Grand Rapids report: Clinton Township's Tyler Spezia scores winner vs. Wolves
Clinton Township's Tyler Spezia scored the winning goal for the Grand Rapids Griffins in a 3-1 victory against the Chicago Wolves on Saturday at the Triphahn Center Ice Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Spezia, who played for Little Caesars for two years and with Bowling Green University for four years, has four goals and three assists in 22 games this year.
Hayden Verbeek had an assist and Bloomfield Hills' Pat Nagle stopped 22 shots for the Griffins, who will be in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Livonia's Riley Barber has four points
Livonia's Riley Barber had four points, including the winning goal with :12 seconds left in Grand Rapids' 5-4 win over the Chicago Wolves at Van Andel Arena on Friday.
Barber, a 6-0, 200-pound winger who played for Detroit Compuware, the National Team Development Program and was a sixth-round draft choice by the Washington Capitals in 2012, had two goals and two assists to move into ninth place in the AHL’s goal-scoring race with 30 points in 27 games, eight points behind San Diego's Andrew Poturalski.
Kyle Criscuolo also had four points and goalie Kevin Boyle made 20 saves for the Giffins, who snapped a four-game winless streak and earned just their second victory in eight tries against the Central Division leaders.
Northern Michigan's Troy Loggins scores goal
Former Northern Michigan University winger Troy Loggins scored a goal in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 3-2 loss against the Cleveland Monsters at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Wednesday.
Loggins, who signed a three-year AHL contract after collecting 106 points in 136 games with the Wildcats from 2015-2019, has four goals and three assists in 23 games with the Griffins this year.
Turner Elson scored the other goal for Grand Rapids, Dominic Turgeon played in his 300th career AHL game and goalie Kaden Fulcher made 33 saves.
Chase Pearson scores twice
Grand Rapids center Chase Pearson scored two goals in the Griffins' 3-2 shootout loss against the Rockford IceHogs on Monday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
Pearson, a fifth-round draft choice in 2015 from the University of Maine, has seven goals in 23 games, one goal short of his eight goals in 59 games last year.
Goalie Kaden Fulcher made 26 saves and ex-Spartan Taro Hirose added an assist and now has 21 points in 22 games with Grand Rapids.
Last week, the Griffins signed left wing Kirill Tyutyayev for the 2021-22 AHL season. Tyutyayev, a 5-foot-9, 146-pound native of Yekaterinburg, Russia, was the 10th pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
He had 32 points (11-21—32) in 43 games with Yunost Minsk of the Belarusian Extraleague, ranking second on the team in assists, third in points and fourth in goals. He added 10 points in 13 playoff games during the team’s run to the championship.
Hayden Verbeek assists on goal in debut
Griffins forward Hayden Verbeek had an assist in his Grand Rapids debut in a 3-2 loss against the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday in Rockford, Ill.
Verbeek, who was acquired from Montreal along with a fifth-round draft pick for defenseman Jon Merrill at the trade deadline, had one goal and two assists in seven games with the Laval Rocket earlier this year.
The nephew of Red Wings assistant GM Pat Verbeek also had two goals in four games with Slovakian team Banska Bystrica earlier this year.
In Saturday's loss, rookie defenseman Jared McIsaac picked up his first AHL assist in six games, goalie Kevin Boyle made 22 saves and former Merrimack defenseman Patrick Holway (sixth-round pick from 2015) played in his first AHL game.
Griffins dress four rookie defensemen for first time in four years
The Grand Rapids Griffins dressed four rookie defensemen for the first time in four years in Thursday's 4-2 loss against the Chicago Wolves at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
Charle-Edouard D’Astous, Tory Dello, Jared McIsaac and Donovan Sebrango were in the lineup along with veterans Dylan McIlrath and Joe Hicketts.
On April 15, 2017, Hicketts, Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek, Patrick McCarron and Dan Renouf played in a 5-1 win in Milwaukee.
Hicketts also scored a goal in Thursday's loss against the Wolves and Rochester Hills goalie Pat Nagle made 27 saves to even his record at 5-5-0 with a 2.98 goals against average and a .885 save percentage.
Donovan Sebrango assists on game winner
Third-round draft pick Donovan Sebrango assisted on the game-winning goal by Gregor MacLeod to give the Grand Rapids Griffins a 3-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
Sebrango, a 6-1, 190-pound defenseman who was selected from the Kitchener Rangers in the 2020 NHL draft, has two assists and is plus-2 in 21 games with the Griffins, who are 6-1-3-0 at home and 4-0-2-0 against Rockford this year.
The game featured a penalty shot for both teams with Michigan State's Taro Hirose failing to score for Grand Rapids and Mitchell Fossier of the IceHogs scoring on goalie Kevin Boyle, who stopped 20 shots for the victory.
It was the third time in the franchise's 25-year history that each team had a penalty shot and the first at Van Andel Arena.
On Oct. 11, 2008 at Lake Erie, Darren Helm was stopped by Jason Bacashihua while Daniel Larsson denied Kyle Cumiskey.
On April 10, 2011 at Milwaukee, Ilari Filppula could not beat Atte Engren, and Jordan Pearce turned back Ryan Flynn.
Dylan McIlrath picks up 1,000th career penalty minute
Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Dylan McIlrath scored the only goal and picked up his 1,000th career penalty minute in Monday's 5-1 loss against the Chicago Wolves at Van Ardel Arena in Grand Rapids.
McIlrath’s six penalty minutes put him past 1,000 for his nine-year pro career (1,003). The 29-year-old Winnipeg native, who was scoreless in 16 games with the Red Wings last year, has points in three of the last five games (1+2).
Goaltender Kaden Fulcher (1-1-1) lost for the first time this year after making 24 saves, Detroit native Dominik Shine had an assist and defenseman Jared McIsaac was minus-2 for the Griffins, who are now 5-1-3-0 on home ice.
Jared McIsaac makes AHL debut
Red Wings second-round draft pick Jared McIsaac made his American Hockey League debut in the Grand Rapids Griffins' back-to-back wins against the Cleveland Monsters at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
The 21-year-old defenseman, who was drafted in 2018 from the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, was scoreless and minus-1 in Tuesday's 5-3 win and scoreless with one shot in Wednesday's 2-1 victory.
McIsaac sustained a shoulder injury in his first game with HPK in Finland’s Liiga last fall and had not played since then.
"It's been a long past few years with both shoulders being reconstructed and having surgery on them," McIsaac said after Tuesday's game.
"It was really exciting to be back on the ice and I'm thankful for everything Detroit has done for me and down here with Grand Rapids too."
On Wednesday, Givani Smith scored a goal to extend his points streak to eight games for the Griffins, who are still undefeated in regulation (5-0-3-0) at home this year.
Mathias Brome scores first AHL goal
Sweden's Mathias Brome scored his first AHL goal in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 4-2 loss against the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
Brome, who scored one goal in 24 games with the Red Wings this year, has two points in two games with the Griffins.
Dennis Cholowski and Taro Hirose each had one assist and Bloomfield Hills' Pat Nagle made 23 saves for Grand Rapids.
Petr Mrazek stops 43 shots
Former Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek made 43 saves in a conditioning stint from the Carolina Hurricanes to lead the Chicago Wolves to a 5-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Triphahn Center Ice Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Mrazek, won won a Calder Cup with the Griffins in 2013 and whose last AHL game was on March 6, 2015, had never played for any AHL team except Grand Rapids.
In 87 regular season games with the Griffins, Mrazek posted a 54-27-1 record with a 2.21 GAA, a 0.920 save percentage and seven shutouts.
His most recent game with Carolina came on Jan. 30, as he continues his recovery from thumb surgery.
Mathias Brome, Dennis Cholowski and Taro Hirose each had an assist and goalie Kevin Boyle made 22 saves for the Griffins.
The regulation loss was the first for Boyle since his Griffins debut on Feb. 11, as he had gone 4-0-1 in his five previous decisions.
The Griffins this season are 0-4 at the Triphahn Center Ice Arena and 8-1-2-0 in all other buildings.
Joe Hicketts picks up five points in series
Griffins defenseman Joe Hicketts had five assists in the two-game weekend series against the Wild in Des Moines, Iowa.
In Saturday's 5-4 loss, Hicketts had two assists in Grand Rapids' first road loss in five games. In Friday's 5-2 win, the 5'8", 175-pound Hicketts had three assists.
Hicketts, who has two assists in six games with the Red Wings last year, has nine assists in 14 games with the Griffins this year.
Also Saturday, Swede Albin Grewe had his first AHL assist in his second game, Givani Smiith scored a goal and Bloomfield Hills' Pat Nagle made 17 saves.
The Griffins dressed three rookie defensemen: Charle-Edouard D'Astous, Tory Dello and Donovan Sebrango. D’Astous had an assist for his first point this year.
Swede Albin Grewe makes AHL debut
Swedish forward Albin Grewe made his American Hockey League debut in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 5-2 victory over the Iowa Wild on Friday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Grewe, a third-round draft pick in 2019 who signed an amateur contract this week, was scoreless for the Griffins, who won for the fourth straight time on the road to improve to 8-3-2 heading into Saturday's rematch against the Wild.
The 20-year-old Grewe was scheduled to play in Saginaw this year but the pandemic has delayed the OHL season. The 6-foot, 176-pound winger stayed in Sweden and played for Djurgardens with six points and 29 penalty minutes in 39 games.
Riley Barber (1+2), Taro Hirose (2+1) and Joe Hicketts (0+3) each had three-point nights, Givani Smith and Gustav Lindstrom each had an assist and goalie Kevin Boyle made 27 saves for Grand Rapids.
Earlier this week, the AHL rescheduled two Grffiins' home games which were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. Grand Rapids will host the Chicago Wolves on April 13 and April 26 at Van Andel Arena at 7 p.m.
Giivani Smith scores two goals
Red Wings prospect Givani Smith scored two goals with a team-high six shots in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Monsters in front of 4,100 fans at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland on Saturday.
The 6-2, 210-pound Smith had gone three games without a point and now has three goals and three assists for six points with a minus-1 rating in nine games.
Bloomfield Hills native Pat Nagle stopped 24 shots, Chase Pearson added two goals and Gustav Lindstrom had an assist for the Griffins.
Grand Rapids (7-3-2-0) will face the Chicago Wolves on Tuesday in Chicago.
Goalie Pickard starts first game
Goalie Calvin Pickard made 20 saves in his first game of the American Hockey League season on Tuesday in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 2-1 overtime loss against the Rockford IceHogs at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
Pickard was reassigned to the Griffins from the Detroit Red Wings’ taxi squad on Monday. It was his first game with Grand Rapids in more than a year and his first full game in North America this season.
Earlier this year, he allowed two goals on 21 shots in relief of Thomas Greiss in the Red Wings' 5-1 loss in Tampa Bay on Feb. 3.
Also Tuesday, forward Givani Smith had a team-high six shots and defenseman Dylan McIlrath was named the third star with an assist and five shots.
Nagle in goal for franchise's 1,000th win
Bloomfield Hills native Pat Nagle made 17 saves against the Rockford IceHogs to post the Grand Rapids Griffins' 1,000th win in franchise history.
Nagle (3-2-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage) was named the first star in Thursday's 3-1 victory in Rockford, Ill.
Kevin Boyle (3-1-1 with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage) was in goal on Saturday and stopped 20 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss against the IceHogs at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
In the 25-year history in the AHL, the Griffins have compiled a regular season record of 1,000-686-27-61-116 (0.583).
Livonia's Humitz scores two goals
The Grand Rapids Griffins scored six goals in the second period in a 9-4 victory against the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Ill.
Livonia's Max Humitz, Riley Barber and Tyler Spezia each scored two goals, Givani Smith added two assists, Donovan Sebrango recorded his first AHL assist in seven games and goalie Kevin Boyle made 17 saves for Grand Rapids.
Humitz, who played his minor hockey with Victory Honda and Honeybaked before recording 111 points in 149 career games at Lake Superior State, added an assist and was plus-3 in his third game with the Griffins.
The two teams will play again in Rockford on March 11 before returning to Grand Rapids for games on March 13 and March 16.
Cholowski extends scoring streak
After snapping the Chicago Wolves’ seven-game winning streak on Friday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, the Griffins' four-game winning streak ended in an 8-4 loss against the Wolves on Sunday at the Triphahn Center Ice Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
The Griffins, who had surrendered only 11 goals in six games, allowed their most goals against in more than 10 years, dating to a 10-8 win at Chicago on Nov. 27, 2010.
Defenseman Dennis Cholowski, a Red Wings' first round pick in 2016, was named the third star with one goal and one assist to extend his scoring streak to four games (2 goals, 5 assists). Cholowski has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) and is minus-2 in seven games with Grand Rapids this year after recording 24 career points with the Red Wings and a minus-46 rating in 88 games in the NHL.
Also Sunday, Michael Rasmussen had an assist and has a five-game scoring streak (2 goals, 3 assists), Taro Hirose had a goal and two assists for a four-game scoring streak (1 goal, 7 assists) and goalie Pat Nagle of Bloomfield Hills allowed five goals on 20 shots before being replaced by Kevin Boyle, who allowed three goals on 15 shots.
The Griffins' next four games are against the Rockford IceHogs: Wednesday and Thursday in Rockford, Ill., and Saturday and Tuesday in Grand Rapids.
Givani Smith scores first goal
The Grand Rapids Griffins beat the AHL’s last undefeated team on Friday night, stopping the Chicago Wolves’ seven-game winning streak and earning their fourth straight victory in a 4-1 victory at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
Second-round draft pick Givani Smith scored his first goal of the season in his third game in Grand Rapids this year. Smith, who had one goal and three assists in eight games with the Detroit Red Wings, has two points and 10 shots in three games.
Also Friday, Michael Rasmussen extended his scoring streak to four games with an assist, Taro Hirose had two assists to extend his scoring streak to three games and goalie Kevin Boyle made 22 saves for the Griffins.
Grand Rapids will wrap up the two-game series in Chicago on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Cholowski scores OT winner
Detroit Red Wings first-round pick Dennis Cholowski scored a power-play goal 1:05 into overtime on Saturday to lift the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Monsters in Grand Rapids' home opener at Van Andel Arena.
Cholowski, who is second in team scoring with five points in five games, also assisted on a power-play goal in the third period by Michael Rasmussen, another first-rounder who was named the first star. Taro Hirose added an assist with four shots, Givani Smith had four shots and Pat Nagle of Bloomfield Hills made 22 saves.
The Grifins (3-2-0) will play a home-and-home series against the Chicago Wolves (6-0-0) on Friday in Grand Rapids at 7 p.m., and in Chicago on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Hirose named first star vs. IceHogs
Former Spartan Taro Hirose was named the first star with two assists in the Grand Rapids Griffens' 3-1 victory over the Rockford IceHogs on Thursday at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Ill.
Hirose, who was reassiged from the Detroit Red Wings’ taxi squad on Sunday, assisted on the Griffins’ first two goals by Michael Rasmussen and Riley Barber. Goalie Kevin Boyle had to make only 12 saves to earn his first victory in a Grand Rapids uniform.
Former Red Wings draft pick Alec Regula scored a power-play goal for Rockford. Griffins rookie Donovan Sebrango, a third-round pick in 2020, dropped the gloves with Riley McKay for his first pro fight in the third period.
The home opener for Grand Rapids is Saturday against Cleveland at 4 p.m.
Sebrango in lineup for first victory
The Grand Rapids Griffins picked up the first win of the season with a 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
First-round pick Evgeny Svechnikov, Riley Barber and Dominic Turgeon scored goals and Rochester Hills' Pat Nagle made 26 saves for the Griffins.
Michael Rasmussen added an assist and was plus-2 and Dennis Cholowski had three shots and was plus-1. Donovan Sebrango, a third-round pick from the Kitchener Rangers in 2020, played his second AHL game and had one shot on goal.
In an earlier interview with Red Wings beat reporter Ted Kulfan, Sebrango said he's "a little bit of an old-school defenseman with a little bit of the new school."
In 56 games with the Rangers last year, he had six goals and 24 assists for 30 points.
The 19-year-old Sebrango was loaned to Slovakian team HK Levice this year and had one goal and two assists in five games.
“He’s a good skating defenseman who plays with an edge,” said Kris Draper, the Red Wings' director of amateur scouting.
Grand Rapids (1-2-0) will wrap up the four-game road trip against Rockford (0-2-1) on Thursday before facing Cleveland (0-2-0) on Saturday at Van Andel Arena.
Griffins back for first time in 331 days
The Detroit Red Wings' top farm team returned to the ice for the first time in 331 days on Friday night.
The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 3-1 decision against the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League opener for both teams at the Triphahn Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Top draft pick Michael Rasmussen assisted on Grand Rapids' only goal by Kyle Criscuolo. Rochester Hills' Pat Nagle stopped 26 of 29 goals for the Griffins, who played their first game since a 4-1 win over Iowa on March 11, 2020.
Grand Rapids will pay three more games on the road before returning to Van Andel Arena on Feb. 20 to face the Cleveland Monsters at 4 p.m.
AHL season put on hold
The Grand Rapids Griffins' 2019-20 season was put on hold on Thursday afternoon.
Here's the news release from the American Hockey League regarding the season being suspended until further notice:
"With the health and safety of our players, officials, staff and fans of primary importance, the American Hockey League has announced the suspension of play until further notice, effective immediately, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The AHL will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the 2019-20 season at the appropriate time."
The Griffins played at home last night and beat the Iowa Wild 4-1