This Week’s Games
GRIFFINS at San Jose Barracuda // Fri., Oct. 13 // 10 p.m. EDT // SAP Center
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 9:35 p.m.
Season Series: First of two meetings overall, first and last at the SAP Center.
All-Time Series: 0-0-0-1 Road, 0-1-0-1 Overall.
NHL Affiliation: San Jose Sharks.
Noteworthy: San Jose has nine players on this year’s roster that participated in last season’s Western Conference Finals against Grand Rapids while the Griffins return 12 players.
GRIFFINS at Stockton Heat // Sat., Oct. 14 // 9 p.m. EDT // Stockton Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 8:35 p.m.
Season Series: First of two meetings overall, first and last at Stockton Arena.
All-Time Series: 0-0-0-1 Road, 1-0-0-1 Overall.
NHL Affiliation: Calgary Flames
Noteworthy: Tom McCollum (2016-17) and Turner Elson (2015-16) have both spent time with Stockton during their careers.
Last Week’s Results
Fri., Oct. 6 Manitoba Moose 2 at GRIFFINS 5 1-0-0-0 (2 points, 1st Central)
Sat., Oct. 7 Manitoba Moose 7 at GRIFFINS 2 1-1-0-0 (2 points, T2nd)
Off and Running: The defending Calder Cup champion Griffins have opened the 2017-18 campaign 1-1-0-0 following last weekend’s home split against Manitoba. Shortly after raising the 2017 Calder Cup banner on Friday, Grand Rapids defeated the Moose 5-2 to mark the third time in the last five seasons, and second consecutive year, that the Griffins won their season opener. Manitoba turned the tables on Grand Rapids on Saturday, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before winning 7-2. Due to a power outage in downtown Grand Rapids, there was a one-hour delay to the start of Saturday’s game. Grand Rapids kicks off its three-game road trip with a back-to-back against San Jose and Stockton on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Follow the Leaders:
Points: Turner Elson (1-4—5)
Goals: Seven tied (1)
Assists: Elson (4)
PIM: Dan Renouf (11)
Plus-Minus: Colin Campbell, Dominic Turgeon (+3)
Goaltender Wins: Jared Coreau (1)
Goals Against Average: Coreau (2.12)
Save Percentage: Coreau (0.930)
Road Openers: With Friday at San Jose providing the first away game of the season, the Griffins have posted a 13-6-2-0 (0.667) record all time in road openers, including wins in three of the last four. For the second time in the last three seasons, Grand Rapids’ road opener will come in the Golden State (Oct. 9, 2015 at Bakersfield, 0-1 L).
Three Sent to Toledo: The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday reassigned forward Zach Nastasiuk and rookie defenseman Vili Saarijarvi from the Griffins to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. In addition, the Griffins assigned rookie defenseman Patrick McCarron to Toledo. All three players did not skate in the Griffins’ season-opening games last weekend.
Good Start: Linemates Turner Elson and Colin Campbell have combined to score nine of the team’s 20 total points through two games this season. Elson, a fifth-year pro signed as a free agent by Detroit in July, set his AHL single-game career high with four points (1-3—4) in his Griffins debut last Friday and added an assist in Saturday’s loss. Campbell, who has played in 186 games with the Griffins since 2013-14, tied a single-game career high with three points (1-2—3) in Friday’s victory and contributed an assist on Saturday.
No Hard Feelings, Right?: Friday’s game will mark the first matchup between the Griffins and San Jose Barracuda since the 2017 Western Conference Finals. Grand Rapids eliminated San Jose, which posted the conference’s best regular season record, in five games en route to its second Calder Cup in the last five seasons. The Griffins return 12 players who participated in that series, including points leaders Ben Street (2-5—7) and Eric Tangradi (1-6—7), and goaltender Jared Coreau, who posted a 2.01 GAA and a 0.940 save percentage in the five games. San Jose brings back nine players from the series including Joakim Ryan, one of three players who posted a team-high four points, and goaltender Troy Grosenick, last season’s Aldege “Baz” Bastien Award winner as the league’s top netminder, who surrendered a 3.73 GAA and a 0.892 save percentage in the conference finals.
San Jose Notes: Grand Rapids is 0-1-0-1 all time against San Jose during the regular season, with both matchups coming in 2016-17…In their only regular season appearance at the SAP Center last year, the Griffins lost 1-0 in a shootout on March 11…Last season’s Dudley “Red” Garrett Award winner as the AHL’s Rookie of the Year, Daniel O’Regan, scored a team-high three points (2-1—3) in San Jose’s 2017-18 season opener…The Barracuda have played one game so far, winning 6-4 at Stockton last Saturday…Second-year pro Dylan Sadowy was San Jose’s fifth choice, 81st overall, in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft…Sadowy never played a game within San Jose’s organization as he was traded to Detroit in exchange for a third-round draft pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft on May 26, 2016.
Sweet Home Stockton?: A pair of Griffins, goaltender Tom McCollum and forward Turner Elson, have spent time in Stockton during their careers. McCollum, a first-round draft pick by Detroit in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, played with the Griffins from 2009-16 before signing a two-year contract with Calgary last October. McCollum appeared in one game with the Heat, logging 39:54 in a relief effort on Nov. 5 and stopping 19-of-20 shots. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound netminder also appeared in five games with the Heat’s ECHL affiliate in Adirondack, showing a 3-1-1 record, a 2.97 goals against average and a 0.894 save percentage. Detroit acquired McCollum on July 1 from Calgary in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Signed as an undrafted free agent by Calgary in 2011, Elson spent appeared in 162 games with the Flames’ AHL affiliate from 2011-16, which included stops in Abbotsford, Adirondack and Stockton. In his lone season in Stockton in 2015-16, Elson tied a career high with 30 points (14-16—30) while setting career bests in assists (16), penalty minutes (59) and shots (159) while serving as an alternate captain.
Stockton Notes: Stockton split its two games last weekend, defeating Bakersfield on Friday and losing to San Jose on Saturday…Mark Jankowski leads the team with five points (3-2—5) in two games…Grand Rapids and Stockton met for the first time ever last season with the Griffins posting a 1-0-0-1 record…In their only appearance at Stockton Arena last year, the Griffins lost 5-4 in a shootout on March 12, one night after dropping a 1-0 shootout decision at San Jose.
California Love: The Griffins have one player on their roster from California. Captain Matthew Ford hails from West Hills, located outside Los Angeles.
California Games: This weekend’s games at San Jose and Stockton will mark Grand Rapids’ 12th and 13th ever games in the state of California, including playoffs. The Griffins are 3-6-0-2 (0.364) all time in California, including 1-1 in the postseason.
|Jan. 17, 1998||Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL)||L, 1-6|
|Nov. 24, 1998||Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL)||L, 3-5|
|Oct. 15, 1999||Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL)||L, 4-5|
|Oct. 16, 1999||Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL)||W, 5-3|
|Nov. 24, 2004||Cincinnati Mighty Ducks*||SOW, 4-3|
|Oct. 9, 2015||Bakersfield Condors||L, 0-1|
|Oct. 10, 2015||San Diego Gulls||L, 2-4|
|March 11, 2017||San Jose Barracuda||SOL, 0-1|
|March 12, 2017||Stockton Heat||SOL, 4-5|
|May 20, 2017||San Jose Barracuda#||W, 3-1|
|May 21, 2017||San Jose Barracuda#||L, 2-4|
# Playoff game
* Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim
Opening Night Sellout: The Griffins sold out last Friday’s game against Manitoba to mark the franchise’s 22nd consecutive sellout of their home opener and the 169th overall regular season sellout of Van Andel Arena. Now in their 22nd season playing at the “Freezer on Fulton,” the Griffins have enjoyed the raucous crowd support, showing an 89-62-1-2-15 record (0.580) while outscoring opponents 511-454 in sold-out home games.
Championship Effects: Since 2001-02, the year Grand Rapids joined the AHL, nine Calder Cup champions have gone on to qualify for the postseason in the following season, including the Griffins, who reached the conference semifinals in 2014 after winning the franchise’s first championship in 2013. Only one team in this 16-year span has repeated as champions (Hershey in 2009 and 2010).
Captains: After Jeff Hoggan held the captainship for four consecutive seasons (2012-16), the Griffins have a new captain for the second time in as many years. Matthew Ford has been named the 12th captain in Griffins history, succeeding Nathan Paetsch. A 10-year pro, Ford enters his second season in Grand Rapids after tallying 12 points (8-4—12) in 19 games during last spring’s Calder Cup run. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound winger served as an alternate captain last season. Ninth-year Griffin and two-time Calder Cup champion Brian Lashoff along with third-year Griffin Eric Tangradi and second-year Griffin Ben Street will serve as alternate captains for the 2017-18 campaign.
Griffins in the NHL: Twenty-five Griffins alumni spread across nine teams made their respective NHL club’s roster. In addition to the 16 on the Red Wings’ active roster, the list is as follows: Patrick Eaves (injured reserve) with Anaheim; Jordin Tootoo (injured reserve) with Chicago; Jason Spezza and Mattias Janmark with Dallas; Kyle Quincey with Minnesota; Calle Jarnkrok with Nashville; Brendan Smith with the New York Rangers; Valtteri Filppula with Philadelphia, and Tomas Nosek with Vegas.
Still the Friendly Confines: Including last season’s Calder Cup run, the Griffins ran their home winning streak to 13 games following last Friday’s season-opening win against Manitoba. That streak was abruptly ended with Saturday’s 7-2 loss to the Moose, as seven goals were the most allowed by the Griffins at home since April 18, 2015 vs. Charlotte.