New Year’s Eve. What a better way to celebrate the end of 2017 than by having the Milwaukee Admirals play against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Van Andel Arena? It has been one of the best rivalries within the Central Division and sees both teams looking to carry momentum over into 2018. The Admirals won in a shootout over the Chicago Wolves on Friday night. The Griffins are looking to sweep a three-in-three weekend after they plopped down 10 goals in 2 games against the Cleveland Monsters on Friday and Saturday. This should be another scrappy and tight Admirals game running with the theme of this week.
The Griffins enter this game with a record of 13-15-1-4 (31 points, 0.470 points percentage). That places them in sixth place in the Central Division standings ahead of only the Monsters (0.397) who they defeated 5-2 on Friday in Grand Rapids and then 5-3 last night in Cleveland. The record still doesn’t seem fitting of the Griffins but they are currently riding a four-game point streak (3-0-0-1).
This season the Griffins have an edge against the Admirals head-to-head in the first 3 games played. They have taken a point from every single contest by going 2-0-1-0. Though, last time, the Admirals won 2-1 in overtime at the Van Andel Arena.
There are a few players running on a good head of steam for tonight’s match-up. Eric Tangradi and Dominic Turgeon both had multi-goal performances in the Griffins two game set against the Monsters. Meanwhile Matt Puempel managed to score goals in back-to-back games against the Monsters which means he has scored a goal in all but one of his 6 games played with the Griffins in the month of December.
The current leading scorer for the Griffins is Matt Lorito who has been producing at a point-per-game clip. The 27-year old has produced 25 points (9 goals, 16 assists) in 25 games this season. Interestingly though he hasn’t managed to score a point against the Admirals yet this season. In fact, the only player on the Griffins to have recorded more than a single goal against the Admirals this season has been Griffins captain Matthew Ford. It’s been rather even distribution head-to-head.
In net things have also been rather evenly distributed. Tom McCollum has started against the Admirals twice this season and has victory and an overtime defeat to go with a 1.46 goals against average and 0.952 save percentage. That’s a harsh contrast to his regular season numbers elsewhere and likely why Jared Coreau continues to be leaned upon the most for the Griffins. Coreau has a record of 9-8-0-2 from 21 appearances this season with a 2.88 goals against average and 0.902 save percentage.
What are your expectations for tonight’s game? Can the Milwaukee Admirals make it two wins from two games in Grand Rapids? What do the Admirals need to improve from their effort on Friday night to make life easier for themselves against the Grand Rapids Griffins and an offense that has tallied 10 goals in their last 2 games?
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