Welcome to another season of MiHockey’s Michi-gamer!
We take great pride in our homegrown talent. Whether they grew up in the Mitten or we welcomed them here for college or juniors, they are our own. They represent the best place in the world for hockey.
Every morning, we pick one Michi-gamer from the previous night’s slate of games across all professional levels of hockey – one Michigan player who stood out above the rest.
He’s the latest Bertuzzi on the scene in the Detroit organization, and he made his impact felt in a clutch game for the Grand Rapids Griffins Wednesday night. The nephew of former Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi, Tyler Bertuzzi joined the Griffins for the last two games of the AHL regular season after his last season in the OHL ended, recording a goal in the process. But with the Griffins’ backs against the wall, down 2-0 in their best-of-five opening playoff series with the Toronto Marlies, Bertuzzi tipped home the game-winning goal and an assist in Game 3 for the first two AHL playoff points of his career. The Griffins won, 5-2, in front of 6,737 at Van Andel Arena to stay alive and force Game 4. The 20-year-old Bertuzzi was a second-round pick of Detroit in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. This past season with Guelph in the OHL, he amassed 43 goals and 98 points in 68 games.
Highlights of the Griffins’ 5-2 victory in Game 3:
APRIL 29 – N/A
There were no notable performances from April 28.
Andy Miele did his part in getting the Grand Rapids Griffins off to a good start in Game 2 of their opening series Sunday night against the Toronto Marlies after losing Game 1. The Grosse Pointe Woods native helped set up Teemu Pulkkinen 42 seconds into the contest before scoring a power-play goal himself at 5:25. But much like their NHL parent club in Game 4, the Griffins blew a 2-0 lead, as the Marlies scored five unanswered to win 5-2 and take a 2-0 series lead. With three points in two playoff games, Miele continues to produce for the Griffins after tallying 26 goals and 44 assists for 70 points in 71 games in the 2014-15 campaign.
After going pointless in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin bounced back with points in the final three games, including the OT winner in Game 5 that jolted the Rangers past the Pittsburgh Penguins and into round two. At 10:52 of the extra frame, the University of Michigan alumnus circled out front from behind the net and, from the right circle, snuck a quick wrister past Marc-Andre Fleury on the short side. The goal capped off a two-goal, three-point series for the 26-year-old Swede.
Watch Hagelin’s series-clinching, OT winner here:
Michi-gamer features compiled by MiHockey’s Stefan Kubus and Michael Caples. Click here to see last week’s Michi-gamer picks.