Tonight’s Game: The Adirondack Flames play host tonight to the Grand Rapids Griffins for the first time in franchise history.
Last Game: The Adirondack Flames saw their winning streak come to an end at nine games as they fell to the Utica Comets 2-1 on Friday evening at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Emile Poirier put in a dynamic performance that resulted in Adirondack’s only goal of the evening, with assists coming from Bill Arnold and Nolan Yonkman. Joni Ortio turned aside 22 shots in defeat, his first loss in his last nine starts. Joacim Eriksson made 26 saves to earn the win while Cal O’Reilly and Wacey Hamilton scored for the North Division leading Comets.
Head-To-Head: Tonight is the first meeting of the season between Adirondack and Grand Rapids with tonight being the only meeting between the two teams at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The two sides will meet again on March 22 in Grand Rapids.
Scouting the Griffins: The Griffins enter tonight’s action right around the median line with eight wins from their first 17 contests. Grand Rapids is undefeated in regulation over their past three games, including an overtime loss last evening in Rochester. Forward Teemu Pulkkinen has been one of the AHL’s top players with 20 points (9-11-20) over his first 17 games played. Pulkkinen’s point totals are currently ranked tied for fifth in the league, with his 1.17 points-per-game leading the league amongst players with at least 15 games played. Winger Andy Miele has put together a fine start to the season of his own, with 15 points (7-8-15) over 14 games played. Tom McCollum had led the way for the Griffins so far this season between the pipes with 12 games played, five victories, a 2.31 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. McCollum is also one of just 13 goaltenders with over 700 minutes played thus far in 2014-15.
Flames Quick Hits
The Adirondack Flames saw their nine game winning streak come to a close in last night’s 2-1 defeat against the Utica Comets. The Flames gained notoriety around the AHL for their tear, the longest overall winning streak in the league this season. The last AHL streak of over nine games came last season, when the Calder Cup Champion Texas Stars rattled off 11 straight in March and April. The Flames began their run with five victories away from home, which is still the longest away winning streak in the Western Conference and trails only Springfield (six) in the entire league.
The Flames remain dominant on the penalty kill as of late, as their perfect 3-of-3 effort bumped their consecutive kill streak to 30 in a row. The Flames’ streak dates back to their 4-3 win over Rochester on Monday, November 10. Spanning their past 11 games, the Flames PK unit has neutralized 45 of its past 47 chances, good for a 95.7 percent success rate.
The Adirondack Flames recently added winger Devin Setoguchi, 27, from Calgary after he cleared waivers on Thursday afternoon. Setoguchi is a veteran of 471 NHL games, in which he recorded 249 points (127-122-249) between San Jose, Minnesota, Winnipeg and Calgary, in addition to 25 points (15-10-25) over 53 postseason games. The Taber, Alberta native’s best season came in 2008-09, when Setoguchi collected 65 points (31-34-65) in 81 games with the San Jose Sharks.