02/01/2011 1:22 PM
This Week’s Games
Last Week’s Results
UnPearceable: The Griffins on Monday nominated rookie goaltender Jordan Pearce for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award, after he went 2-0-1 with a 1.95 GAA and a 0.939 save percentage. He owns a 4-0-1 record in his last five appearances and has allowed more than two goals just once in his last seven starts (5-1-1 since Jan. 13). Pearce leads the Griffins with a 2.77 GAA, a 0.912 save percentage, and a 0.625 winning percentage (7-3-2).
It’s About Time: After snapping a 0-6-1-1 skid versus Rockford with Friday’s 5-2 home win over the IceHogs, the Griffins ended a 10-game drought (0-9-0-1) against the Rivermen with Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Peoria.
Leader of the Pack: Saturday’s contest marked Curt Fraser’s 209th regular season game as the Griffins’ head coach, making him the franchise’s all-time leader over Danton Cole (208 games coached from 2002-05). Fraser’s all-time record stands at 99-85-10-15 (0.533).
Hats Off to Minard: Chris Minard celebrated his 300th AHL game in style on Friday, recording a natural hat trick to blow open a 2-2 game and power the Griffins to a 5-2 victory over Rockford. Minard, a two-time 30-goal scorer in the AHL who entered the night with just five goals on the season, enjoyed his third multi-point outing in a span of five games. Minard’s hat trick, the fifth of his AHL career, was the first by a Griffin this season and his first since Oct. 25, 2009 for Springfield. Following his goal on Saturday at Peoria, he now has points in four of his last six games (5-3—8).
Power Surge: The Griffins scored two power play goals in each of their three games last week (6-for-20, 30%), enabling them to climb into a tie for 11th overall in the AHL on the power play at 19.2%.
All-Star Moment: Griffins forward Ilari Filppula made history during Monday’s AHL All-Star Game in Hershey – won by the East 11-8 over the West – as he and younger brother/current Detroit Red Wing Valtteri became one of just four sets of brothers in AHL history to compete in the league’s all-star game. Ilari, who became the first Griffin to score a goal in the all-star game since 2007 (Kip Miller) and the first to get an assist since 2009 (Jakub Kindl), made his appearance five years after Valtteri, who played in the 2006 event in Winnipeg. Oddly enough, two of the other three sets of AHL all-star siblings have Grand Rapids ties: Nick (2006-07 Griffins) and Gregg Naumenko, and Mark (2007-08 Griffins) and Matt Cullen. Peter and Chris Ferraro round out the quartet. One other set of brothers has represented the Griffins in all-star games, albeit in different leagues. Kip Miller served as captain of the PlanetUSA AHL All-Stars at the game’s 2007 edition in Toronto, while older brother Kevin started in the IHL’s mid-season classic in 2000.
So Long, Jan: The Red Wings on Tuesday recalled right wing Jan Mursak from the Griffins. Mursak, 23, averaged 8:30 in ice time over a 14-game, month-long stint with Detroit that concluded on Jan. 27. He made his NHL debut during Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win at Colorado on Dec. 27, becoming just the second Slovenian-born player to play in the NHL (Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar). Two weeks later, while again visiting the Avalanche on Jan. 10, Detroit’s fifth choice (182nd overall) in 2006 notched his first NHL goal in the Wings’ 5-4 loss. After scoring a goal for Grand Rapids in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Peoria, Mursak ranks among the Griffins’ leaders with 11 goals (T4th), 24 points (T5th) and a plus-eight rating (T3rd) through 35 games.
Who’s Hot?: Francis Pare had consecutive two-point games (1-3—4) prior to Saturday, while Ilari Filppula has three multi-point outings in his last six outings (3-4—7)…Jamie Tardif has goals in three of his last four appearances (3-2—5)…Derek Meech has earned points in seven of the last nine games (2-6—8)…Tomas Tatar has points in six of his last eight games with the Griffins (4-6—10)…Doug Janik owns a three-game point streak (1-3—4).
Milestones: Derek Meech appeared in his 400th pro contest on Friday, which also marked Chris Minard’s 300th AHL game. Meanwhile, Doug Janik is just six games shy of 500 in the league…Jamie Tardif appeared in his 285th Griffins contest on Saturday, moving within eight of Darryl Bootland (293) for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time list…In addition, Tardif’s goal on Saturday was his 66th as a Griffin, moving him past Jiri Hudler into sole possession of sixth place all time.
Fri., Feb. 4 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (27-15-1-4) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 5 vs. Milwaukee Admirals (26-13-2-6) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
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