Griffins' leading scorer a season ago with 61 points (29-32-61) in 69 games, Chris Terry has picked up where he left off by recording a three-game point streak and a team-high six points (2-4-6) to begin the new year.

All That Ras: Second-year pro Michael Rasmussen is averaging better than a point per game in his Griffins career, showing seven (4-3-7) in six. Appearing in three games with Grand Rapids last season while on a conditioning stint, he tallied two goals in three games. The ninth overall selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, Rasmussen is on a three-game point streak to open the season and places second on the team with five points (2-3-5).

Lighting It Up: It's only been three games, but the Griffins pace the AHL in power play efficiency at 35.7% (5-for-14) and have scored in every contest. In comparison, Grand Rapids recorded one power play streak of three games or more last season (3, Dec. 11-15). Chris Terry and Michael Rasmussen lead the team with three power play points each (1-2-3).

Rookie, Rookie, Rookie, Rookie, Rockin' Everywhere: Through three games this season, seven rookies have played for the Griffins - Ryan Kuffner, Filip Larsson, Gustav Lindstrom, Jarid Lukosevicius, Gregor MacLeod, Moritz Seider and Joe Veleno. Dressing seven rookies ties for the most in the franchise's last 12 seasons through three games, equaling the seven from last year's club (Marcus Crawford, Trevor Hamilton, David Pope, Givani Smith, Mackenze Stewart, Trevor Yates, Filip Zadina) and the 2011-12 team (Louis-Marc Aubry, Mitch Callahan, Adam Estoclet, Landon Ferraro, Andrej Nestrasil, Gustav Nyquist, Trevor Parks).

Living Lars: Filip Larsson became the fifth Griffins rookie goalie in the team's AHL era (since 2001-02) to pick up the win in his AHL debut after his 24-save performance last Saturday at Rockford, joining Petr Mrazek (Nov. 3, 2012 at Texas), Tom McCollum (Oct. 3, 2009 at Peoria), Jimmy Howard (Oct. 28, 2005 vs. Iowa) and Simon Lajeunesse (Dec. 12, 2001 at Utah). The 21-year-old Larsson was selected in the sixth round by the Red Wings in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

First Things First: Grand Rapids' roster currently features five recent Detroit first-round draft picks (Moritz Seider 2019, Filip Zadina 2018, Joe Veleno 2018, Michael Rasmussen 2017, Evgeny Svechnikov 2015). Five of the Red Wings' last six first rounders are on the west side of the state, with the exception being Dennis Cholowski (2016), who made Detroit's roster following training camp. From 2002-15, the Griffins had only seven Detroit first rounders total suit up for them: Jakub Kindl (2005-11; 14-15), Niklas Kronwall (2003-06), Dylan Larkin (2015 playoffs only), Anthony Mantha (2014-15), Tom McCollum (2009-15), Riley Sheahan (2011-14) and Brendan Smith (2010-13). The Griffins' opening night lineup had five Detroit first rounders in it, far surpassing the previous record of two. The Griffins had never seen more than three Red Wings first rounders suit up for the club at any point in the same season until this year. Adding in Matt Puempel (24th overall by Ottawa in 2011) and Dylan McIlrath (10th overall by the New York Rangers in 2010), Grand Rapids' roster boasts seven former first-round draft selections.

Model Year: As part of his career-high-tying four-point night on Oct. 5, fourth-year Griffin Matthew Ford notched his 100th career point as a Griffin and became the 41st player in team history to hit the century mark. In his third year as captain of the club, Ford is Grand Rapids' active leader in goals scored with 49.

Simon Says: Ben Simon, 41, is in his second season as Grand Rapids' head coach. In his first year, he guided the Griffins to a 38-27-7-4 record (87 points, 0.572) and a fourth-place finish in the Central Division while becoming the eighth head coach in franchise history to lead the Griffins to the postseason during his first full season behind the bench. Simon served as an assistant coach in Grand Rapids from 2015-18 under Todd Nelson and helped the franchise win its second Calder Cup in 2017. He is the fourth former Griffins assistant to then become the head coach. Appearing in 21 games and scoring nine points (4-5-9) with the Griffins in 2006-07 as part of an 11-year professional playing career, Simon is the third former Griffins player to serve as Grand Rapids' head coach, joining Nelson and Danton Cole (2002-05).

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 967-657-27-58-112 (0.585) 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' 307 regular season wins since the 2012-13 campaign rank second behind only Toronto's 320 and the Griffins' 665 points in that span are third, trailing Toronto (693) and Providence (666)...Since the affiliation began in 2002-03, 89 Griffins have gone on to play for the Red Wings...In fact, 27 Griffins alumni wore the Winged Wheel during the 2018-19 season.

Milestones Within Reach:

Calvin Pickard - needs six wins to reach 100 in the AHL

Brian Lashoff - needs two points to reach 100 as a Griffin/in the AHL

Chris Terry - needs seven assists to reach 300 in the AHL

Matthew Ford - needs two goals to reach 200 in the AHL. Needs two games played to reach 700 as a pro

Matt Puempel - needs three games played to reach 300 in the AHL

Roster Breakdown: Nineteen players (forwards Turner Elson, Ryan Kuffner, Matt Puempel, Michael Rasmussen, Givani Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov, Chris Terry, Dominic Turgeon, Joe Veleno and Filip Zadina; defensemen Joe Hicketts, Oliwer Kaski, Brian Lashoff, Gustav Lindstrom, Dylan McIlrath, Vili Saarijarvi and Moritz Seider; goaltenders Filip Larsson and Calvin Pickard) on the roster are under contract with the Red Wings, while five players (forwards Matthew Ford, Troy Loggins, Jarid Lukosevicius, Gregor MacLeod and Dominik Shine) are playing on a Griffins contract. Ten players are Red Wings draft picks (Larsson, Lindstrom, Rasmussen, Saarijarvi, Seider, Smith, Svechnikov, Turgeon, Veleno and Zadina).

Texas Notes: In 2018-19, the Griffins finished 2-2 against the Stars at the H-E-B Center and 5-3 overall, outscoring Texas 30-28...Grand Rapids claimed five of the last six meetings between the teams last season...Chris Terry led the Griffins in the 2018-19 season series with 13 points (6-7-13) in eight games, including a career-high five-point effort (2-3-5) last March 6...Grand Rapids is 9-4-1-0 at Texas since Jan. 25, 2014...Longtime Star Travis Morin announced his retirement from professional hockey this past summer and will have his No. 23 raised to the rafters on Saturday...The team's regular season franchise leader with 686 games played, 560 points, 175 goals and 385 assists, Morin won both the regular season MVP and playoff MVP in 2013-14 while helping the Stars win the Calder Cup...In 45 career regular season games against the Griffins, Morin totaled 32 points (14-18-32)...He faced the Griffins once in the postseason, in the 2014 Western Conference Semifinals, and logged six assists in six games.

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