Game Notes: Griffins at Admirals - March 18, 2023
Grand Rapids Griffins (25-27-4-3) at Milwaukee Admirals (33-20-3-2)
Game Time: 7 p.m. at Panther Arena
Griffins Game #60 * Road Game #29 * AHL Game #958
Season Series: 2-3-0-0 Home Series: 1-1-0-0 Road Series: 1-2-0-0
All-Time Series: 109-77-7-8-8 All-Time Home Series: 58-36-2-3-3 All-Time Road Series: 51-41-5-5-5
Griffins at Admirals
Sixth of eight meetings overall, fourth of four at Panther Arena…Grand Rapids is 17-16-1-1 (0.514) against Milwaukee since the 2017-18 campaign...Dating back to the 2017-18 season, the Griffins are 14-9-0-0 (0.609) against Milwaukee at Panther Arena with a minus-two scoring margin (65-63)...The Admirals have won five of the last six games against the Griffins in Milwaukee, outscoring Grand Rapids 20-7...Grand Rapids has scored just two goals in each of its last three games against the Admirals…Milwaukee’s penalty kill ranks second at 84.6% while its power play places seventh at 22.3%...Milwaukee is 3-5-2-0 in its last 10 outings and have a 17-11-1-1 home ledger...The Griffins are 4-3-2-1 in their last 10 and are on a four-game point streak (3-0-0-1)...Grand Rapids is 14-13-0-1 on the road...Grand Rapids has faced Milwaukee more than any other opponent in the regular season – 210th meeting tonight – and the Griffins’ 109 victories against the Admirals are the most against any foe…Head coach Ben Simon skated in 18 games with the Admirals during the 2003-04 campaign and finished with four points (1-3—4)...Matt Luff skated with Milwaukee last season and compiled 31 points (14-17—31) in 30 appearances.
Last Time Out
Dominik Shine scored the game-winner in overtime to propel the Griffins to a 4-3 win against the Cleveland Monsters on Thursday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The goal was his 50th as pro as well as the 100th point of his professional career. Danny O’Regan continued his blistering stretch of play with his point streak reaching four games (2-3-5). In his last 13 outings, the veteran forward has 15 points and only two appearances without adding a point to the ledger (6-9-15). Taro Hirose continues to move up the all-time assist leaderboard for Grand Rapids with one in the win and nine apples in as many outings. Hirose is currently seventh on the list with 119 assists and is only three helpers away from tying Nathan Paetsch for sixth.
Roster Shake Up
- March 12—G John Lethemon reassigned to Grand Rapids by Detroit from Toledo (ECHL)
- March 13—F Matt Luff recalled by Detroit
- March 15—F Austin Czarnik and F Matt Luff reassigned by Detroit; G Jan Bednar signed to a two-year contract by Grand Rapids and assigned to Toledo (ECHL)
- March 17—F Austin Czarnik and D Simon Edvinsson recalled by Detroit
This Date in Griffins History
2017: For the second time in as many nights, the top two teams in the Central Division require overtime. And once again, the Griffins come out on top as Ben Street nets his team-high 23rd goal of the season with 1:11 remaining in the extra session to clinch a 3-2 win over the Chicago Wolves before a crowd of 12,014 at Allstate Arena.
Win Some, Lose Some
After enduring a season-high four-game winless streak from March 1-7, the Griffins battled back and are now on a four-game point streak (3-0-0-1) and have points in five of their last six games (3-1-1-1). Grand Rapids is now tied for sixth in the Central Division and is eight points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining. Grand Rapids has points in 17 of its last 26 contests (12-9-3-2, 0.558). Since the new year, the Griffins have lost in regulation just 10 times through 30 games (14-10-3-3, 0.567).
The Griffins have had an up-and-down season when it comes to their special teams. Currently, Grand Rapids is enjoying a six-game streak of scoring on the power play, which is a new season high. During the run, the Griffins are 8-for-27 (29.6%) on the man-advantage. The penalty kill has been improved as well, going 20-for-24 (83.3%) in its last seven contests. The Griffins rank 21st in the AHL with a power-play rate of 18.1%, while their penalty kill places 26th at 77.5%.
Matt Luff has been a welcomed addition to the roster since returning from injury on Jan. 28. Since his return, Luff has 15 points in 21 games (4-11—15) and is enjoyed a five-game point streak (2-4—6) from March 4-12, which was one game shy of tying his career high. Through 26 games with the Griffins, the Windsor, Ontario, native has 23 points (7-16—23) and six penalty minutes. Luff also appeared in seven games with Detroit this season, scoring one goal.
Rewrite the Record Book
Taro Hirose has been known for his passing abilities throughout four seasons with the Griffins. The former Michigan State Spartan has continued to climb the Griffins’ all-time assist leaderboard, and with 119 assists he now ranks seventh in franchise history, passing Jiri Hudler (114). Hirose is now three assists from tying Nathan Paetsch for sixth all time. Hirose is as consistent as they come, as he has had at least 22 assists in each AHL campaign in his career. The Calgary, Alberta, native has totaled a team-leading 36 helpers in 59 games this year. In addition, his 19 power-play assists this season are tied for seventh in the AHL. Hirose also leads the roster with 50 points (14-36—50) in 59 appearances.
Danny O’Regan is starting to find a rhythm with the Griffins after joining the team on Dec. 19. After exploding for three points (2-1—3) in his Griffins debut, O’Regan had just three points in his next 12 games from Dec. 28-Feb. 15. However, the German-born forward enjoyed a five-game point streak (2-5—7) from Feb. 24-March 4 and now has five points (2-3—5) in his last four outings. O’Regan also has 15 points in his last 13 games (6-9—15).
Just Keep it Close
The Griffins have had their ups and downs this season, but they have excelled at winning close games. In fact, Grand Rapids is 14-1-4-3 (0.795) in games decided by one goal and 6-0-4-0 in overtime contests. In comparison, the Griffins are just 11-26-0-0 (0.297) in games decided by two or more tallies. In the 2021-22 season, the Griffins finished with a 13-7-6-2 (0.607) mark in games decided by one goal.
AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Austin Czarnik—Five game-winning goals are tied for eighth, three short-handed goals are tied for first
Simon Edvinsson—22 assists rank fifth among rookie defensemen, 27 points place sixth among rookie defensemen, five goals are tied for eighth among rookie defensemen
Taro Hirose—19 power-play assists are tied for seventh, 36 assists are tied for 13th
Albert Johansson—Five goals are tied for eighth among rookie defensemen
Joel L’Esperance—12 power-play goals are tied for third, 196 shots rank fourth
Alex Nedeljkovic—0.912 save percentage is tied for 12th
Danny O’Regan notched his 300th pro point with a goal on March 16 at Cleveland, while Dominik Shine scored his 50th pro goal with the game-winner, which was also his 100th pro point. Alex Nedeljkovic collected his 100th AHL victory in a 3-1 win at Chicago on March 12. Wyatt Newpower appeared in his 100th game as a Griffin on March 12 and Donovan Sebrango suited up in his 150th pro game.
Austin Czarnik—Two assists from 200 as a pro
Simon Edvinsson—One assist from 50 as a pro
Albert Johansson—One game from 200 as a pro
Matt Luff—Three assists from 100 as a pro
Chase Pearson—Two assists from 50 as a pro, in the AHL and as a Griffin
Elmer Soderblom—Two games from 150 as a pro
Photo by Milwaukee Admirals