The Afternoon Shift – Jan. 7

Greg Amadio/Photo by Toby Broughman

After he had played 136 games as a Griffin — 139 including playoffs — without lighting the lamp, what were the chances that Greg Amadio would score a goal in consecutive games this week? We’re no mathematicians, but it’s safe to say the odds were a little long.

But that’s exactly what the two-time Calder Cup champion has done over the last two nights, notching his first goal in a Grand Rapids uniform in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Hamilton before accounting for the Griffins’ lone goal in Thursday’s 5-1 loss at Milwaukee.

Amadio, who scored seven goals in 353 regular season AHL contests (2004-2011) prior to Wednesday and has never tallied more than three in a single AHL campaign, now owns the first goal streak of his AHL career. He played more games before registering his first goal than any other skater in Griffins history.

Of course, offense is not what the Griffins expected out of Amadio when they re-signed the defenseman last summer, so his recent contributions are simply gravy atop what he already brings to the club: veteran leadership, championship experience, reliability, and a taste for the rough stuff.

Amadio and the injured Brandon Straub welcomed another heavyweight to the rink on Wednesday with the addition of Adam Keefe to the roster on a professional tryout. Keefe, who previously racked up 221 penalty minutes in 48 games over parts of two seasons (2006-08) with the Griffins, currently leads the ECHL with 129 PIM for the Toledo Walleye, and he’s had a first-period bout in each game this week. His fight with Hamilton’s Jimmy Bonneau on Wednesday went deep into the rounds and was one of the most exciting and entertaining at Van Andel Arena in recent memory.

Like Amadio, Keefe has made some headlines with his unanticipated offensive production as well, as he helped set up newcomer (and Toledo teammate) Evan Rankin’s game-winning goal on Wednesday. Not bad for a guy whose AHL resume now shows just nine assists and 18 points in 178 appearances.

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL/opponent link:

Alumni news and notes:

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