Grand Rapids Griffins (6-6-1-1) at Cleveland Monsters (8-5-0-1)
Game Time: 7 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Griffins Game #15 * Road Game #7 * AHL Game #213
Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Home Series: 0-1-0-0 Road Series: 0-0-0-0
All-Time Series: 52-30-5-10 All-Time Home Series: 30-16-1-2 All-Time Road Series: 22-14-4-8
Griffins at Monsters
Second of four meetings overall, first of two at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse...In the first meeting of the season last Wednesday during Grand Rapids’ annual school day game, Cleveland won 5-3 and scored three shorthanded goals…Three SHG set a Griffins record for most SHG against in a single game…Brian Lashoff, Chase Pearson and Chris Terry all scored in the first matchup…Grand Rapids has points in 11 of the last 14 meetings (8-3-1-2)…At Cleveland, the Griffins have points in seven in a row (4-0-1-2)…Head coach Ben Simon is a native of Shaker Heights, a Cleveland suburb…Captain Matthew Ford spent most of his first three pro seasons (2008-11) with the Monsters, totaling 69 points (39-30—69) in 126 appearances...Monsters first-year head coach Mike Eaves was Ford’s college coach at Wisconsin and they won the 2006 NCAA Championship together…Calvin Pickard began his pro career with the Monsters, appearing in 142 games from 2011-15 and posting a 60-54-21 record to go along with a 2.63 GAA, a 0.913 save percentage and 10 shutouts…Pickard is the Monsters’ all-time leader in goalie wins.
Last Game (Saturday): Marlies 5 at Griffins 2 - Recap
Grand Rapids finished 1-for-6 on the power play to extend its power play goal streak to five games…Filip Zadina (PP, 5) and Dominic Turgeon (3) were the goal scorers and both have lit the lamp in back-to-back games…Matt Puempel picked up an assist to stretch his point streak to a career-high-tying nine games…Grand Rapids outshot Toronto 34-23…The Griffins and Marlies will conclude their four-game season series on March 19 and 22 in Ontario.
The Griffins picked up one win in their three-game homestand last week and tie for fifth in the Central Division standings with a 6-6-1-1 record (14 points). Grand Rapids travels to Cleveland tonight to play the Monsters for the second time in less than a week before a weekend home-and-home set against the Rockford IceHogs looms.
Lighting It Up
The Griffins place second in the AHL in power play efficiency at 28.1% (18-for-64) and have scored in 11 of 14 games, including five consecutive. The five-game power play streak, during which the Griffins are 8-for-24 (33.3%), is the longest since a six-game stretch from Feb. 11-25, 2017 (9-for-25, 36%). Grand Rapids has netted two or more PPGs in a single game five times already this season, compared to eight in all of 2018-19. Chris Terry (5-6—11), Matt Puempel (3-5—8) and Joe Hicketts (0-6—6) lead the way in power play points. The PP accounts for 37.5% of Grand Rapids’ goals.
In his seventh pro year, Matt Puempel is on a nine-game point streak (6-7—13) to equal his career high that was set Jan. 12-Feb. 4, 2018, during his first season as a Griffin. It is also the longest active streak in the AHL. Puempel’s streak in 2018 is the last time a Griffin had a nine-game run and the last double-digit streak was a 12-game stretch by Evgeny Svechnikov from Jan. 20-Feb. 17, 2017. In his third season as a Griffin, Puempel is the team’s active goal scoring leader with 53. He ties for fourth in the AHL in scoring with 16 points overall (7-9—16).
Back Up, Terr
Chris Terry ties for the AHL lead in points (21) while pacing the Griffins in goals (8), assists (13) and multi-point games (7). During his season-high eight-game point streak that concluded in Saturday’s loss to Toronto, Terry averaged nearly two points per outing (6-9—15). He has found the scoresheet in 11 of 14 appearances. In his 11th-year pro, Terry led the Griffins with 61 points last season and the most recent player to lead the Griffins in scoring in back-to-back seasons was Andy Miele in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Joe Hicketts has at least one assist in four of his last five games and leads all team defensemen with eight points (0-8—8). Moritz Seider ties for sixth among AHL rookie defensemen in scoring with seven points (0-7—7).
November to Remember
Despite an uneasy 1-4 start to the month, November has historically been a fruitful one for Grand Rapids as the Griffins have posted a 0.500 record or better in the month 17 times in franchise history. Since the 2012-13 season, Grand Rapids has tallied a combined 52-21-1-5 (0.696) record in the 11th month of the year.
First Things First
Grand Rapids’ roster currently features five recent Detroit first-round draft picks (Moritz Seider 2019, Filip Zadina 2018, Joe Veleno 2018, Michael Rasmussen 2017, Evgeny Svechnikov 2015). Five of the Red Wings’ last six first rounders are on the west side of the state, with the exception being Dennis Cholowski (2016), who made Detroit’s roster following training camp. From 2002-15, the Griffins had only seven Detroit first rounders total suit up for them: Jakub Kindl (2005-11; 14-15), Niklas Kronwall (2003-06), Dylan Larkin (2015 playoffs only), Anthony Mantha (2014-15), Tom McCollum (2009-15), Riley Sheahan (2011-14) and Brendan Smith (2010-13). The Griffins’ opening night lineup had five Detroit first rounders in it, far surpassing the previous record of two. The Griffins had never seen more than three Red Wings first rounders suit up for the club at any point in the same season until this year. Adding in Matt Puempel (24th overall by Ottawa in 2011), Grand Rapids’ roster boasts six former first-round draft selections.
Griffins in General
Grand Rapids is in the franchise’s 24th overall season of play, 19th as a member of the American Hockey League and 18th as the primary affiliate of the 11-time Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings…Grand Rapids is 971-662-27-59-113 (0.585) in the regular season since 1996-97 to go along with 17 playoff appearances, seven division titles and two Calder Cups (2017, 2013)…The Griffins have earned 40 or more wins and accumulated 90 or more points in six of the last seven seasons…Grand Rapids has qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in a franchise-record seven consecutive seasons and advanced to at least the second round on five occasions…The Griffins’ 8-5 season-opening win at Chicago on Oct. 5 marked the club’s 750th win in the AHL…Grand Rapids’ 311 regular season wins since the 2012-13 campaign tie Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for second behind Toronto’s 325 and the Griffins’ 675 points in that span are third, trailing Providence (678) and Toronto (706)…Since the affiliation began in 2002-03, 90 Griffins have gone on to play for the Red Wings.
This Date in Griffins History
2002: With 7,344 fans, including 3,400 students, in attendance for the Griffins’ second-annual matinee game, Marc Lamothe earns his first shutout as a Griffin, making 15 stops in a 4-0 win over Manitoba.
2004: For the first time ever, Grand Rapids plays a third consecutive regular season home game versus the same opponent, earning a 1-0 win over Houston. Joey MacDonald finishes with 23 saves to become the Griffins’ career leader with 11 shutouts, and his 42nd victory moves him past Ian Gordon into sole possession of third place on the franchise’s all-time list.
2005: Jiri Hudler extends his point streak to 13 games with an assist, but the Griffins fall 5-2 at Hamilton.
2016: Joe Hicketts scores his first pro goal 1:53 into overtime to give the Griffins a 4-3 road win over Central Division-leading Milwaukee.
Milestones Within Reach
Calvin Pickard – needs three wins to reach 100 in the AHL
Brian Lashoff – needs four games to reach 600 as a pro
Dominic Turgeon – needs one assist to reach 50 as a Griffin/in the AHL
Matthew Ford – needs one goal to reach 200 in the AHL
Dominik Shine – needs one game to reach 150 as a Griffin/in the AHL
Photo by Sam Iannamico/Griffins