Game Time: 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena
Milwaukee Admirals (16-9-4-0) vs. GRIFFINS (14-9-2-2)
Griffins Game #28 * Home Game #15 * AHL Game #407
Season Series: 1-1-0-1 Home Series: 1-0-0-1 Road Series: 0-1-0-0
All-Time Series: 93-62-7-7-8 All-Time Home Series: 51-29-2-2-3 All-Time Road Series: 42-33-5-5-5
Griffins vs. Admirals
Fourth of 10 meetings overall, third of five at Van Andel Arena…Milwaukee’s 5-2 victory on Tuesday snapped Grand Rapids’ four-game point streak (3-0-0-1) in the series in addition to the Griffins’ seven-game regular season winning streak at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena…In the last meeting at Van Andel Arena on Nov. 23, Milwaukee skated away with a 3-2 shootout win...Grand Rapids is 10-4-1-1 in the last 16 regular season clashes...The Griffins have points in five of the last seven meetings at the Van (3-2-1-1)...With a rivalry dating back to the International Hockey League days, the Griffins have faced the Admirals more than any other opponent in team history as the two clubs will meet up for the 178th time tonight…Admirals netminder Tom McCollum played with the Griffins from 2009-16 and 2017-18 and is the franchise’s all-time goalie leader in wins (123), games played (263), minutes (14900:25) and saves (6640), helped Grand Rapids win the 2013 Calder Cup and is the team’s only four-time AHL Man of the Year nominee…McCollum picked up his first career win against his former club on Tuesday after stopping 26 of 28 shots...In three appearances vs. Grand Rapids, McCollum is 1-0-2 with a 1.93 GAA and a 0.946 save percentage...Griffins first-year head coach Ben Simon skated in 18 games with the Admirals during the 2003-04 campaign and finished with four points (1-3—4)…In three meetings this season, Matt Puempel has collected three goals among five points, both of which are the most for either side…In 12 career games vs. Milwaukee as a Griffin, Puempel has 14 points (7-7—14)...Turner Elson (Oct. 11, 2013 vs. MIL) and Joe Hicketts (Nov. 12, 2016 at MIL) both picked up their first AHL goals against the Admirals, while Dominik Shine made his pro debut against Milwaukee (March 19, 2017 at MIL).
Last Game (Friday): IceHogs 3 at Griffins 2 OT
Rockford has won the last two meetings by the same score in overtime…Grand Rapids is 3-2 in OT this season...Chris Terry scored on the power play to record his 200th career AHL goal...Turner Elson notched his team-leading third shorthanded goal of the campaign, which also ties for the league lead...After being assigned by Detroit earlier in the day, Brian Lashoff picked up an assist on Elson’s shorthanded marker...The Griffins had their five-game winning streak against the IceHogs at Van Andel Arena snapped, but still show points in each of the last six (5-0-1-0).
After a nine-game point streak (7-0-1-1), the Griffins are winless in their last four contests (0-2-2-0). Grand Rapids has still been on an impressive run the last 20 games, recording points in 16 of those (12-4-2-2) and currently sitting in third place in the Central Division. In the middle leg of a three-in-three weekend, the Griffins host Milwaukee tonight before heading to Rockford tomorrow. This weekend marks the end of Grand Rapids playing 14 Central Division opponents in a row, as the Griffins face the North’s Cleveland Monsters next Wednesday.
Back Up Terr
The AHL’s leading scorer from a season ago, Chris Terry is atop the league’s goal leaderboard with 17 and has lit the lamp five times in the last six games. Last night’s power play goal marked his 200th career tally in the AHL. The 10th-year pro also shows points in nine of the last 10 contests, racking up 12 (6-6—12) in that span. Since Nov. 1, Terry has a league-high 14 goals and his 23 points in that period are fifth.
Sixth-year pro and second-year Griffin Turner Elson ties for the league lead with three shorthanded goals after picking up another one last night. Three shorties is the most by a Griffin in a single season since Landon Ferraro and Tomas Nosek both collected three in 2014-15. Elson is the 21st player in team history to log three or more SHG in a season. Notching his 10th goal last night, he has reached double digits for the third time in his AHL career and first since 2015-16. With 24 points, Elson has already bettered his output from 2017-18 (9-21—21 in 57 GP) and is on pace for 67, which would more than double his previous best of 30. Elson shows 10 points (5-5—10) in the last eight games and 18 (8-10—18) in the last 15.
The Griffins have points in 12 of their first 14 games at Van Andel Arena (9-2-1-2), including in seven consecutive (5-0-1-1). The seven-game point streak is Grand Rapids’ longest since an eight-game run from Nov. 25, 2016-Jan. 4, 2017 (6-0-0-2). The Griffins’ 21 points at home tie for second in the AHL. Grand Rapids is a +11 in goal differential at home while averaging 3.57 goals, compared to –12 and 2.69 on enemy ice.
‘Tis the Season
Grand Rapids has suffered just two regulation losses at home in December since Dec. 10, 2014, going 17-2-3-3 (0.800) in its last 25 games on home ice during the last month on the calendar. The Griffins have notched an overall winning mark in December in eight consecutive seasons, showing a 61-31-9-7 (0.639) combined record since 2010-11.
Shots, Shots, Shots
Grand Rapids is one of only three teams (Bakersfield, Tucson) to rank in the top 10 in both shots for (31.11, 9th) and against (27.37, 5th). The Griffins have out shot 17 of 27 opponents and have eclipsed the 40-shot mark on three occasions (Dec. 7 at RFD, Nov. 23 vs. MIL, Nov. 10 at MB).
Goaltender Patrik Rybar (pronounced REE-bar) shows points in nine of 12 starts this season (6-3-3) and is ninth in the AHL with a 2.55 goals against average. The 25-year-old is in his first season in North America and led the Czech Extraliga in both GAA (1.73) and shutouts (7) in 36 games with Hradec Kralove last season.
A Harri Situation
Goalie Harri Sateri has points in five of his last six starts (4-1-1). During his previous six outings, the Finnish netminder owns a 2.79 goals against average and a 0.904 save percentage and has collected two wins in overtime.
This Date in Griffins History
2000: Slava Butsayev’s goal with 35 seconds left in regulation and Todd White’s marker in the final second of overtime lift the Griffins to a 5-4 win at Cleveland.
2001:In a game that starts 1:50 late due to weather delays in the Griffins' return from a game in Utah the previous night, Grand Rapids skates to the first tie in franchise history, a 2-2 deadlock with Cincinnati at Van Andel Arena.
2004: The Griffins gain sole possession of first place in the Western Conference (18-7-1-0) with a 4-2 win at Utah. Eric Manlow pushes his goal streak to five games, one shy of the team record, Todd Robinson’s point streak reaches nine games, and Joey MacDonald records the 50th victory of his Griffins career.
2010:Jordan Owens records a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick,” including the Griffins’ eighth shorthanded goal of the season, to pace Grand Rapids to a 5-2 win over Houston.
2016:The Griffins use goals from seven different skaters to thrash Chicago 7-1 at Allstate Arena.
Athletic Socks Giveaway presented by Fifth Third Bank: The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a pair of Griffins socks. View the socks here.
Arcade Night: The Griffins will be saluting the best arcade and video games of all time throughout the night. Fans can test their skills and go for the high score at the free arcade located on the concourse in Amway Section A.
Post-Game Open Skate: Bring your skates to the rink and take to the ice for the post-game open skate.
Friends & Family 4-Packs presented by Big E's Sports Grill: Available
for all Saturday games, each pack includes four or more tickets and $12
in concession cash for a great low price, plus a coupon for one FREE
large, one-topping pizza at Big E's Sports Grill. Visit griffinshockey.com/f4p
or call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2.
Photo by Sam Iannamico/Griffins