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Game Notes: Griffins at Moose - Jan. 20, 2024

Jan 20, 2024
Written By: Andrew Streitel

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

Game Time: 7 p.m. at Canada Life Centre

January 20, 2024  ·  3 Minutes

Game Day Preview - January 20 at Manitoba Moose

Griffins Game #36 * Road Game #20 * AHL Game #582

Season Series: 2-1-0-0 Home Series: 1-1-0-0 Road Series: 1-0-0-0
All-Time Series:
72-43-1-1-9 All-Time Home Series: 39-19-1-1-6 All-Time Road Series: 33-24-0-0-3

Griffins at Moose
Fourth of eight meetings overall, second of four at the Canada Life Centre…Since the Moose rejoined the AHL in 2015-16, Grand Rapids is 28-19-0-2 (.592) against them, including an 12-10-0-1 (.543) ledger in Winnipeg…Grand Rapids has won just three of the last nine trips to the Moose (3-5-0-1)...The Griffins are 10-13-0-2 (.440) overall against Manitoba since the 2019-20 season with a minus-11 scoring margin (75-64)...On the road since 2019-20, Grand Rapids is 3-7-0-1 (.318) against the Moose with a minus-11 scoring margin (41-30)...This is the 127th meeting between the two teams, which is the fifth-most encounters by any Grand Rapids opponent...Manitoba is 1-8-1-0 in its last 10 games and is on an eight-game losing skid...The Griffins are 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 and on a season-high five-game road winning streak...On home ice this season, the Moose are 5-11-1-0 and the Griffins bolster a 7-9-2-1 ledger on the road...The Moose are tied for seventh in the AHL with a power play percentage of 20.9%, while the Griffins place 28th with a penalty kill at 77.4%...Manitoba’s penalty kill is tied for 30th at 75.7% and the Griffins’ power play ranks fifth at 21.4%...Manitoba rookies Nikita Chibrikov (11-15—26, T9th) and Brad Lambert (12-13—25, T11th) both rank in the top 11 for scoring among first-year players in the AHL.

Last Time Out
Following a 4-1 deficit midway through the second period, the Grand Rapids Griffins rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory over the Manitoba Moose at the Canada Life Centre on Friday, courtesy of Marco Kasper’s game-winning goal. The Griffins set a season-high largest deficit overcome in the campaign at three goals with their victory. Elmer Soderblom, Kasper, Brogan Rafferty and Carter Mazur all recorded two points in the win. Since returning from his two-game stint in Detroit, Jonatan Berggren has collected eight points (2-6--8) in seven contests. The win snapped Grand Rapids' three-game losing streak, while also extending their road winning streak to a season-high five games. Zach Aston-Reese competed in his 400th game as a pro.

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

This Date in Griffins History
2000: Jani Hurme becomes the first Griffins goalie to record consecutive shutouts in a 5-0 win over Michigan. Grand Rapids improves to 11-1-1 over its previous 13 games, the most successful span in franchise history.

One-Two Punch
Goaltenders Sebastian Cossa and Michael Hutchinson have combined for points in seven out of the last nine contests (6-2-1) and have allowed an average of 2.22 goals per game during the run. Cossa allowed just one tally in consecutive starts from Jan. 5-12 and has a 4-2-1 record in his last seven outings, showing a .904 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 17 outings this season and has a 7-7-3 ledger with a 2.90 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Cossa ranks seventh among rookies in goals against average and seventh in save percentage. Combined, the netminding duo has a 2.83 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Keep Steady
The Griffins enjoyed a season-high five-game win streak from Dec. 27-Jan. 6 and are currently on a five-game road winning streak. Grand Rapids has secured at least a point in nine of its last 12 contests (7-3-2-0) and sits in third place in the Central Division. Since returning from the holiday break, the Griffins have outscored their opponents 32-20, scoring an average of 3.56 goals per game. Grand Rapids allowed just one goal in three consecutive games from Dec. 31-Jan. 6 and has allowed an average of 2.22 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 six of its past seven road appearances (5-1-1-0). 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 five straight victories, Grand Rapids still holds a 7-9-2-1 record away from home and is being outscored 68-56.

Johnny Bravo
Jonatan Berggren
has eight points (2-6—8) in his last seven outings, which included a four-game assist streak from Dec. 31-Jan. 10. Berggren also has 11 points (4-7—11) in his last 10 games from Dec. 15-Jan. 19 and now leads the roster with 26 points (9-17—26) in 26 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 97 points (34-63—97) in 103 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 fifth in the AHL with an overall conversion rate of 21.4% and the road power play comes in at 25.0% (1st). Grand Rapids has scored on the power play in seven of its last nine games (9-for-29, 31.0%). 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 two power-play tallies in their last six outings (20-for-22, 90.9%). However, Grand Rapids still ranks 28th in the AHL with a penalty kill rate of 77.4%. At home, the Griffins’ penalty kill ranks 13th in the league at 83.6%, while the road penalty kill ranks last on the circuit at 72.5%.

The Last Czar
Since returning to the Griffins from Detroit on Dec. 30, Austin Czarnik has accumulated seven points (0-7—7) in as many games. The 31-year-old has made the most of his time in Grand Rapids, showing 14 points (3-11—14) in 16 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 51 points (17-34—51) in 59 career games with the Griffins. Czarnik has 276 points (98-178—276) in 286 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 12-7-1-1 when scoring first. In comparison, Grand Rapids is just 7-13-3-1 when trailing or tied after the opening frame and 4-14-3-1 when trailing or tied after the second. The Griffins’ largest comeback of the season came last night against Manitoba when they trailed by three goals midway through the second period and went on to collect a 5-4 overtime victory. The last time Grand Rapids trailed in the third period and came back to win was also last night at Manitoba (trailed 4-2, won 5-4 in overtime).

Under Three is Key
Unsurprisingly, the Griffins have done well in games where they have scored four or more goals, going 13-1-1-0 (.900). Although, when scoring three goals or less the team is just 2-14-3-1 (.200). Grand Rapids has surpassed the four-goal mark in seven of its last 12 outings. On the flip side, Grand Rapids is just 3-12-4-1 (.275) when allowing at least three goals, compared to a 12-3-0-0 mark (.800) when allowing two goals or less. In their last 13 appearances, the Griffins have allowed three or more goals just six times and allowed just one goal in three straight contests from Dec. 31-Jan. 6.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Sebastian Cossa
—2.90 GAA places seventh among rookie netminders, .902 save percentage ranks seventh among rookie goaltenders
Simon Edvinsson—Six goals are tied for 11th among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for eighth among defensemen, two game-winners are tied for fifth among defensemen
Carter Mazur—10 goals are tied for 13th among rookies, two game-winners are tied for seventh among rookies, four power-play goals rank 10th among rookies
Antti Tuomisto—Three goals are tied for seventh among rookie defensemen, two game-winners are tied for fifth among defensemen

Last night, Zach Aston-Reese skated in his 400th game as a professional. 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.
Jonatan Berggren—Three 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 Manitoba Moose