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Game Notes: Griffins at Admirals - Dec. 2, 2023

Dec 02, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

Grand Rapids Griffins (7-8-1-1) at Milwaukee Admirals (9-7-1-0)

Game Time: 7 p.m. at Panther Arena

December 2, 2023  ·  2 Minutes

Game Day Preview - December 2 at Milwaukee Admirals

Griffins Game #18 * Road Game #8 * AHL Game #300

Season Series: 2-0-0-0 Home Series: 1-0-0-0 Road Series: 1-0-0-0
All-Time Series:
111-80-7-8-8 All-Time Home Series: 59-38-2-3-3 All-Time Road Series: 52-42-5-5-5

Griffins at Admirals
Third of eight meetings overall, second of four at Panther Arena…Grand Rapids is 13-16-1-0 (.450) against Milwaukee since the 2019-20 campaign...Dating back to the 2019-20 season, the Griffins are 6-8-0-0 (.429) against the Admirals in Milwaukee with a minus-13 scoring margin (44-31)...The Admirals are 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 games and the Griffins are 5-5-0-0...Milwaukee is 4-3-0-0 at home this season, while Grand Rapids is 1-5-0-1 on the road with its only road victory coming against the Admirals...Milwaukee’s penalty kill is tied for ninth at 84.7% while its power play ranks 16th at 17.8%...Admirals’ goaltender Yaroslav Askarov ranks sixth in the AHL with a 2.10 GAA. In seven career games played against the Griffins, Askarov holds a 3-4-0 record with a 1.88 GAA...Grand Rapids has faced Milwaukee more than any other opponent – 215th meeting tonight – and the Griffins’ 111 victories against the Admirals are the most against any foe…Former Griffin Jasper Weatherby (2022-23) is featured on Milwaukee’s roster.

Last Time Out
Simon Edvinsson’s
two-goal performance and Sebastian Cossa’s 35 saves sailed the Griffins to a 4-1 win against the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday at Van Andel Arena. With Jared McIsaac’s first goal of the season, he collected his 50th point both professionally and as a Griffin while he skated in his 150th game with the club. Taro Hirose’s assist on Edvinsson’s second goal put him in sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assist list with 136. The victory put the Griffins' win streak at two games, which tied their previous season high from opening weekend (Oct. 13-14).

Roster Shake Up
- Nov. 16—G John Lethemon reassigned to Grand Rapids from Toledo (ECHL) by Detroit; F Riley Sawchuk assigned to Toledo (ECHL) by Grand Rapids
- Nov. 19—G John Lethemon reassigned to Toledo (ECHL) from Grand Rapids by Detroit; F Austin Czarnik reassigned by Detroit
- Nov. 28—F Jonatan Berggren recalled by Detroit
- Dec. 1—F Jonatan Berggren reassigned by Detroit; D Antti Tuomisto reassigned to Toledo (ECHL) from Grand Rapids by Detroit

This Date in Griffins History
2006: Jimmy Howard earns his 36th Griffins career victory with a 4-1 win over the Rochester Americans, moving him past Pokey Reddick (35) into fifth place on the franchise’s all-time list. Kip Miller earns an assist on Darryl Bootland’s goal, giving him his 1,100th point of his pro career.

Long Detour
The Griffins concluded their four-game homestand last night against the Milwaukee Admirals and finished the stretch of games with a 3-1-0-0 record. Now, Grand Rapids will head out on a five-game road trip, beginning tonight in Milwaukee. Grand Rapids will also play nine of its next 11 games on the road. The Griffins have not faired well in foreign territory this season, as they are 1-5-0-1 with a minus-12 scoring margin. However, at home Grand Rapids is 6-3-1-0 (.650) with a plus-eight margin inside Van Andel Arena.

Clutch Hutch
On Wednesday, goaltender Michael Hutchinson registered his first shutout of the season, making 32 saves in a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Wolves. This was Hutchinson’s first shutout since May 17, 2021, a 39-save performance for the Toronto Marlies in a 2-0 win at Laval. The shutout on Wednesday was the netminders 16th in the AHL, with his previous three AHL shutouts coming against Laval as a member of the Marlies. In addition to the shutout on Wednesday, Hutchinson recorded his fourth career AHL helper, logging a secondary assist on the first goal of the game. The Barrie, Ontario, native has appeared in nine games with the Griffins this season and has showed a 2.84 GAA, a .905 save percentage and a 4-5-0 ledger.

It’s Taco Time
Taro Hirose
is currently on a season-high six-game point streak (3-6—9) from Nov. 17-Dec. 1, which is the longest run of the campaign by a Griffin. Hirose, who has competed for the Griffins for the past five seasons, has also continued to climb the Griffins’ all-time leaderboard for assists and points. Last night, Hirose claimed sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assists list with 136 and is 46 helpers from tying Travis Richards (2001-06) for second. The Calgary, Alberta, native also ranks eighth on the team’s all-time points list with 183 and is three points from tying Mitch Callahan (2011-17) for seventh place.

Return of the Czar
Veteran and alternate captain Austin Czarnik was reassigned to the Griffins by Detroit on Nov. 19. Last weekend’s games were the first for Czarnik in a Griffins uniform since opening weekend from Oct. 13-14. The Washington Township, Michigan, native continued his stellar start to the AHL season, improving to six points (3-3—6) in six outings. Czarnik enjoyed a five-game point streak from Oct. 13-Nov. 29. In games that Czarnik has competed in, the Griffins are 5-1-0-0 (.833) compared to a 2-7-1-1 (.273) ledger without him.

How Swede It Is
Swedish prospects Jonatan Berggren and Simon Edvinsson have started to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the ice. After being held without a goal in his first six AHL contests, right wing Berggren has scored four goals in his last five appearances, including goals in three straight games from Nov. 18-26, which set a team-high goal streak. Berggren, who hails from Enkoping, Sweden, has 82 points (29-53—82) in 88 career AHL games. Defenseman Edvinsson has six assists in his last five games and seven helpers in his last seven outings. Edvinsson recorded two goals last night against Milwaukee and now has logged two points in three of his last five outings. The Onsala, Sweden, native, who was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, saw action in nine NHL games with the Red Wings last season and scored two goals.

Fire at Will
The Griffins outshot their opponent in three consecutive games from Nov. 18-26, which was the first time this season. In fact, Grand Rapids has held a shot advantage in four of the last seven contests after allowing an average of 39.8 shots in the first four games of the campaign. The Griffins have held their opponents to 29 or fewer shots in nine of the 17 outings this season but that has not directly turned into results for the team. When they have allowed 29 or fewer shots, the Griffins are 2-5-1-1 (.333) but are 2-1-0-0 when allowing 40 or more shots and 3-2-0-0 when allowing 30-39 shots.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Simon Edvinsson
—Five goals are tied for second among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for first among defensemen
Carter Mazur—24 penalty minutes rank fourth among rookie forwards
Wyatt Newpower—31 penalty minutes are tied for 10th among defensemen

Last night, Taro Hirose claimed sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assists list with 136, while Jared McIsaac bagged his 50th pro point with a goal during his 150th game as a Griffin. On Wednesday, Marco Kasper and McIsaac skated in their 150th pro game.
Zach Aston-Reese—One point from 50 in the AHL
Austin Czarnik—Two goals from 100 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—Three points from tying Mitch Callahan for seventh on the team’s all-time point list
Michael Hutchinson—One win from 200 as a pro

Photo by Mark Newman/Griffins