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Game Notes: Griffins at Moose - Jan. 19, 2024

Jan 19, 2024
Written By: Andrew Streitel

Grand Rapids Griffins (14-15-4-1) at Manitoba Moose (12-20-0-0)

Game Time: 8 p.m. at Canada Life Centre

January 19, 2024  ·  3 Minutes

Game Day Preview - January 19 at Manitoba Moose

Griffins Game #35 * Road Game #19 * AHL Game #568

Season Series: 1-1-0-0 Home Series: 1-1-0-0 Road Series: 0-0-0-0
All-Time Series:
71-43-1-1-9 All-Time Home Series: 39-19-1-1-6 All-Time Road Series: 32-24-0-0-3

Griffins at Moose
Third of eight meetings overall, first of four at the Canada Life Centre…Since the Moose rejoined the AHL in 2015-16, Grand Rapids is 27-19-0-2 (.583) against them, including an 11-10-0-1 (.523) ledger in Winnipeg…Grand Rapids has won just two of the last eight trips to the Moose (2-5-0-1)...The Griffins are 9-13-0-2 (.417) overall against Manitoba since the 2019-20 season with a minus-12 scoring margin (71-59)...On the road since 2019-20, Grand Rapids is 2-7-0-1 (.250) against the Moose with a minus-12 scoring margin (37-25)...This is the 126th meeting between the two teams, which is the fifth-most encounters by any Grand Rapids opponent...Manitoba is 1-9-0-0 in its last 10 games and is on a seven-game losing skid...The Griffins are 5-3-2-0 and are on a three-game losing streak...On home ice this season, the Moose are 5-11-0-0 and the Griffins bolster a 6-9-2-1 ledger on the road...Grand Rapids is on a season-high four-game road winning streak...The Moose rank sixth in the AHL with a power play percentage of 20.8%, while the Griffins place 28th with a penalty kill at 77.5%...Manitoba’s penalty kill is tied for 29th at 76.3% and the Griffins’ power play ranks seventh at 20.5%...Manitoba rookies Nikita Chibrikov (10-15—25, T9th) and Brad Lambert (12-13—25, T9th) both rank in the top 10 for scoring among first-year players in the AHL.

Last Time Out
The Griffins collected a point in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Rockford IceHogs at Van Andel Arena on Saturday. With an assist on Dominik Shine's goal, Joel L'Esperance picked up his 200th point in the AHL. Grand Rapids' penalty kill was perfect in the contest, going 3-for-3 and 8-for-8 in the weekend series. The shorthanded perfection continued a trend for the Griffins, as they have not allowed a power-play goal in five of their last six games (17-for-18, 94.4%). With an assist in the contest, Jonatan Berggren now has seven points (1-6—7) in his last six outings. Grand Rapids’ home losing skid extended to a season-high three games.

Roster Shake Up

- Jan. 13—D Brogan Rafferty recalled by Detroit
- Jan. 18—D Brogan Rafferty reassigned by Detroit

This Date in Griffins History
2013: The Griffins set franchise records for goals and combined penalty minutes in a wild 11-6 win at Rockford. Thanks largely to a bench-clearing brawl in the second period, the teams combine for 230 penalty minutes, including 91 for Grand Rapids and an opponent-record 139 for the IceHogs.

One-Two Punch
Goaltenders Sebastian Cossa and Michael Hutchinson have combined for points in six out of the last eight contests (5-2-1) and have allowed an average of two goals per game during the run. Cossa has allowed just one tally in consecutive starts from Jan. 5-12 and has a 3-2-1 record in his last six outings, showing a .913 save percentage. Hutchinson collected a team-best three straight wins from Dec. 29-Jan. 6 and has points in four of his last five appearances (3-1-1) with a .928 save percentage. Through 18 games, Hutchinson shows an 8-8-2 record with one shutout to go along with a 2.76 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Cossa has suited up for 16 outings this season and has a 6-7-3 ledger with a 2.84 GAA and a .906 save percentage. Cossa ranks sixth among rookies in goals against average and tied for fifth in save percentage. Combined, the netminding duo has a 2.80 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.

Good Taste of Humble Pie
The Griffins enjoyed a season-high five-game win streak from Dec. 27-Jan. 6 but have since gone on to drop three straight contests from Jan. 10-13, setting a new season-high for home losses in a row. However, Grand Rapids has secured at least a point in eight of its last 11 contests (6-3-2-0) and sits in fourth place in the Central Division, one point behind third place Rockford. Since returning from the holiday break, the Griffins have outscored their opponents 27-16, scoring an average of 3.38 goals per game. Grand Rapids allowed just one goal in three consecutive games from Dec. 31-Jan. 6 and has allowed an average of two goals against since Dec. 27. Grand Rapids has points in seven of its last 11 games (6-4-1-0) inside Van Andel Arena and has points in five of its past six road appearances (4-1-1-0). The Griffins have been solid at home with an 8-6-2-0 mark, outscoring their opponents 46-38. Although it has been better in foreign territory as of late, earning four straight victories, Grand Rapids still holds a 6-9-2-1 record away from home and is being outscored 64-51.

Johnny Bravo
Jonatan Berggren
has seven points (1-6—7) in his last six outings, which included a four-game assist streak from Dec. 31-Jan. 10. Berggren also has 10 points (3-7—10) in his last nine games from Dec. 15-Jan. 13 and now leads the roster with 25 points (8-17—25) in 25 games this season. The Enkoping, Sweden, product enjoyed a six-game point streak in the AHL (4-5—8) from Nov. 18-Dec. 5, which included a 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 has a combined 96 points (33-63—96) in 102 career AHL appearances from 2021-24, collecting an assist during his 100th game as a Griffin on Jan. 10 against Milwaukee. 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 76 games with the Red Wings throughout two seasons and has 33 points (17-16—33), including five points (2-3—5) in nine contests this campaign. Berggren was selected to participate in the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Tech CU alongside fellow country man Simon Edvinsson.

On The Come Up
The Griffins’ power play has been a strong unit this season, as it ranks seventh in the AHL with an overall conversion rate of 20.5% and the road power play comes in at 23.6% (5th). Grand Rapids has scored on the power play in six of its last eight games (7-for-24, 29.2%). Tim Gettinger, Joel L’Esperance and Carter Mazur are all tied for the team lead with four power-play goals, while Jonatan Berggren paces the squad with seven power-play assists. After allowing a power-play goal in a season-high five straight games from Dec. 19-31 (7-for-17, 41.2%), the Griffins have allowed just one power-play tally in their last five outings (17-for-18, 94.4%). However, Grand Rapids still ranks 28th in the AHL with a penalty kill rate of 77.5%. At home, the Griffins’ penalty kill is tied for 13th in the league at 83.6%, while the road penalty kill ranks last on the circuit at 72.3%.

The Last Czar
Since returning to the Griffins from Detroit on Dec. 30, Austin Czarnik has accumulated six points (0-6—6) in as many games. The 31-year-old has made the most of his time in Grand Rapids, showing 13 points (3-10—13) and an even plus-minus rating in 15 appearances. Czarnik posted three assists on Dec. 31 against the Cleveland Monsters and logged five assists in three games from Dec. 9-Jan. 5. The Washington Township, Michigan, native signed a two-year deal with the Red Wings on July 7, 2022 and has since gone on to register 50 points (17-33—50) in 58 career games with the Griffins. Czarnik has 275 points (98-177—275) in 285 AHL games from 2014-18 and 2019-24. He has also suited up for 18 games with Detroit this season and has one assist, six penalty minutes and a minus-three rating. In total, Czarnik has 51 points (18-33—51) in 189 career NHL outings.

Come Out of the Gates Fast
Playing with the lead has been huge for the Griffins this season, as they are 8-2-1-0 when leading after the first period, 11-1-1-0 when leading after the second, and 11-7-1-1 when scoring first. In comparison, Grand Rapids is just 6-13-3-1 when trailing or tied after the opening frame and 3-14-3-1 when trailing or tied after the second. The Griffins’ largest comeback of the season came on Dec. 15 against Texas when they trailed by two goals early in the second period and went on to collect a 4-2 victory. The last time Grand Rapids trailed in the third period and came back to win was on Dec. 9 at Belleville (trailed 2-1, won 4-3 in overtime).

Under Three is Key
Unsurprisingly, the Griffins have done well in games where they have scored four or more goals, going 12-1-1-0 (.893). Although, when scoring three goals or less the team is just 2-14-3-1 (.200). Grand Rapids has failed to score four or more goals in three straight games but has surpassed the four-goal mark in six of its last 11 outings. On the flip side, Grand Rapids is just 2-12-4-1 (.237) when allowing at least three goals, compared to a 12-3-0-0 mark (.800) when allowing two goals or less. In their last 12 appearances, the Griffins have allowed three or more goals just five times and allowed just one goal in three straight contests from Dec. 31-Jan. 6.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Sebastian Cossa
—2.84 GAA places sixth among rookie netminders, .906 save percentage is tied for fifth among rookie goaltenders
Simon Edvinsson—Six goals are tied for 10th among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for seventh among defensemen, two game-winners are tied for fifth among defensemen
Carter Mazur—10 goals are tied for 12th among rookies, two game-winners are tied for seventh among rookies, four power-play goals are tied for ninth among rookies
Antti Tuomisto—Three goals are tied for seventh among rookie defensemen, two game-winners are tied for fifth among defensemen

Joel L’Esperance
collected his 200th point in the AHL with an assist on Jan. 13 against Rockford. On Jan. 10, Jonatan Berggren recorded an assist in his 100th game as a Griffin and in the AHL. 
Zach Aston-Reese—One game from 400 as a pro
Jonatan Berggren—Four points from 100 as a Griffin and in the AHL
Austin Czarnik—Two goals from 100 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—Three goals from 50 as a Griffin
Dominik Shine—Four penalty minutes from tying Ed Patterson (457) for eighth on the team’s all-time penalty minutes list
Nolan Stevens—Two goals from 50 as a pro

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins