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Griffins Welcome Rockford for Two-Game Set, Travel to Cleveland

November 30, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Calvin Pickard and defenseman Wyatt Newpower vs. the Rockford IceHogs
Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Calvin Pickard and defenseman Wyatt Newpower vs. the Rockford IceHogs
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Todd Reicher/Rockford IceHogs)

This Week's Games

GRIFFINS vs. Rockford IceHogs // Fri., Dec. 3 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

GRIFFINS vs. Rockford IceHogs // Sat., Dec. 4 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 96.1 The Game at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 2-0-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Home. Third and fourth of eight meetings overall, second and third of four at Van Andel Arena

All-Time Series: 54-36-9-11 Overall, 34-11-5-5 Home

NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks

Noteworthy: Dating back to the final meeting of the 2019-20 season, Grand Rapids now has points in 10 of the last 11 meetings (7-1-2-1) against Rockford. The Griffins are 15-3-4-3 against the IceHogs in the past five years on home ice, outscoring them 76-50.

GRIFFINS at Cleveland Monsters // Mon., Dec. 6 // 7 p.m. // Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

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

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: First of eight meetings overall, first of four at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

All-Time Series: 61-34-5-10 Overall, 26-17-4-8 Road

NHL Affiliation: Columbus Blue Jackets

Noteworthy: Cleveland returned to the North Division after spending the 2020-21 season in the Central Division. Grand Rapids went 6-2 against the Monsters last year and possess a 7-3 record against Cleveland in the past 10 meetings.

Last Week's Results

Wed., Nov. 24 // GRIFFINS 6 at Milwaukee Admirals 3 // 7-5-2-1 (17 pts., 0.567, 4th Central Division)

Fri., Nov. 26 // GRIFFINS 3 vs. Chicago Wolves 5 // 7-6-2-1 (17 pts., 0.531, 4th Central Division)

Sun., Nov. 28 // GRIFFINS 1 at Chicago Wolves 3 // 7-7-2-1 (17 pts., 0.500, 4th Central Division)

Last Week's Notes

Wednesday at Milwaukee (6-3 W) - The Griffins extended their road point streak to six games (4-0-1-1) with a 6-3 victory in Milwaukee. Kyle Criscuolo (1-2-3), Jonatan Berggren (1-1-2) and Dominik Shine (2-0-2) each recorded multi-point games. Calvin Pickard notched his seventh win of the season and led the team to points for the eighth straight decision (6-0-2-0). Tyler Spezia bagged his 50th assist as a pro and Brett McKenzie skated in his 150th game as a pro. Recap | Highlights

Friday vs. Chicago (3-5 L) - The Wolves scored five unanswered goals in the third period, including three in the final 1:36, to take a stunning 5-3 victory over the Griffins. Jared McIsaac picked up his first two goals as a pro and Kyle Criscuolo amassed three points (1-2-3) for the second consecutive contest. Criscuolo's three-game goal streak tied Jonatan Berggren (Oct. 30-Nov. 5) for the longest on the team this season. Calvin Pickard made his fifth straight start and ninth consecutive appearance, both personal highs as a Griffin. Recap | Highlights

Sunday at Chicago (1-3 L) - Grand Rapids failed to get its first win of the season in five tries against the Wolves and have been held winless in the past six meetings against Chicago, dating back to last season. The defeat snapped the Griffins' six-game road point streak (4-0-1-1). Kyle Criscuolo extended his point streak (3-6-9) to four games while defenseman Ryan Murphy tallied the lone goal for Grand Rapids. Calvin Pickard made his sixth straight start and has appeared in 12 out of the 17 games this year, marking his 50th game as a Griffin and 250th in the AHL. Matt Berry made his Griffins debut after being signed to a PTO earlier that morning. Recap | Highlights

Huffin' and Puffin': So far this season, the Griffins are 0-4-1-0 (0.100) against the Central Division-leading Chicago Wolves and 7-3-1-1 (0.667) against the rest of the AHL.

Cris-COOL-o: After being sidelined in the season's first four games due to an injury, center Kyle Criscuolo has made up for his lost time with 12 points (5-7-12) in just as many outings. The Harvard University graduate logged a two-game point streak (1-1-2) from Oct. 30-31 and surpassed that mark with an active four-game point streak (3-6-9) from Nov. 20-28. He posted back-to-back three-point (1-2-3) nights last week against Milwaukee and Chicago. Criscuolo's three-game goal streak (Nov. 20-26) tied Jonatan Berggren (Oct. 30-Nov. 5) for the longest on the team this season. The sixth-year pro is tied for third on the roster with 12 points. On Monday, Criscuolo was recalled by Detroit.

High-Flying Hirose: After leading the Griffins in assists a year ago with 23, Taro Hirose has picked off right where he left off as he has bagged 13 helpers in the opening 17 games, which is a team high and tied for fifth in the league. Eight assists have come on the power play, which is tied for third in the AHL. Hirose saw his six-game point streak (2-7-9) from Oct. 30-Nov. 13 come to an end on Nov. 17 against Chicago. Hirose's 17 points (4-13-17) this season pace the Griffins and are tied for ninth on the circuit.

Calvin's University: Goaltender Calvin Pickard is off to a fast start, as he has allowed two goals or less in seven of his 14 appearances this season. Pickard recorded his first shutout of the season and fourth as a Griffin on Nov. 12 against Manitoba, moving him into a tie for 10th place in franchise history with Jani Hurme, Martin Prusek, and Eddie Pasquale. The 10-year pro currently is tied for 12th in the AHL with a 2.48 goals against average while his 0.926 save percentage places fourth. Pickard played in just nine games in North America a season ago due to being assigned to Detroit's taxi squad for much of the year. The Moncton, New Brunswick, native also spent some time with Vienna in the ICEHL last season, logging six games and a 1.96 goals against average.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Calvin Pickard and defenseman Wyatt Newpower vs. the Rockford IceHogs
Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Calvin Pickard and defenseman Wyatt Newpower vs. the Rockford IceHogs

(Todd Reicher/Rockford IceHogs)

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