Game Time: 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena
GRIFFINS (12-7-0-2) vs. Texas Stars (9-8-1-1)
Griffins Game #22 * Home Game #12 * AHL Game #325
Season Series: 0-2-0-0 Home Series: 0-1-0-0 Road Series: 0-1-0-0
All-Time Series: 25-14-2-3 All-Time Home Series: 13-6-0-3 All-Time Road Series: 12-8-2-0
Griffins vs. Stars
Third of eight meetings overall, second of four at Van Andel Arena…Ben Simon made his Grand Rapids head coaching debut against Texas on Oct. 5 in the Lone Star State…The Stars claimed the first meeting of the season in Texas by a 3-1 count…In the last matchup at Van Andel Arena on Oct. 17, Texas scored three times on seven power play opportunities and won 6-3…Grand Rapids is 9-3-0-1 vs. the Stars in its last 13 matchups in West Michigan, including an eight-game winning streak from Dec. 1, 2012-Nov. 16, 2016...Since the 2013-14 season, the Griffins are 15-7-1-1 in 24 games overall against the Stars…Chris Terry shows a team-high two points (1-1—2) in the season series…Givani Smith, the 46th overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, is the younger brother of Gemel Smith, who has logged 63 career games with the Dallas Stars entering 2018-19 and skated in 186 contests with Texas from 2014-17…Texas goaltender Landon Bow is 4-0-1 with a 1.85 GAA and a 0.941 save percentage in six career games against the Griffins...Texas ranks second in power play efficiency at 28.9%...The Stars are a +15 in goal differential in the third period.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Interestingly, the Griffins and Stars are squaring off at the Van on Dec. 1 for the second consecutive season. In 2017, Texas scored two goals in the third period, including the game-tying marker with six seconds remaining, and won 5-4 in a shootout.
Since the 2014-15 season, Grand Rapids is a combined 12-5-1-1 (0.684) against the two Texas teams on home ice with a +15 goal differential. The Griffins defeated San Antonio 4-3 last night.
Last Game (Friday): Rampage 3 at Griffins 4
Faceoff was delayed 20 minutes due to ice conditions...The Griffins have claimed five in a row against San Antonio at Van Andel Arena, outgunning the Rampage 23-10 in that stretch...Grand Rapids scored a season-high three power play goals on six opportunities…Three power play goals were the most since March 23, 2018 at Iowa...The Griffins’ penalty kill finished 7-for-7...Five Griffins logged multi-point games...23 shots marked a season low for the Griffins...Grand Rapids finished 9-2-0-2 in November, which ties for the third most wins in the month in franchise history...The special jerseys that the Griffins wore for their fourth annual Red Kettle Game were auctioned off afterward, with proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army.
The Griffins are on a four-game winning streak and a six-game point streak (5-0-0-1), both of which are season highs. Grand Rapids shows points in 12 of its last 14 games (10-2-0-2) and has climbed to third in the Central Division with a 12-7-0-2 overall mark. Grand Rapids continues its four-game homestand tonight against Texas and will be playing its fourth game in six days. The Griffins are in the midst of facing 14 straight Central Division opponents. Grand Rapids is 7-2-0-1 in its last 10, the best mark in the Western Conference in that span.
‘Tis the Season
Grand Rapids has suffered just two regulation losses at home in December since Dec. 10, 2014, going 15-2-2-3 in its last 22 games on home ice during the last month on the calendar. The Griffins have notched a winning mark in December in eight consecutive seasons, showing a 59-29-7-7 record since 2010-11.
The Griffins have points in nine of their first 11 home games (7-2-0-2), including each of the last four (3-0-0-1). Grand Rapids’ seven wins on home ice ties for third in the league. The Griffins are a +7 in goal differential at home while averaging 3.45 goals, compared to –5 and 2.90 on enemy ice.
Filip Hronek became the first player in franchise history to record an overtime goal in back-to-back games when he provided the theatrics in last Saturday’s 4-3 win at Chicago and Monday’s 3-2 victory at Iowa. Hronek is the first AHL player to notch OT goals in consecutive games since… well... Nov. 18-23, 2018, when Toronto’s Mason Marchment did so. A second-year defenseman, six of Hronek’s 16 career AHL goals have been of the game-winning variety, including three coming in overtime. Two overtime goals ties for the third most in a single season in club history, while his three career OT winners tie for third in the team’s all-time top 10 list. Drafted 53rd overall by Detroit in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Hronek is on a five-game point streak (3-5—8), which ties his career high (Feb. 2-10, 2018). He’s found the scoresheet in seven of the last eight contests and his 10 points (3-7—10) since Nov. 14 are the most among league defensemen in that span.
No Shots For You
Grand Rapids has held foes to 25 or less shots in regulation in 10 of 21 games this season and allowed 30 or more in just six instances. The Griffins have out shot 15 of 21 opponents and rank fifth on the circuit in shots against (26.8). Grand Rapids’ penalty killers have gone 22-for-22 in the last six games, including 7-for-7 last night, after finishing 2-for-5 against Ontario on Nov. 16.
Terr-ing It Up
The AHL’s leading scorer from a season ago, Chris Terry shows points in four straight games, six of the last seven and nine of the last 11. Since the Griffins’ stretch of 12 points in their last 14 games began on Oct. 27, Terry paces the league with 10 goals while his 16 points in that time tie for fourth. The 10th-year pro’s team-high 12 goals tie for fourth in the AHL.
Goaltender Patrik Rybar (pronounced REE-bar) shows points in seven of nine starts this season (5-2-2) and is fifth in the league with a 2.30 goals against average. He claims a 1.97 GAA since Oct. 27, ranking second in the AHL among goalies who have played more than 300 minutes in that span. The 25-year-old is in his first season in North American 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 been victorious in five of his last six starts, including wins in three straight. During his three-game streak, the Finnish netminder owns a 2.29 goals against average and a 0.914 save percentage and has won twice in overtime. He made a season-high 33 saves in Wednesday’s 5-2 win vs. Chicago.
Sixth-year pro and second-year Griffin Turner Elson has points in seven of the last nine games, accumulating 12 points in that span (6-6—12). He has three two-point games in the last four. He notched a pair of goals in Wednesday’s win vs. Chicago, his first two-goal game since Oct. 13, 2017. Elson ties for the league lead with two shorthanded goals, which are the team’s only two, and both have come against the Wolves. He shows 18 points – which ties for second on the team – through the first 21 tilts and is on pace for 65, which would more than double his previous best of 30.
The sixth overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, Filip Zadina ties for the team lead in both multi-goal games (3) and power play goals (2), while ranking fourth in goals (7) and placing fifth in points (14). The newly minted 19-year-old (birthday was Tuesday) is the highest Red Wings draft pick ever to suit up for the Griffins. Only three players in Griffins history were drafted higher than No. 6: Jason Spezza (No. 2 by Ottawa in 2001), Darrin Shannon (No. 4 by Pittsburgh in 1988) and Stephen Weiss (No. 4 by Florida in 2001). Dylan Larkin (selected 15th overall in the 2014 Draft) was the previous highest Red Wings draft selection to play for Grand Rapids.
Matt Puempel banked his 10th goal of the season, and third in the last two games, in last night’s victory to become the second Griffin to reach the double-digit goal plateau. He ties for eighth in the AHL in goals.
On This Date in Griffins History
2001: The Griffins score three times during a five-minute power play in the second period en route to a 6-4 victory over Houston.
2012: Francis Pare notches a goal and an assist to spark the Griffins to a 3-2 win over Texas, in the process becoming the third-leading scorer in franchise history. His 209 career points place him ahead of Kip Miller (208) and behind only Travis Richards (238) and Michel Picard (380).
Power Bank Giveaway presented by DTE Energy: The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Griffins power bank.
Social Media Night presented by DTE Energy: Join the conversation as the Griffins host Social Media Night. Starting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 1, fans will have the chance to upgrade their game-night experience by purchasing a Zamboni ride, penalty box visit, getting in High-Five Alley and taking a post-game selfie with select Griffins players. Experiences can be accessed in the Game Day section of the Griffins app. Throughout the game, fans who post with #GoGRG will have the chance to have their posts displayed on the video board and the opportunity to win prizes. Follow along with @GriffinsHockey on Twitter to participate in other contests before the game!
Post-game Autograph Session presented by Huntington Bank: David Pope, Dylan Sadowy and Patrik Rybar will sign autographs following the game from the team’s bench.
Friends & Family 4-Packs presented by Big E's Sports Grill: Available
for all Saturday games, each pack incudes 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