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Game Notes: Griffins vs. Marlies - Nov. 10, 2023

Nov 10, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

Grand Rapids Griffins (3-3-1-1) vs. Toronto Marlies (5-3-2-0)

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

November 10, 2023  ·  2 Minutes

Game Day Preview - November 10 vs. Toronto Marlies

Griffins Game #9 * Home Game #4 * AHL Game #153

Season Series: 0-0-0-0 Home Series: 0-0-0-0 Road Series: 0-0-0-0
All-Time Series:
35-34-5-2 All-Time Home Series: 20-15-3-1 All-Time Road Series: 15-19-2-1

Marlies at Griffins
First of four meetings overall, first of two at Van Andel Arena…The Griffins are 4-4-2-0 (.500) against Toronto since the 2019-20 season and have been outscored 36-33...Grand Rapids is 2-2-2-0 (.500) against Toronto at home since 2019-20 and have been outscored 21-19...Toronto’s power play ranks 26th in the league at 14.6% and its penalty kill places 14th at 82.9%...The Marlies enter the contest with a 2-2-1-0 mark on the road this season...Toronto’s Alex Steeves is tied for 10th in the AHL with six goals in 10 appearances...Rookie goaltender Dennis Hildeby is ranks fourth on the circuit with a 1.68 GAA in three outings and tied for eighth with a .935 save percentage...Michael Hutchinson skated for the Marlies from 2018-22 and posted a 30-16-7 record (.698) to go along with a 2.84 GAA and a .910 save percentage in 57 games...Toronto’s goaltender Keith Petruzzelli and forward Robert Mastrosimone were both draft picks of the Detroit Red Wings.

Last Time Out
The Griffins picked up a tight 2-1 victory against the Milwaukee Admirals at Panther Arena last Saturday. Elmer Soderblom and Brogan Rafferty combined for a two-goal second frame to secure the lead, which gave the Griffins their first road win of the year. Michael Hutchinson saved 15-of-16 shots, collecting two shut out periods in the second and third. Carter Mazur picked up an assist on Soderblom’s goal, marking his first point of the season. Rafferty's game-winning goal put the Griffins back in the win column and snapped a five-game losing streak (0-3-1-1). Dominik Shine tied Mitch Callahan for third on the Griffins’ all-time games played list with 363 contests and Eemil Viro skated in his 200th pro game.

Roster Shake Up
- Oct. 14—F Zach Aston-Reese recalled by Detroit
- Oct. 15—F Austin Czarnik recalled by Detroit; F Zach Aston-Reese reassigned by Detroit
- Oct. 20—F Jonatan Berggren recalled by Detroit
- Oct. 29—F Jonatan Berggren reassigned by Detroit
- Oct. 31—F Carter Mazur assigned by Detroit

This Date in Griffins History
2012: In a dramatic 5-3 comeback win at Peoria, the Griffins rally from 2-0 down and score the game-winner with less than three minutes left to move into first place in the Midwest Division with their fifth straight victory.

Take the Under
Thanks to solid goaltending from rookie Sebastian Cossa and veteran Michael Hutchinson, the Griffins have allowed just 2.88 goals per game. However, Grand Rapids has struggled to score itself, as it is tied for 27th in the league with an average of 2.38 goals per game. The Griffins have scored more than three goals just once and have been held to two goals or less in four of the eight games. In the past three games, Grand Rapids has averaged 1.67 goals. On the defensive side of the ice, the team has allowed more than three goals twice out of eight games and has kept its opponents to two goals or less in three outings. In the past three contests, the Griffins have allowed an average of 2.67 goals.

Thou Shalt Not Pass
Goaltenders Sebastian Cossa (.923) and Michael Hutchinson (.919) have had strong starts to the campaign, as both show a save percentage well above .900. Cossa has also registered a 2.50 GAA, while Hutchinson possesses a 2.52 GAA. Cossa ranks fifth among rookie netminders in GAA and fourth in save percentage. Combined, the goaltenders have a 2.51 GAA and a 0.921 save percentage. The Griffins rank 13th in the AHL by allowing 2.88 goals against per game.

Power Moves
The Griffins’ power play has had a strong showing to start the season. Through eight games, Grand Rapids sits in fifth place with a power-play conversion rate of 25% (4 for 16). The Griffins have been on the power play just 16 times this season, which ranks last in the AHL by five. During the 2022-23 campaign, Grand Rapids finished 25th on the circuit with a power-play rate of 17.8% (52 for 292).

The Climb
Dominik Shine
is just the third player in franchise history to reach eight seasons of service, while Tyler Spezia is the eighth player to compete in his sixth campaign. Shine is tied with Mitch Callahan for third with 365 career games played for the Griffins and stands 10th with 408 penalty minutes. Taro Hirose also continues to climb the Griffins’ all-time leaderboard, as he is currently ranked 10th in points (172) and sixth in assists (129).

A Tale of Two Cities
The Griffins garnered their first road win of the campaign last Saturday, beating Milwaukee 2-1. Despite the victory, Grand Rapids has looked vastly different when playing at home compared to road cities. At home, the Griffins are on an active three-game point streak with a 2-0-1-0 record (.833) and have outscored their opponents 10-7. However, on the road, Grand Rapids is 1-3-0-1 (.300) and has been outscored 16-9. The Griffins’ power play has also faltered on the road, showing a 1-for-6 mark (16.7%) compared to the 3-for-10 ledger (30%) at home. The road penalty kill has been the lone bright spot for Grand Rapids, as it is 13 for 16 (81.3%).

Shoot Your Shot
After allowing an average of 39.75 shots in their first four games, the Griffins allowed an average of just 24.5 shots in their last four outings. In its last game on Saturday, Grand Rapids held Milwaukee to just 16 total shots, which was the fewest allowed all season. However, the Griffins still rank 29th in the league with an average of 32.1 shots allowed per game. Grand Rapids has also struggled to put pucks on net, as it places 27th out of 32 teams at 27.6 shots per game. The first period has been the killer, as the Griffins have been outshot 97-64 in the opening frame. In the second period, Grand Rapids has been outshot 86-74 but it has outshot its opponent in the third by a slim 76-71 margin.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Sebastian Cossa
—2.50 GAA ranks fifth among rookie goaltenders, .923 save percentage ranks fourth among rookie goaltenders
Simon Edvinsson—Three goals are tied for fifth among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for first among defensemen, 25 shots are tied for 10th among defensemen

Last Saturday, Dominik Shine tied Mitch Callahan for third on the Griffins’ all-time games played list with 365 games and Eemil Viro competed in his 200th pro contest.
Zach Aston-Reese—Four points from 50 in the AHL
Jonatan Berggren—One game from 250 as a pro
Josiah Didier—One game from 400 as a pro
Taro Hirose—Two goals from 50 as a pro, one assist from tying Derek King for fifth on the Griffins’ all-time assists list
Jared McIsaac—Two points from 50 as a pro and as a Griffin
Dominik Shine—One game from claiming third on the Griffins’ all-time games played list
Tyler Spezia—One goal from 50 as a pro
William Wallinder—One assist from 50 as a pro

Photo by Toronto Marlies