GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The defending Calder Cup Champions opened the season splitting a weekend series with the Manitoba Moose. The Griffins won the first game on Friday night by a final of 5-2 before falling 7-2 to the Moose on Saturday. They now stand 1-1-0 (2 points) on the young season.
Jared Coreau earned the victory in the season opener. Tom McCollum started the game on Saturday before surrendering six goals to Manitoba in almost two periods. He was pulled for Coreau.
Offensive Defensemen – In two games, the Griffins have scored seven goals. Four of those goals have been scored by defensemen. Dylan Mcllrath, Robbie Russo, Ryan Sproul, and Brian Lashoff all scored one goal for Grand Rapids over the weekend.
Who’s hot – First year Griffin Turner Elson had himself quite the game on Opening Night. The former Calgary prospect had a four point night with a goal and three helpers. He also had an assist in Saturday’s loss.
Who’s not – McCollum started the game in net for the Griffins on Saturday. He spent the previous season splitting time in the LA Kings, Calgary Flames, and Carolina Hurricanes organizations. He had an impressive stint with the Charlotte Checkers near the end of last season going 11-2-1 in 17 games. He was a big reason that the Checkers made the postseason. Unfortunately, the Moose torched him for six goals in about 35 minutes.
Upcoming opponents – The Griffins are making a trip out West for the weekend. On Friday, they will be in San Jose, CA to face the Barracuda for a rematch of the Western Conference Finals. On Saturday, the Griffins will make the trip to Stockton, CA to face the Heat. On Friday, October 20th, Grand Rapids will be in Rockford, IL to face the IceHogs before returning home to face the Hershey Bears on Saturday, October 21st. Injured forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov are not expected to travel with the team.
Roster Moves – The Griffins assigned blue liner Patrick McCarron to the Toldeo Walleye of the ECHL. The Detroit Red Wings assigned Zach Nastasiuk and Vili Saarijarvi to the Walleye as well.