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Record Setting Griffins Ready For Weekend Set At Lake Erie

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Tomas Nosek Tried To Score On  Joonas Korpisalo of the Lake Erie Monsters on December 5, 2015
Tomas Nosek Tried To Score On Joonas Korpisalo of the Lake Erie Monsters on December 5, 2015
Griffins Hockey

This Week's Games
Sat., Dec. 26    GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters    7 p.m.    WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM/ AHLLive.com
Sun., Dec. 27    GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters    5 p.m.    WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM/ AHLLive.com

Last Week's Results
Wed., Dec. 16    GRIFFINS 3 at Lake Erie Monsters 2    14-8-0-1, 29 points (4th, Central Division)
Fri., Dec. 18    Texas Stars 4 at GRIFFINS 5    15-8-0-1, 31 points (4th)
Sat., Dec. 19    Texas Stars 1 at GRIFFINS 6     16-8-0-1, 33 points (3rd)


Record Setters: With a two-game sweep of Texas last weekend, the Griffins extended their franchise-record winning streak to 14 games. The Griffins' 14-game run is the longest streak in the AHL since Norfolk set the standard by rattling off 28 in a row on its way to winning the Calder Cup in the 2011-12 season.

Against the Best: Grand Rapids' 14-game run has come at the expense of top Western Conference opponents, as 12 of those wins have come against teams with winning records. The Griffins' 14-game winning streak includes a 9-0 mark against four teams in the top six of the Central Division standings: 3-0 against fourth-place Lake Erie (10-5 scoring margin) and 2-0 against first-place Rockford (7-3), second-place Milwaukee (10-1), and sixth-place Chicago (5-2). Additionally, the seven unique teams Grand Rapids has beaten during its streak have combined for a current overall record of 199-154-22-25 (0.556). During their recent stretch, the Griffins have also shown to be streak busters, defeating Rockford (9-3-1-1) on Nov. 18 to halt the IceHogs' 10-game point streak and on Dec. 12 to stop their five-game winning streak and blanking Central-leading Milwaukee (12-4-1-0) 6-0 on Nov. 27 to end the Admirals' 11-game point run and franchise-record 10-game winning streak.

A look at the changes in numbers and rankings during the Griffins' 14-game winning streak:

First 11 Games

Last 14 Games

Season Totals

Record

2-8-0-1, 5 points

14-0-0-0, 28 points

16-8-0-1, 33 points

Percentage

0.227 (30th)

1.000 (1st)

0.660 (6th)

Goals For

19 (1.73 pg - 28th)

59 (4.21 pg)

78 (3.12 pg - 5th)

Goals Against

38 (3.45 pg - 26th)

24 (1.71 pg)

62 (2.48 pg - T5th)

Goal Differential

-19 (28th)

+35

+16 (4th)

Team +/-

-72

+143

+71

GR Leaders

Goals

3 - Campbell/Frk/Tangradi (T109th)

9 - Tangradi (1st)

12 - Tangradi (7th)

Assists

6 - Miele (T62nd)

13 - Russo (T1st)

16 - Miele (T17th)

Points

7 - Miele (T124th)

16 - Tangradi (3rd)

21 - Tangradi (T31st)

+/-

+2 Campbell (1 of 2 plus players - ?)

+17 - Russo (1st)

+16 - Russo (1 of 17 plus players - T5th)

GAA

2.71 - Coreau (26th)

1.90 - Coreau (7th)

2.20 - Coreau (8th)

3.55 - McCollum (?)

1.24 - McCollum (1st)

2.53 - McCollum (17th)

Save %

0.915 - Coreau (21st)

0.942 - Coreau (5th)

0.932 - Coreau (4th)

0.887 - McCollum (?)

0.965 - McCollum (1st)

0.924 - McCollum (T9th)


Inside the Streak: Over the past 14 games, 17 different Griffins have scored a goal and 19 have accumulated a point, while Eric Tangradi leads in both categories with nine and 16, respectively...Robbie Russo is a close second in point production with 15 (2-13—15) and Anthony Mantha (5-9—14) and Andy Miele (4-10—14) are tied for third...Russo's 13 assists over the last 14 games lead the team as well as topping the league's chart... Andy Miele is second, distributing 10 assists...Mark Zengerle and Mantha are tied for third, responsible for nine helpers apiece...Mitch Callahan and Andreas Athanasiou are tied for second with seven goals in the last 14 games...In win number two of the streak, Grand Rapids enjoyed its biggest offensive performance of the season in a 7-4 win over San Diego (9-4-0-1) on Nov. 20, setting a season-best for goals scored...The Griffins recorded their first shutout of the season in win number five, beating Central-leading Milwaukee (12-4-1-0) 6-0 on Nov. 27...In win number 11, Grand Rapids mounted its largest comeback of the season, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Iowa 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 13...Grand Rapids is outscoring its opponents 59-24 during the streak. 


Home Cooking:
In addition to the 14-game overall win streak, Grand Rapids has matched a franchise mark by racking up 10 consecutive victories inside Van Andel Arena's friendly confines. The Griffins' current stretch is tied for the seventh-longest streak in the AHL since 2007-08 (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2015-16; Hershey, Milwaukee, Peoria 2008-09), and they have outscored their visitors by a 45-19 tally during the run.

Stone Wall: Goaltenders Jared Coreau and Tom McCollum have been stout during the team's run, as Coreau is responsible for 10 victories and McCollum four. Coreau matched a career high (Dec. 31, 2014 vs. RFD) by recording 47 saves in a 3-2 victory over Lake Erie on Dec. 16 and also logged the team's first shutout of the season on Nov. 27, executing 22 saves in a 6-0 win over Milwaukee. Coreau's 10-game winning streak establishes a career best and is just two shy of Jimmy Howard's record for a Grand Rapids goalie. His streak marks the third straight season in which a Griffins goalie has posted eight or more consecutive victories (2014-15: Petr Mrazek, 8, Nov. 12-March 4; 2013-14: Mrazek, 10, Oct. 30-Feb. 1). The third-year Griffin has stopped 309 of 328 shots (0.942) faced over his last 10 games, posting a 1.90 goals against average. Coreau ranks fourth among league netminders with a 0.932 save percentage and eighth with a 2.20 GAA. McCollum stopped 41 shots in back-to-back appearances (Nov. 28 vs. Lake Erie, Dec. 5 vs. Lake Erie) and has turned away 137 of 142 shots (0.965) with a 1.24 GAA during his last four games. McCollum (0.965) and Coreau (0.942) rank first and fifth, respectively, among the league's save percentage leaders over the last 14 games.


Russo's Rookie Relevance: Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo registered just one assist and a single point through his first seven professional games this season. However, his eighth career game, Nov. 18 against Rockford, proved to be his coming out party as Russo exploded for a three-point night including scoring - in game-winning fashion - his first professional goal. Since Nov. 18, Russo leads the team with 13 assists in 14 games. The former Notre Dame standout has accumulated points in 11 of the last 14 contests (2-13—15), leading the team in assists during that span. Russo's current seven-game assist streak is a Griffins' best this season and he also is tops on the team with a +16 rating. 

Power Switch: After slogging through an 0-for-19 power play stretch spanning five games (Dec. 4-13), the Griffins have now scored four times in 10 tries when on the man advantage the last three games (Dec. 16-19). Against Texas on Dec. 18, Grand Rapids netted multiple power play goals (Martin FrkAnthony Mantha) for the fourth time this season and the first since Nov. 20. The Griffins rank 17th in the power play (16.0%) and 10th in the penalty kill (85.4%). 

Goal Scoring: Partly attributable to the Griffins' current sixth-place standing in the AHL is the fact they rank in the top five for both goals for (3.12, fifth) and goals against (2.48, tied for fifth) per game.  

Movin' On Up: On Nov. 18, just six short weeks ago, Grand Rapids stood in last place in the league with a 0.227 winning percentage. Since that date, which marked the beginning of the Griffins' current 14-game winning streak, Grand Rapids (0.660) has vaulted all the way up to the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference and No. 6 in the AHL. 

Magic Numbers: The Griffins are a perfect 15-0-0-0 when scoring three or more goals and 12-1-0-0 when allowing two goals or fewer...Grand Rapids is 7-0-0-0 when leading after one period, 11-1-0-0 when leading after two and 11-1-0-0 when striking first. 

Enjoying the Holidays: The Griffins last tasted defeat 12 days before Thanksgiving dinner and took a four-game winning streak into the holiday. Now, relishing nearly a week off, the Griffins will take a 14-game winning streak into Christmas. When the team reconvenes and take the ice at Lake Erie on Saturday, it will be exactly six weeks since their last loss on Nov. 14. 

Griffins Leaders:
Eric Tangradi
(12-9--€”21) and Andy Miele (5-16--21) continue to pace Grand Rapids in scoring, just ahead of Anthony Mantha (7-11€--18), Andreas Athanasiou (8-8—16) and Robbie Russo (2-14--€”16).

Making the Grade: Eric Tangradi has accumulated points in 10 of the last 11 outings (9-7--€”16). His current seven-game point streak from Nov. 27-Dec. 13 sets a Griffins best this season, while his three-game goal streak from Dec. 5-Dec. 12 tied for tops on the team (Anthony Mantha, Dec. 16-19; Mitch Callahan, Nov. 25-28). Tangradi's team-leading 12 goals are buoyed by his fourth career hat trick recorded Dec. 5 against Lake Erie, the second posted by a Griffin this season (Tomas Jurco, Nov. 20 vs. San Diego). The seventh-year professional's nine goals in the last 14 games pace the league. Tangradi is expected to return to the lineup this week following last week's AHL-issued three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of an opponent on Dec. 13 at Iowa. 

Doubling Up: Andreas Athanasiou, known as "Double A," has been on a tear since the Red Wings reassigned him to the Griffins on Nov. 19. He has registered points in nine of 10 games in his return (7-7â--14). After having totaled just one goal and one assist in his first eight games with Grand Rapids this season, he eclipsed his previous point total in one night with Nov. 20's three-point outburst (1-2--3) against San Diego, before accounting for both of the Griffins' goals in their 2-1 win at Chicago on Nov. 21. Athanasiou has scored a goal in three of the last four games.  

Mantha Mania: Ranking third on the team in points, Anthony Mantha has tallied five multi-point efforts in the last nine games (5-9--€”14), including a season-best two goals on Dec. 16 at Lake Erie. His current six-game point streak includes a three-game goal streak, which ties a Griffins' long this season (Eric Tangradi Dec. 5-12, Mitch Callahan Nov. 25-28). 

Trending Upwards: Robbie Russo is on a seven-game assist streak (1-8--€”9), setting a Griffins' season high...Russo's seven-game point streak matches a Griffins' best (Eric Tangradi, Nov. 27-Dec. 13)...Mark Zengerle (3-9--12) and Andy Miele (3-10--€”13) have registered points in eight of the last 11 games after both recorded three assists against the Wild on Nov. 25, setting a Griffins season high...Xavier Ouellet is responsible for seven points the last nine games (1-6--7), including the game-winning goal in overtime against Iowa on Dec. 13...Martin Frk has picked up points in each of his last five appearances (4-4--8). 

Out of Action: Goaltender Tom McCollum has missed the last six consecutive games due to injury...Mitch Callahan missed the last two games and is expected to be out an extended amount of time with a broken jaw. 

Scouting Report

Saturday, Dec. 26 at Lake Erie Monsters (15-8-2-2) - Quicken Loans Arena - 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 27 at Lake Erie Monsters - Quicken Loans Arena - 5 p.m.

Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, 4:35 p.m. on Sunday Web Casts:Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.comAll-Time Series:14-11-2-6 Road, 34-21-3-7 Overall. Season Series: 1-1-0-1 Road, 3-1-0-1 Overall. Sixth and seventh of 12 meetings overall, fourth and fifth of six at Quicken Loans Arena. NHL Affiliation:Columbus Blue JacketsHead Coach: Jared Bednar (1st season). Notes: The Lake Erie Monsters are fourth in the Central Division, fifth in the Western Conference and eighth in the AHL with a 15-8-2-2 record (0.630)...Monsters head coach Jared Bednar played for the Griffins during their 1998-99 IHL campaign, racking up 21 points (3-18--21) and a team-high 220 PIM in 74 games...Lake Erie is 4-4-2-0 in its last 10 and has dropped the last three...The Monsters are 9-2-0-2 at home...Rookie goaltender Joonas Korpisalo is sixth among league backstops with a 2.12 goals against average, but he was added to the Columbus Blue Jackets' roster on emergency recall on Dec. 9...Creasemate Anton Forsberg is tied for 15th with a 2.51 GAA...T.J. Tynan leads the Monsters with 18 points (1-17--18) while Kerby Rychel (5-9--€”14) is second...The Monsters rank seventh in goals against per game (2.59) but are tied for 21st in goals for (2.70)...Lake Erie ranks third in shots for per game (33.56) and sixth in shots against (27.89)...The Monsters are the last team to defeat the Griffins, winning 5-1 on Nov. 14 in Cleveland...Grand Rapids won the most recent matchup with Lake Erie on Dec. 16, beating the Monsters 3-2 behind Anthony Mantha's two goals and Jared Coreau's career-best tying 47 saves...The Griffins have won the last three against the Monsters this season after dropping the first two...Against Lake Erie this season,  Mantha leads the team with five points (3-2--5), while Eric Tangradi (4-0--”4) and Robbie Russo (1-3--€”4) are tied for secon