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Game Notes: Griffins vs. Admirals - Dec. 1, 2023

Dec 01, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

Grand Rapids Griffins (6-8-1-1) vs. Milwaukee Admirals (9-6-1-0)

Game Time: 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena

December 1, 2023  ·  2 Minutes

Game Day Preview - December 1 vs. Milwaukee Admirals

Griffins Game #17 * Home Game #10 * AHL Game #281

Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Home Series: 0-0-0-0 Road Series: 1-0-0-0
All-Time Series:
110-80-7-8-8 All-Time Home Series: 58-38-2-3-3 All-Time Road Series: 52-42-5-5-5

Admirals at Griffins
Second of eight meetings overall, first of four at Van Andel Arena…Grand Rapids is 12-16-1-0 (.431) against Milwaukee since the 2019-20 campaign...Dating back to the 2019-20 season, the Griffins are 6-8-1-0 (.433) against the Admirals in Grand Rapids with a minus-six scoring margin (40-34)...The Griffins have just one win in the past four games against Milwaukee in Grand Rapids...The Admirals are 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 games and the Griffins are 4-5-0-1...Milwaukee is 5-3-1-0 on the road this season, while Grand Rapids is 5-3-1-0 at home...Milwaukee’s penalty kill ranks eighth at 85.5% while its power play is tied for 17th at 17.1%...Admirals’ goaltender Yaroslav Askarov ranks fifth in the AHL with a 1.98 GAA. In six career games played against the Griffins, Askarov holds a 3-3-0 record with a 1.69 GAA...Grand Rapids has faced Milwaukee more than any other opponent – 214th meeting tonight – and the Griffins’ 110 victories against the Admirals are the most against any foe…Former Griffin Jasper Weatherby (2022-23) is featured on Milwaukee’s roster.

Last Time Out
Michael Hutchinson’s
32-save shutout and Zach Aston-Reese’s two-goal night lifted the Griffins to a 4-0 victory against the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena. The Griffins’ first shutout of the 2023-24 season was Hutchinson’s 16th of his AHL career. Alongside Aston-Reese’s two goals, Amadeus Lombardi and Taro Hirose scored in the win. The Griffins have picked up two wins in two games against the Wolves this season with the Central Division rivals scheduled to meet six more times in the campaign. Austin Czarnik (3-3–6) and Hirose (3-5–8) both extended their point streaks to five games, while Simon Edvinsson (0-6–6) extended his to four.

Roster Shake Up
- Nov. 16—G John Lethemon reassigned to Grand Rapids from Toledo (ECHL) by Detroit; F Riley Sawchuk assigned to Toledo (ECHL) by Grand Rapids
- Nov. 19—G John Lethemon reassigned to Toledo (ECHL) from Grand Rapids by Detroit; F Austin Czarnik reassigned by Detroit
- Nov. 28—F Jonatan Berggren recalled by Detroit

This Date in Griffins History
2006: Darryl Bootland scores a goal in the Griffins 4-2 triumph over the Rochester Americans to become just the eighth player in franchise history to notch 60 goals, while Kip Miller assisted to record his 700th as a pro.

Home Sweet Home
The Griffins will conclude their four-game homestand tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals. Grand Rapids split the home weekend series against the Manitoba Moose last Friday and Sunday but still has wins in two of its last three home contests. The Griffins are 5-3-1-0 (.611) with a plus-five scoring margin inside Van Andel Arena compared to 1-5-0-1 (.214) with a minus-12 margin in foreign territory.

Clutch Hutch
On Wednesday, goaltender Michael Hutchinson registered his first shutout of the season, making 32 saves in a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Wolves. This was Hutchinson’s first shutout since May 17, 2021, a 39-save performance for the Toronto Marlies in a 2-0 win at Laval. The shutout on Wednesday was the netminders 16th in the AHL, with his previous three AHL shutouts coming against Laval as a member of the Marlies. In addition to the shutout on Wednesday, Hutchinson recorded his fourth career AHL helper, logging a secondary assist on the first goal of the game. The Barrie, Ontario, native has appeared in nine games with the Griffins this season and has showed a 2.84 GAA, a .905 save percentage and a 4-5-0 ledger.

It’s Taco Time
Taro Hirose
is currently on a season-high five-game point streak (3-5—8) from Nov. 17-29, which is tied with Austin Czarnik for the longest run of the campaign. 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. On Sunday, Hirose tied Francis Pare (2008-13) for third on the Griffins’ all-time assists list with 135 and is 47 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 182 and is four 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. Last weekend’s games were the first for Czarnik in a Griffins uniform since opening weekend from Oct. 13-14. The Washington Township, Michigan, native continued his stellar start to the AHL season with recording points in both games against Manitoba and improving to five points (3-3—6) in five outings. Czarnik is currently riding a five-game point streak from Oct. 13-Nov. 29, which is tied with Taro Hirose for the longest on the team. In games that Czarnik has competed in, the Griffins are 4-1-0-0 (.800) compared to a 2-7-1-1 (.273) ledger without him.

How Swede It Is
Swedish prospects Jonatan Berggren and Simon Edvinsson have started to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the ice. After being held without a goal in his first six AHL contests, right wing Berggren has scored four goals in his last five appearances, including goals in three straight games from Nov. 18-26, which set a team-high goal streak. Berggren, who hails from Enkoping, Sweden, has 82 points (29-53—82) in 88 career AHL games. Defenseman Edvinsson has six assists in his last four games and seven helpers in his last six outings. Edvinsson recorded two assists in consecutive games from Nov. 18-24. 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. Berggren was recalled by Detroit on Tuesday.

Fire at Will
The Griffins outshot their opponent in three consecutive games from Nov. 18-26, which was the first time this season. In fact, Grand Rapids has held a shot advantage in four of the last six contests after allowing an average of 39.8 shots in the first four games of the campaign. The Griffins have held their opponents to 29 or fewer shots in nine of the 16 outings this season but that has not directly turned into results for the team. When they have allowed 29 or fewer shots, the Griffins are 2-5-1-1 (.333) but are 2-1-0-0 when allowing 40 or more shots and 2-2-0-0 when allowing 30-39 shots.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Simon Edvinsson
—Three goals are tied for 10th among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for first among defensemen
Carter Mazur—22 penalty minutes rank sixth among rookie forwards
Wyatt Newpower—31 penalty minutes are tied for seventh among defensemen

On Wednesday, Marco Kasper and Jared McIsaac skated in their 150th pro game.
Zach Aston-Reese—Two points from 50 in the AHL
Austin Czarnik—Two goals from 100 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—One assist from claiming sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assist list, four points from tying Mitch Callahan for seventh on the team’s all-time point list
Michael Hutchinson—One win from 200 as a pro
Jared McIsaac—One point from 50 as a pro and as a Griffin, one game from 150 as a Griffin

Photo by Milwaukee Admirals