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Game Notes: Griffins at Marlies - Dec. 10, 2023

Dec 10, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

Grand Rapids Griffins (8-10-2-1) at Toronto Marlies (9-7-3-1)

Game Time: 4 p.m. at Coca-Cola Coliseum

Griffins Game #22 * Road Game #12 * AHL Game #346

Season Series: 0-2-1-0 Home Series: 0-2-0-0 Road Series: 0-0-1-0
All-Time Series:
35-36-6-2 All-Time Home Series: 20-17-3-1 All-Time Road Series: 15-19-3-1

Griffins at Marlies
Fourth of four meetings overall, second of two at the Coca-Cola Coliseum…The Griffins are 4-6-3-0 (.423) against Toronto since the 2019-20 season and have been outscored 52-40...Grand Rapids is 2-2-1-0 (.500) against the Marlies in Toronto since 2019-20 and have been outscored 20-18...The Marlies have one win in their last seven games (1-4-1-1) and are 4-4-1-1 in their last 10 outings...Grand Rapids is 4-5-1-0 in its last 10...Toronto shows a 5-4-2-0 mark at home, while the Griffins are 2-7-1-1 on the road…Toronto’s power play is tied for 29th in the league at 13.3% and its home power play places last in the AHL at 6.4% (3-for-47)...The Griffins’ power play ranks 16th on the circuit at 18.9% and their road power play comes in at 17th at 19.4%...The Marlies’ penalty kill ranks 17th at 82.2%, while Grand Rapids places 19th at 80.5%...Toronto is just one of four active AHL teams (Bakersfield, Hartford & Ontario) that the Griffins have an all-time losing record against...Toronto’s Alex Steeves is tied for seventh in the AHL with 11 goals in 15 appearances, while goaltender Dennis Hildeby ranks second with a 1.89 GAA and tied for fifth with a .925 save percentage through nine contests...Michael Hutchinson skated for the Marlies from 2018-22 and posted a 30-16-7 record (.698) to go along with a 2.84 GAA and a .910 save percentage in 57 games...Zach Aston-Reese competed in 77 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season...Toronto’s goaltender Keith Petruzzelli and forward Robert Mastrosimone were both draft picks of the Detroit Red Wings...Marlies’ head coach John Gruden skated for the Griffins from 1999-2002.

Last Time Out
The Griffins snapped their five-game road losing skid with help from Nolan Stevens' two-goal night and Dominik Shine's shorthanded game-winning tally for a 4-3 overtime victory against the Belleville Senators at CAA Arena on Saturday. With the win, Michael Hutchinson earned his 200th as a pro. The Griffins outshot the Senators 44-16, which tied their previous season-high from their 5-2 win over the Chicago Wolves (Nov. 15). Josiah Didier collected his third assist in two games against Belleville.

Roster Shake Up
- 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
2004: The Griffins got goals from three different scorers, two assists from Niklas Kronwall and 36 saves from Joey MacDonald to defeat the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (8-15-0-2) by a 3-2 score at Cincinnati Gardens.

Long Detour
The Griffins will finish a five-game road trip today and are 1-2-1-0 so far in this stretch. Grand Rapids will also play five of its next seven games on the road. The Griffins have not fared well in foreign territory this season, as they are 2-7-1-1 with a minus-17 scoring margin (44-27) compared to a 6-3-1-0 mark at Van Andel Arena and a plus-eight margin (33-25). Grand Rapids has dropped five of its last six games on the road. The Griffins will also finish their first three-in-three of the season today.

It’s Taco Time
Taro Hirose
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 seasons, has also continued to climb the Griffins’ all-time leaderboard for assists and points. Last Friday, Hirose claimed sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assists list with 137 and is 45 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 184 and is two 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. On Nov. 24, Czarnik competed in a Griffins uniform for the first time since opening weekend from Oct. 13-14. The Washington Township, Michigan, native continued his stellar start to the AHL season, improving to seven points (3-4—7) in nine outings. Czarnik enjoyed a five-game point streak from Oct. 13-Nov. 29. In games that Czarnik has competed in, the Griffins are 6-2-1-0 (.722) compared to a 2-8-1-1 (.208) ledger without him.

Johnny Bravo
Last week, Swedish prospect Jonatan Berggren competed in four games in four days in four different cities between the Red Wings and Griffins (New York, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee). In those four games, Berggren registered three assists, two penalty minutes and a plus-one rating. 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 is tied for second on the roster with 15 points (5-10—15) in 16 outings and has a combined 86 points (30-56—86) in 93 career AHL appearances from 2021-24.

Simon Says
Defenseman Simon Edvinsson exploded for his first two-goal game in North America on Dec. 1 against the Milwaukee Admirals. In fact, last Saturday's two-goal output was his third two-point contest in his last eight appearances, recording two assists in consecutive games from Nov. 18-24. The 6-foot-6 defensive prospect enjoyed a seven-game point streak (3-7—10) from Nov. 18-Dec. 8 and is tied for second on the team with 15 points (6-9—15) in 20 games. Edvinsson ranks fourth in the AHL among defensemen with six goals and his 15 points are tied for 11th among blueliners. 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.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Simon Edvinsson
—15 points are tied for 11th among defensemen, six goals rank fourth among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for second among defensemen
Carter Mazur—24 penalty minutes rank ninth among rookies

Last night, netminder Michael Hutchinson recorded his 200th win as a pro in a 4-3 overtime victory over Belleville. On Tuesday, Zach Aston-Reese recorded his 50th AHL point during a three-point night (1-2—3) at the Toronto Marlies.
Austin Czarnik—Two goals from 100 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—Two points from tying Mitch Callahan for seventh on the team’s all-time point list
Wyatt Newpower—One game from 150 as a pro

Photo by Toronto Marlies