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RUSSO NAMED CCM/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The American Hockey League on Monday announced that Grand Rapids Griffins rookie defenseman Robbie Russo has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 28, 2016.

Russo tallied two goals and five assists (2-5—7) along with a plus-8 rating as Grand Rapids finished the week a perfect 4-0 and extended its winning streak to five games.

Russo becomes the second Griffin this season to garner weekly league accolades after Tomas Jurco was honored on Nov. 22. He is also the second Grand Rapids defenseman ever to earn the player of the week nod, following the selection of rookie Clay Wilson on Dec. 26, 2005.

Russo, who entered last week’s action with just four points in his previous 25 contests, picked up a pair of assists on Tuesday to help the Griffins to a 5-0 win at Chicago. He tallied two more assists on Friday as Grand Rapids defeated Iowa, 4-1, and scored the winning goal in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over the Wild. Russo capped the week by scoring the game-tying goal with 2:42 left in regulation and then assisting on Andy Miele’s overtime winner as the Griffins downed Chicago, 4-3, on Sunday evening.

For the season, Russo has totaled four goals and 23 assists (4-23—27) in 50 games with Grand Rapids. He leads all AHL skaters with a plus/minus rating of plus-37 and is just four off the Griffins’ all-time single-season record (Ivan Ciernik, 2000-01). Russo has been on the ice just 23 times this season when the opponent has scored, including three power play goals and two empty netters.

The rookie blueliner spent the last four seasons at the University of Notre Dame, serving as team captain as a senior in 2014-15. A 23-year-old native of Westmont, Ill., Russo was originally a fourth-round selection (95th overall) by the New York Islanders in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings on Aug. 16, 2015.

In recognition of his achievement, Russo will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Griffins home game.

The Griffins will wrap up a four-game homestand on Wednesday, when they host the Central Division-leading Rockford IceHogs at 7 p.m.

Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2. Single-game tickets for all home games are now available for purchase at all Star Tickets locations, including The Zone, online through griffinshockey.com, or by phone through Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737.