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GRIFFINS CONCLUDE ROAD TRIP WITH THREE GAMES

This Week’s Games
GRIFFINS at San Antonio Rampage // Tues., Nov. 14 // 11:30 a.m. EST // AT&T Center
Listen: ESPN 96.1 FM at 11:05 a.m.
Watch: AHLLive.com   
Season Series: 0-0-0-0 Road, 1-0-0-0 Overall. Second of four meetings overall, first of two at the AT&T Center
All-Time Series: 20-14-0-2-1 Road, 41-26-1-5-2 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche
Noteworthy: Grand Rapids has won five straight against San Antonio, including last Wednesday’s 7-4 victory at Van Andel Arena.

GRIFFINS at Iowa Wild // Fri., Nov. 17 // 8 p.m. EST // Wells Fargo Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:35 p.m.
Watch: AHLLive.com   
Season Series: First of 10 meetings overall, first of five at Wells Fargo Arena
All-Time Series: 12-3-0-0 Road, 23-6-0-1 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Minnesota Wild
Noteworthy: Matt Lorito led the Griffins with eight points (2-6—8) in six games against the Wild last season.

GRIFFINS at Rockford IceHogs // Sat., Nov. 18 // 7 p.m. EST // BMO Harris Bank Center
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m.
Watch: AHLLive.com
Season Series: 0-1-0-1 Road, 0-1-0-1 Overall. Third of 10 meetings overall, third of five at the BMO Harris Bank Center
All-Time Series: 13-18-2-4 Road, 36-27-3-6 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks
Noteworthy: Four Griffins – Eric Tangradi (2-0—2), Matthew Ford (1-1—2), Matt Lorito (0-2—2) and Ben Street (0-2—2) – are tied with two points to lead Grand Rapids in scoring in two games against Rockford this season.

Last Week’s Results
Wed., Nov. 8    San Antonio Rampage 4 at GRIFFINS 7    6-6-0-1 (13 points, 5th Central)
Fri., Nov. 10    GRIFFINS 1 at Texas Stars 2    6-7-0-1 (13 points, 5th)
Sat., Nov. 11    GRIFFINS 5 at Texas Stars 1    7-7-0-1 (15 points, 5th)

Opening Faceoff: The defending Calder Cup champion Griffins have won four of their last six games to even their record at 7-7-0-1 and place fifth in the Central Division. Grand Rapids concludes its five-game road trip this week with a matinee game at San Antonio on Tuesday before entering back into the division with games at Iowa and Rockford on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Follow the Leaders:
Points: Matt Puempel (5-9—14)
Goals: Matt Lorito (6)
Assists: Puempel (9)
PIM: Dan Renouf (28)
Plus-Minus: Dylan McIlrath (+8)
Goaltender Wins: Jared Coreau (5)
Goals Against Average: Coreau (2.80)
Save Percentage: Coreau (0.907)

Last Week’s Notes: Grand Rapids scored five unanswered goals en route to a 7-4 victory in its annual matinee game on Wednesday against San Antonio…Turner Elson, who was a member of the Rampage last season, notched a Gordie Howe hat trick behind a goal, an assist and a fight…The Griffins have scored seven goals in their last two home matinee games…Captain Matthew Ford recorded his 200th and 201st assists of his pro career on Wednesday…Grand Rapids’ 2-1 loss at Texas on Friday marked the fewest combined goals in a Griffins/Stars game since Grand Rapids beat Texas 2-0 on March 27, 2015…Matt Puempel recorded his first multi-goal game as a Griffin during Saturday’s 5-1 victory at Texas…Ford notched a shorthanded goal in the second period on Saturday…Grand Rapids has three shorthanded goals, which ties for the most in the league.

Back on Track: Grand Rapids has won four of its last six games and has scored five or more goals three times in that stretch. During the six-game span, the Griffins have outshot each of their opponents and are averaging 37.0 shots per game. Grand Rapids is 27-for-27 on the penalty kill over its last six contests.

Bert’s Back: Third-year pro Tyler Bertuzzi is on a four-game point streak and has totaled five points (2-3—5) in five games since returning to the lineup after missing the season’s first 10 games due to injury.

Puemped Up: Matt Puempel, who was acquired by the Red Wings organization in a trade on Oct. 21, has scored 11 points (4-7—11) in nine games with the Griffins and leads the team with a 1.22 points per game average. The 24-year-old has four multi-point outings in a Grand Rapids uniform.

More Than Just a Mask: Since debuting his new cold-activated mask for this season on Nov. 5 against Milwaukee, goaltender Tom McCollum is 2-1-0 in his last three games and shows a 1.47 goals against average while stopping 73-of-77 shots (0.948). The ninth-year pro appeared in his 300th game as a pro last Wednesday and stopped 19-of-20 shots in a relief effort to earn the win. In his eighth season in Grand Rapids, McCollum has 105 victories as a Griffin, which is just four shy of Joey MacDonald’s franchise-record 109 wins. McCollum is already the Griffins’ all-time goaltending leader in games played, minutes and saves.

Matinee Games: Grand Rapids heads to San Antonio on Tuesday for a matinee affair, just six days after the teams met at Van Andel Arena in the Griffins’ 17th annual matinee game last Wednesday. Six days marks the fewest days between weekday matinee games for Grand Rapids, besting the 14 days that elapsed between a Nov. 10, 2010 home matinee game against Milwaukee and a Nov. 24, 2010 matinee at Toronto. The Griffins will be playing two weekday matinee games against the same team in the same season for the first time since Grand Rapids and the Houston Aeros had a home-and-home matinee set in 2003-04. The Griffins beat Houston 6-2 on Nov. 11, 2003 at Van Andel Arena before dropping a 4-1 decision to the Aeros in Texas on Feb. 18, 2004. Grand Rapids is 15-8-2-1 (0.635) all time in matinee games, including a 4-3-2-0 mark on the road. The Griffins will play one more weekday matinee game this season, visiting Chicago on Dec. 21 (noon EST start).

Road Trippin’: Grand Rapids concludes its five-game road trip, which ties for the longest this season, this week. The Griffins also play five straight in away venues from March 31-April 12. Including this current excursion, Grand Rapids has had road trips of at least five games 26 times in the franchise’s 22-year history. The Griffins return to Van Andel Arena on Friday, Nov. 24 against Manitoba.

Whoa, Nelly: Todd Nelson coached in his 500th game as an AHL head coach last Saturday at Texas. He is the fifth active AHL head coach to coach in 500 or more games, joining Roy Sommer (San Jose), Scott Gordon (Lehigh Valley), Kurt Kleinendorst (Belleville) and Rick Kowalsky (Binghamton). In his seventh season as an AHL head coach, Nelson shows a 274-171-14-41 (0.603) all-time mark between Oklahoma City (2010-14) and Grand Rapids (2015-current) and has led his teams to the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of his six full seasons behind the bench, including the 2017 Calder Cup with the Griffins. Now in his third season as Grand Rapids’ head coach, Nelson shows a 98-60-2-7 (0.614) record and needs two wins to become the fifth coach in franchise history to reach the century mark.

Climbing the Charts: Veteran defenseman Brian Lashoff has skated in 342 games with the Griffins, which ties with Louis-Marc Aubry for sixth on the franchise’s all-time list. Lashoff, who made his first appearance with the Griffins at the end of the 2008-09 season, also ranks second on the club’s all-time postseason games played list with 68, as he is one of three players in team history to be a part of both the 2013 and 2017 Calder Cup championships.

Carey Released: Following last Wednesday’s game, the Griffins released left wing Matt Carey from his professional tryout. Carey skated in eight games with Grand Rapids this season, recording one goal, one assist and nine penalty minutes. 

November to Remember: Historically, the month of November has been a fruitful one for Grand Rapids, as the Griffins have posted a 0.500 record or better in the month 16 times in franchise history. Since the 2012-13 season, Grand Rapids has tallied a combined 42-16-1-2 (0.713) record in the 11th month of the year.

Milestones: Several Griffins are nearing career benchmarks, including Colin Campbell (197 pro games), Corey Elkins (96 pro goals), Matt Lorito (49 AHL goals) and Ben Street (299 AHL points). Third-year Griffin Eric Tangradi needs one more goal to become the 23rd player in franchise history to score 50 goals.

Goalie Leaders: Eighth-year Griffin Tom McCollum and fifth-year Griffin Jared Coreau both rank in the top five in several categories in Grand Rapids’ all-time goaltending record book.

Games Played Minutes Wins Saves
1. Tom McCollum (232) 1. Tom McCollum (13053:20) 1. Joey MacDonald (109) 1. Tom McCollum (5796)
2. Joey MacDonald (210) 2. Joey MacDonald (11784:31) 2. Tom McCollum (105) 2. Joey MacDonald (5362)
3. Jimmy Howard (190) 3. Jimmy Howard (10886:40) 3. Jimmy Howard (93) 3. Jimmy Howard (4941)
4. Jared Coreau (121) 4. Jared Coreau (6978:30) 4. Jared Coreau (69) 4. Jared Coreau (3215)


San Antonio Notes: After being swept by the Rampage in all four meetings during the 2015-16 season, the Griffins have won five straight against their Pacific Division foe while outscoring San Antonio 25-7…Grand Rapids defeated San Antonio 7-4 last Wednesday at Van Andel Arena, as the Griffins scored five unanswered goals to close the game…The Griffins finished 3-for-7 on the power play with Matt Lorito accounting for two of those goals…First-year Griffin Turner Elson scored three points (1-2—3) and added 12 PIM as a member of the Rampage in 2016-17 while being limited to 13 games due to injury…In his first game against his former team last Wednesday, Elson recorded a goal, assist and a fight for a Gordie Howe hat trick…Second-year Griffin Ben Street captained the Rampage in 2015-16, his only season in San Antonio…Street was limited to 15 games due to injury but totaled 21 points (7-14—21) and was named San Antonio’s IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year for his community involvement.

Rockford Notes: In the last meeting between the teams on Oc. 28, Rockford scored three power play goals in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and defeat Grand Rapids 4-3…The Griffins have not allowed a power play goal since that third period on Oct. 28…Four Griffins - Eric Tangradi (2-0—2), Matthew Ford (1-1—2), Matt Lorito (0-2—2) and Ben Street (0-2—2) - are tied with two points to lead Grand Rapids in scoring in two games against Rockford this season…Jared Coreau has started both games against the IceHogs this season and posts a 2.93 goals against average and a 0.922 save percentage…Thirty-two-year-old Jeremy Colliton is in his first season behind Rockford’s bench after serving as the head coach the previous four seasons for Mora IK in Sweden…After the IceHogs joined the AHL in 2007-08, Grand Rapids posted a 2-7-2-2 record (0.308) in its first 13 games at Rockford through 2011-12...Since the start of the 2012-13 season, the Griffins are 11-11-0-2 (0.500) in 24 games at Rockford...In that same time frame, Grand Rapids is 17-3-1-1 (0.818) in 22 regular-season games against Rockford at Van Andel Arena. 

Former Griffins Galore: Former Griffin Tomas Jurco has 10 points (4-6—10) in 14 games with the IceHogs, but has been held off the scoresheet in two games against Grand Rapids this season. Detroit’s first choice, 35th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Jurco appeared in 113 games with the Griffins from 2012-14 and 2015-17, totaling 71 points (33-38—71), a plus-20 rating and 46 PIM. He added 21 points (13-8—21) in 32 Calder Cup Playoff games and helped Grand Rapids win the 2013 Calder Cup. Jurco appeared in 159 games with the Detroit Red Wings from 2013-17 and tallied 39 points (15-24—39) before being traded to the Blackhawks organization in February 2017. Former Griffins Derek King and Sheldon Brookbank serve as assistant coaches on Jeremy Colliton’s staff. King, who played in Grand Rapids from 1999-01 and 2002-04, is the franchise’s all-time leading playoff scorer (16-25—41) and ranks fifth in regular season points (73-130—203). Brookbank skated in 75 games with the Griffins from 2001-03, scoring 14 points (2-12—14) and adding 160 PIM.

Iowa Notes: Grand Rapids won the first eight all-time meetings between the teams at Wells Fargo Arena and is 12-3-0-0 all time at Iowa…Former Griffin Landon Ferraro signed a free-agent deal with the Minnesota Wild last summer and has spent time with both the organization’s NHL and AHL teams already this season…He has three points (1-2—3) in five games with Iowa and one goal in two games with Minnesota…A second-round draft selection by Detroit in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Ferraro tallied 140 points (75-65—140) in 270 games with the Griffins over parts of five seasons (2009-10; 2011-15) and ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders with 75 goals (T6th), seven shorthanded goals (T2nd) and 12 game-winning goals (T6th)…He added 19 points (6-13—19) in 33 playoff games and helped Grand Rapids win the 2013 Calder Cup…Iowa is celebrating its fifth season as an AHL franchise…Over its first four seasons in the AHL, Iowa has seen 32 of its players also skate for the parent club in Minnesota…Derek Lalonde is in his second season at the helm of the Wild after spending the previous two years as head coach of the Toledo Walleye, the ECHL affiliate of the Red Wings and Griffins.

Up and Down: With a 7-7-0-1 record through 15 games, take a look at how the statistics compare between the Griffins’ seven wins and eight (including overtime and shootout) losses. Eleven of the 15 games have been decided by two or more goals. Grand Rapids has scored five or more goals in six of its seven victories.

  GF GA PP % PK % SF SA
W (7) 5.29 2.43 30.00% 93.75% 35.00 29.43
L (8) 1.38 3.63 10.34% 77.27% 32.00 30.63


Back-to-Backs: The Griffins will play back-to-back games a total of 24 times this season. Compare the statistics for when Grand Rapids has played on consecutive nights:

  W L (incl. OT, SO) GF GA PP% PK% SF SA
First Night 3 2 4.00 2.60 22.73% 84.21% 32.00 31.20
Second Night 1 4 2.40 4.00 12.50% 72.00% 31.40 32.40


Championship Effects: Since 2001-02, the year Grand Rapids joined the AHL, nine Calder Cup champions have gone on to qualify for the postseason in the following season, including the Griffins, who reached the conference semifinals in 2014 after winning the franchise’s first championship in 2013. Only one team in this 16-year span repeated as champions (Hershey in 2009 and 2010).

Walleye Report: Under second-year head coach Dan Watson, the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye are on a six-game point streak (5-0-1-0) and lead the Central Division with a 7-2-2-0 record (16 points). Christian Hilbrich (4-5—9) and Griffins-contracted Mike Borkowski (4-5—9) tie for the team lead with nine points apiece. Griffins-contracted Pat Nagle has points in all nine of his starts this season (7-0-2) and leads the league with seven wins while placing sixth with a 2.27 goals against average and a 11th with a 0.923 save percentage.