GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Griffins are 2-2 to start the season and are on the road Friday night to face the Rockford IceHogs before returning home Saturday night to host the Hershey Bears.
Grand Rapids went 1-1 on their California trip beating the San Jose Barracuda 7-3 and falling to the Stockton Heat 4-0.
A Familiar Face
When the Griffins travel to Rockford on Friday night, they will be facing former Griffin Tomas Jurco. The Red Wings traded the forward to the Chicago Blackhawks in March of last season. Jurco was a productive player in his time with the Griffins. In 113 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Jurco collected 71 points (33-38-71). He was a member of the 2012-13 Calder Cup Championship team.
The line of Colin Campbell, Turner Elson, and Dominic Turgeon continues to sizzle. During the win over San Jose, the trio combined for six points during the win. Elson is currently tied for 3rd place in total points in the AHL with seven. Jared Coreau earned his second win of the season during Friday’s victory while carrying a shutout into the third period.
Although it is still early in a long season, Tom McCollum has struggled through two games as the backup to Jared Coreau. McCollum is 0-2 with a save percentage of .821 and a goals against average of 6.30.
Evgeny Svechnikov is expected to make his season debut this weekend for Grand Rapids. He has been out since the end of the preseason with a neck injury. Tyler Bertuzzi is still a couple of weeks away still tending to a nagging wrist injury.
The Griffins start week two off in Rockford, IL to battle the IceHogs on Friday night. Rockford has been a division rival for the past few seasons and there are usually fireworks of some kind when these two teams meet. Rockford will come into the game with a record of 2-1-0.
On Saturday, Eastern Conference powerhouse, the Hershey Bears, will make their way into Grand Rapids for the first time in nearly 12 years. Hershey has made it to the second round of the playoffs the previous three seasons, winning two division championships in that time. Prior to falling to Providence in the Atlantic Division final last season, the Bears were swept out in the 2016 Calder Cup Finals by the Lake Erie (now Cleveland) Monsters. Hershey currently holds a record of 0-2-1.
The Griffins take on Rockford Friday night starting at 7 PM CDT. Be sure to follow @SinBinGriffins on Twitter for the latest on all things Griffins Hockey.