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Game Notes: Griffins vs. Marlies - Nov. 11, 2023

Nov 11, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

Grand Rapids Griffins (3-4-1-1) vs. Toronto Marlies (6-3-2-0)

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

Griffins Game #10 * Home Game #5 * AHL Game #166

Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Home Series: 0-1-0-0 Road Series: 0-0-0-0
All-Time Series:
35-35-5-2 All-Time Home Series: 20-16-3-1 All-Time Road Series: 15-19-2-1

Marlies at Griffins
Second of four meetings overall, second of two at Van Andel Arena…The Griffins are 4-5-2-0 (.455) against Toronto since the 2019-20 season and have been outscored 43-36...Grand Rapids is 2-3-2-0 (.429) against Toronto at home since 2019-20 and have been outscored 28-22...Toronto’s power play ranks 24th in the league at 15.1% and its penalty kill places 16th at 82.2%...The Marlies enter the contest with a 3-2-1-0 mark on the road this season...Toronto’s Alex Steeves is tied for sixth in the AHL with seven goals in 11 appearances...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...Marlies’ head coach John Gruden skated for the Griffins from 1999-2002.

Last Time Out
The Griffins fell to the Toronto Marlies 7-3 at Van Andel Arena on Friday night. In the defeat, the Griffins’ home-game point streak ended, as it was their first home regulation loss of the year. The match saw a combined 145 penalty minutes, including 10 game misconducts. The contest featured a couple milestones for the Griffins. Dominik Shine, who bagged an assist on Zach Aston-Reese’s first goal as a Griffin, moved into sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time games played list with 366. Taro Hirose's assist on Tim Gettinger's goal tied Derek King for fifth place on the Griffins’ all-time assists list, while Amadeus Lombardi scored his first professional goal.

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
2009: The Griffins maintain their status as the AHL’s only perfect home team at 7-0 and run their overall winning streak to eight with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Lake Erie Monsters at Van Andel Arena.

Take the Under
Despite giving up seven goals last night in a game that featured 10 tallies, rookie netminder Sebastian Cossa and veteran Michael Hutchinson have had strong starts to the campaign. The Griffins have allowed just 3.33 goals per game. However, Grand Rapids has struggled to score itself, as it ranks 28th in the league with an average of 2.44 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 nine games. On the defensive side of the ice, the team has allowed more than three goals three times out of nine games and has kept its opponents to two goals or less in three outings.

Power Moves
The Griffins’ power play has had a strong showing to start the season. Through nine games, Grand Rapids is tied for fifth place with a power-play conversion rate of 25% (5 for 20). The Griffins have been on the power play just 20 times this season, which ranks last in the AHL by four. 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. Last night, Shine past Mitch Callahan for third with 366 career games played for the Griffins and stands ninth with 433 penalty minutes. Taro Hirose also continues to climb the Griffins’ all-time leaderboard, as he is currently ranked 10th in points (174) and tied for fifth in assists (130).

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 2-1-1-0 (.625) but have been outscored 13-14. 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 4-for-14 ledger (28.6%) 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 25.4 shots in their last five outings. Last Saturday, Grand Rapids held Milwaukee to just 16 total shots, which was the fewest allowed all season. However, the Griffins are tied for 25th in the league with an average of 31.8 shots allowed per game. Grand Rapids has also struggled to put pucks on net, as it places 27th out of 32 teams at 27.2 shots per game. The first period has been the killer, as the Griffins have been outshot 106-75 in the opening frame. In the second period, Grand Rapids has been outshot 97-81 but it has outshot its opponent in the third by a slim 82-80 margin.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Sebastian Cossa
—3.22 GAA ranks sixth among rookie goaltenders, .899 save percentage ranks seventh among rookie goaltenders
Simon Edvinsson—Three goals are tied for fifth among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for first among defensemen, 27 shots rank 11th among defensemen

Last night, Dominik Shine past Mitch Callahan for third on the Griffins’ all-time games played list with 366 games, Taro Hirose tied Derek King for fifth on the team’s all-time assists list with 130, Josiah Didier competed in his 400th game as a pro and Jonatan Berggren skated in his 250th pro contest.
Zach Aston-Reese
—Three points from 50 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—Two goals from 50 as a pro
Jared McIsaac—Two points from 50 as a pro and as a Griffin
Tyler Spezia—One goal from 50 as a pro
William Wallinder—One assist from 50 as a pro

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins