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All Corn, No Goals

Mar 15, 2024
Written By: Dylan Rider
1st 2nd 3rd Final
Iowa Wild 0 0 0 0
Grand Rapids Griffins 0 0 2 2

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 vs. Iowa Wild 0

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Joel L'Esperance's late game-winning goal and Michael Hutchinson's 14-save shutout pushed the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 2-0 victory over the Iowa Wild at Van Andel Arena on Friday. 

Dan Watson earned his 300th professional win as a head coach. The Griffins extended their home point streak to 15 games, which tied Milwaukee for the longest in the AHL this season, is one game shy of a franchise record of 16 set more than 20 years ago and is Grand Rapids' longest since a 15-game streak from Nov. 11, 2015 to Jan. 17, 2016. The 14 shots conceded by the Griffins are the fewest given up in a game this season, as the previous number of fewest shots was 16 (last occurred Dec. 27 at Rockford). Taro Hirose registered two assists, which gave the veteran six points (2-4--6) in eight games played, while Matt Luff's helper put him at five points (2-3--5) in six contests played. 

March 15, 2024  ·  2 Minutes

3-15-24 | Highlights | Iowa Wild

Grand Rapids broke the tie in the twilight of the third period when L’Esperance tipped a pass behind Jesper Wallstedt from the slot for a power-play goal and to take a 1-0 lead at 16:40. With Wallstedt pulled with 1:37 remaining, the Griffins scored an empty-net tally when Hirose sent a shot to the goal, which then bounced off Dominik Shine and in at 19:23 for a 2-0 victory over the Iowa Wild.

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Notes
Zach Aston-Reese's assist tonight totaled his points at 150 as a pro.
Brogan Rafferty's assist streak (0-3--3) ended at three games. 
- The victory snapped the Griffins' five-game skid. 

Box Score
Iowa 0 0 0 - 0
Grand Rapids 0 0 2 - 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Walker Ia (hooking), 3:34; Lombardi Gr (hooking), 8:53; Raska Ia (roughing), 18:40; Spezia Gr (roughing), 18:40.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Hain Ia (hooking), 2:54; Söderblom Gr (holding), 12:32.

3rd Period-1, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 14 (Hirose, Luff), 16:40 (PP). 2, Grand Rapids, Shine 9 (Hirose, Aston-Reese), 19:23 (EN). Penalties-Hain Ia (high-sticking), 15:27.

Shots on Goal-Iowa 6-3-5-14. Grand Rapids 9-10-12-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Iowa 0 / 2; Grand Rapids 1 / 3.
Goalies-Iowa, Wallstedt 17-17-2 (30 shots-29 saves). Grand Rapids, Hutchinson 14-10-3 (14 shots-14 saves).
A-7,549

Three Stars
1. GR L'Esperance (game-winner); 2. GR Hutchinson (W, SO, 14 saves); 3. IA Wallstedt (L, 29 saves)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 28-17-7-4 (67 pts.) / Sat., March 16 vs. Iowa 8 p.m.
Iowa: 20-32-3-2 (45 pts.) / Sat., March 16 at Grand Rapids 7 p.m. CDT

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins