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Game Notes: Griffins at IceHogs - Dec. 27, 2023

Dec 27, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

Grand Rapids Griffins (9-13-3-1) at Rockford IceHogs (11-12-3-0)

Game Time: 8 p.m. at BMO Center

December 27, 2023  ·  2 Minutes

Game Day Preview - December 27 at Rockford IceHogs

Griffins Game #27 * Road Game #15 * AHL Game #434

Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Home Series: 0-0-0-0 Road Series: 0-1-0-0
All-Time Series:
61-44-9-11 All-Time Home Series: 38-14-5-5 All-Time Road Series: 23-30-4-6

Griffins at IceHogs
Second of 12 meetings overall, second of six at the BMO Center…Dating back to the final meeting of the 2019-20 season, Grand Rapids now has points in 17 of the last 26 games (14-9-2-1, .596) against the IceHogs...The Griffins are 18-12-2-3 (.586) since the 2019-20 season against Rockford and have outscored the IceHogs 95-90. On the road since 2019-20, Grand Rapids is 9-9-0-0 (.500) against the IceHogs but have been outscored 53-47...The Griffins have won seven of the last 13 games against the IceHogs in Rockford (7-6-0-0, .538) but have won just one of their last six trips to Rockford (1-5-0-0, .167)...Grand Rapids is 3-5-2-0 in its last 10 games and 2-9-2-1 on the road this season...The IceHogs are 5-6-1-0 at home and 2-7-1-0 in their last 10...Rockford’s power play ranks 21st at 17.6%, while its penalty kill comes in at 79.8% (20th)...The Griffins rank 30th with an average of 2.69 goals scored per game and Rockford is 29th at 2.73 goals scored...The IceHogs also average 3.31 goals against per game (T23rd), while the Griffins are the team tied with the IceHogs at 3.31...Rockford is Grand Rapids’ fourth-most frequent opponent (Milwaukee 215, Chicago 196, Cleveland 128), as tonight’s game marks the 126th meeting between the two franchises...Rockford’s Ethan Del Mastro ranks fourth among rookie defensemen with 15 points, third with 12 assists and is tied for fifth with three goals.

Last Time Out
The Griffins fell to the Texas Stars in a 6-2 loss after the Stars were propelled by a four-goal third period at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on Wednesday. Both Nolan Stevens and Carter Mazur scored in the loss, with Stevens bagging his third goal of the season and Mazur securing his fifth. Stars goaltender Remi Poirier, who made 35 saves tonight, has curated an improved .932 save percentage and a 2.25 goals against average in four games against Grand Rapids compared to his overall .905 save percentage and 3.19 goals against average against the rest of the AHL.

Roster Shake Up
- Dec. 16—F Alex Doucet reassigned to Toledo (ECHL) from Grand Rapids by Detroit; G Michael Hutchinson signed to a one-year contract by Grand Rapids
- Dec. 18—F Austin Czarnik reassigned by Detroit
- Dec. 19—G Michael Hutchinson released from AHL contract by Grand Rapids; G John Lethemon reassigned from Toledo (ECHL) to Grand Rapids by Detroit; F Austin Czarnik recalled by Detroit
- Dec. 23—D Simon Edvinsson recalled by Detroit; D Simon Edvinsson and F Austin Czarnik reassigned by Detroit
- Dec. 26— F Jonatan Berggren, F Austin Czarnik and D Simon Edvinsson recalled by Detroit

This Date in Griffins History
2008: Daniel Larsson tied a franchise record by earning his second consecutive shutout with 38 saves during the Griffins’ 2-0 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters at Van Andel Arena.

Long and Twisted Road
The Griffins continue a four-game road trip this week against Rockford and Chicago. Grand Rapids has not fared well away from home, as it is just 2-9-2-1 (.250) with a minus-24 scoring margin in foreign territory compared to a 7-4-1-0 (.625) mark at home with a plus-eight margin. Dating back to Nov. 17, the Griffins have won just one out of their last nine road contests (1-6-2-0). Grand Rapids’ seven points on the road through 14 games are tied for last on the circuit, while its 15 points at home through 12 contests are tied for 14th. Despite the lackluster road ledger, the Griffins are just four points behind third place in the Central Division with two games in hand.

It’s Taco Time
Last Tuesday, Taro Hirose passed Mitch Callahan for seventh on the Griffins’ all-time point list with 187 (47-140—187). The former Michigan State Spartan has also continued to climb the team’s all-time assist list, as he took sole possession of third place with his 136th helper on Dec. 1. Hirose is 42 assists from tying Travis Richards for second on the assist list and is nine points from tying Tomas Tatar for sixth on the point list. Th 27-year-old enjoyed a season-high seven-game point streak (3-7—10) from Nov. 17-Dec. 5, which tied Simon Edvinsson for the longest run of the campaign by a Griffin. Hirose, who has competed for the Griffins for the past five campaigns, has six multi-point games this season and has three assists in his last three outings.

Numbers Don’t Lie
Below is a list of interesting trends and records this season for the Griffins:
- 7-0-1-0 when leading after two periods, compared to 2-13-2-1 when tied or trailing;
- 7-1-1-0 when scoring at least four goals, compared to 2-12-2-1 when scoring three or less;
- 8-2-0-0 when allowing two goals or less, compared to 1-11-3-1 when allowing three or more;
- 2-7-2-1 when allowing 20-29 shots a game, compared to 5-6-1-0 when allowing 30 or more;
- 3-9-2-1 when allowing a power-play goal, 6-5-2-1 when scoring a power-play goal;
- 83.7% home penalty kill, compared to 74.0% on the road.

Future is Bright
Rookie Carter Mazur has two goals in his last three games after being held scoreless in his previous five outings. The Jackson, Michigan, product is tied for fifth on the roster with 10 points (5-5—10) in 20 contests. On Nov. 15 against Chicago, Mazur tied his career high of three points (2-1—3) and later logged his second multi-point game of the season on Dec. 2 at Milwaukee (1-1—2). This past summer, the 21-year-old made his Team USA debut at the World Championship and accumulated four points (1-3—4) in 10 contests. The former third-round selection (70th overall) by the Red Wings has a total of 16 points (8-8—16) in 26 games throughout his pro career. Prior to turning pro, Mazur spent two seasons at the University of Denver (2021-23) and amassed 75 points (36-39—75) in 81 games, winning a national title in 2022 and earning a spot on the NCAA Second All-American Team in 2023.

Johnny Bravo
Jonatan Berggren
has three points (2-1—3) in his last three outings, which included goals in consecutive games from Dec. 15-19. Berggren now has 14 points (7-7—14) in his last 13 games with the Griffins. The Enkoping, Sweden, product enjoyed a six-game point streak in the AHL (4-5—8) from Nov. 18-Dec. 5, which included a team-high three -game goal run from Nov. 18-26 and a team-best five-game assist streak from Nov. 24-Dec. 5. The 23-year-old ranks second on the roster with 18 points (7-11—18) in 19 outings and has a combined 89 points (32-57—89) in 96 career AHL appearances from 2021-24. During his rookie season with the Griffins in 2021-22, Berggren broke Grand Rapids’ rookie single-season scoring record with 64 points (21-43—64) in 70 games, five more points than the previous record held by Teemu Pulkkinen (2013-14). The prospect has appeared in 74 games with the Red Wings throughout two seasons and has 32 points (17-15—32), including four points (2-2—4) in seven appearances this campaign. Berggren was recalled by Detroit yesterday under emergency conditions.

Timmy G
Newcomer Tim Gettinger has been a welcome addition to the Griffins’ roster this season, as he ranks fourth on the team in points (7-7—14) and is tied for first in goals (7). The sixth-year pro has four points (1-3—4) in his last three games and posted two points in consecutive games from Dec. 15-19. Gettinger is on pace to have a career season in the AHL, as his projected 20 goals and 40 points would both set a new career best. The 6-foot-6 forward notched career-high numbers last season in points (35) and assists (22). From 2018-23, the 25-year-old competed for the Hartford Wolf Pack and logged 133 points (62-71—133) in 237 outings. Gettinger signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings this past offseason.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Sebastian Cossa
—3.18 GAA places eighth among rookie netminders, .898 save percentage ranks eighth among rookie goaltenders
Simon Edvinsson—Six goals are tied for fourth among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for fifth among defensemen, two game-winners are tied for fifth among defensemen
Antti Tuomisto—One game-winner is tied for first among rookie defensemen

On Dec. 19, Taro Hirose passed Mitch Callahan for seventh on the team’s all-time point list with 187.
Josiah Didier—Two games from 400 in the AHL
Tim Gettinger
—Two points from 150 as a pro, three points from 150 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—Three goals from 50 as a Griffin
Joel L’Esperance—One point from 200 as a pro
Nolan Stevens—Two goals from 50 as a pro

Photo by Rockford IceHogs