The Milwaukee Admirals closed the gap to fourth place in the Central Division last night. Their attention quickly switched to the Grand Rapids Griffins following the 5-3 win against the Texas Stars. It’s “on to the next one” for the Admirals right now. In order for any of the fight for the playoffs to come good for the Admirals they need to first take care of their own plate. The Griffins have been a thorn in the Admirals side for too many seasons now. Tackling this challenge tonight could be a great boost.
The Griffins are arriving to Milwaukee on a strong run. They are in third place in the Central Division standings with a record of 38-24-1-7 (84 points, 0.600 points percentage) and are on a six-game point streak (5-0-0-1).
After starting the month of March by losing their first three-games in regulation the Griffins have gone 7-2-0-1. Along the way this month the Griffins lost 4-1 at the Van Andel Arena to the Admirals but also claimed a tight 2-1 win at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. What’s also impressive, though mundane by Admirals standards, is that the Griffins have played four straight shootout games. So, hey, who is up for seeing that run extend to five tonight?
There is such a solid attacking group with the Griffins. They have three players in the AHL’s Top 15 in scoring right now. Ben Street is seventh in the AHL with 57 points (18 goals, 39 assists) in 67 games. Eric Tangradi is right behind him with 56 points (27 goals, 29 assists) in 69 games. And Matt Puempel rounds things up with 55 points (23 goals, 32 assists) in 56 games.
That trio has been excellent for the Griffins against the Admirals. Puempel leads the way with 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 8 games. Tangradi also has produced 4 goals for the Griffins against the Admirals while Street has had 5 assists. The Admirals top scorer in this head-to-head is Bobby Butler who has 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in 9 games. The Griffins record against the Admirals is 6-2-1-0 overall and 4-0-0-0 in Milwaukee this season.
In net Tom McCollum has been the go-to choice for the Griffins. This season he has a record of 17-13-1-2 in 33 appearances with a 2.74 goals against average, 0.909 save percentage, and 1 shutout. He has won his last 5 starts in net for the Griffins with a 1.91 goals against average and 0.925 save percentage.
What are your expectations for tonight’s game? Will the Grand Rapids Griffins thwart the Milwaukee Admirals once again? Do you think this could be a final mental hurdle for the Admirals to overcome to prove they can make this late run?
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