This Week’s Games
Tue., Nov. 11 - Houston Aeros at GRIFFINS - Noon - WTKG 1230 AM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Nov. 14 - Hartford Wolf Pack at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Nov. 15 - GRIFFINS at Quad City Flames - 8:05 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sun., Nov. 16 - GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals - 6 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Last Week’s Results
Fri., Nov. 7 - Lake Erie Monsters 1 at GRIFFINS 5 - 5-1-2-1, 13 pts. (4th, North Division)
Sat., Nov. 8 - GRIFFINS 3 at Peoria Rivermen 5 - 5-2-2-1, 13 pts. (4th)
Get Busy: After playing only 10 games during the season’s first 31 days, the Griffins will play four times in a span of just six days this week. They’ll stage their eighth annual matinee game on Tuesday at noon against Houston, then host their first-ever meeting with the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday to kick off their first three-in-three set of the campaign.
Hooky for Hockey: The Griffins will welcome over 6,000 students and teachers from schools across the state for Tuesday’s eighth annual matinee game, presented by Lake Michigan Credit Union. Beginning at 10 a.m., a Healthy Goals for Life-themed educational event will take place. Local medical and health professionals will share the importance of a healthier lifestyle with elementary and middle school students, through interactive displays set up in the banquet rooms and on the concourse. These displays will focus on physical activity, rest and nutrition. Meanwhile, high school students will attend a career forum in the bowl of the arena. This year’s speakers include Dr. Marsha Rappley (Dean of Human Medicine at MSU), Dr. Steve Triezenberg (Scientific Investigator and Dean of the VAI graduate schools program) and Vicki Smith (Lake Michigan Credit Union). Following the educational part of the morning, all students will cheer on the Griffins as they battle the Aeros.
Pure Refreshment: Friday’s game against Hartford marks another Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs night. For all 15 Friday games this season, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $1 domestic drafts from 6-8 p.m., while supplies last. Friday is College Night presented by McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, as college students can visit the box office to purchase a lower bowl ticket for just $10 with a valid student ID. Finally, Library Night returns for all Friday games as well, enabling fans who present a public library card from the Grand Rapids Public Library or Kent District Library at the box office to purchase a lower bowl ticket for $10 (limit four per card).
Unfamiliar Territory: Saturday’s 5-3 loss at Peoria was the Griffins’ first defeat this season with a margin larger than one goal.
Take a Shot: Ryan Oulahen’s penalty shot goal on Saturday in Peoria was just the fifth successful attempt in Griffins history. Grand Rapids is now 5-for-15 all time in penalty shots.
Put Me in, Coach: Rookie Francis Pare has made the most of his limited playing time, ranking seventh on the club in scoring (3-3—6) despite having appeared in only five of the team’s 10 games. His two-assist outing on Saturday marked the second multiple-point outing of his young career.
Chart Toppers: The Griffins boast the AHL’s most potent offense, averaging a league-high 4.10 goals per game. Their 33 shots per game place third…Grand Rapids arguably possesses the best special teams in the AHL, ranking second on the power play (13-59, 22.0%) and fifth in penalty killing (43-48, 89.6%).
All Good Things Must End: After giving up four power play goals through their first 21 shorthanded situations this season, the Griffins’ penalty killers denied 25 straight opponent power play chances before Peoria’s Julian Talbot capitalized late in the second period on Saturday.
Player Updates: Griffins leading scorer Ville Leino (4-9—13) has missed the last two games due to injury…Grand Rapids on Monday signed goaltender Isaac Reichmuth to a pro tryout. Reichmuth, who served as Daniel Larsson’s backup during the Griffins’ season-opener at Lake Erie on Oct. 11, is 6-2 with a 3.98 GAA and a 0.871 save percentage in eight appearances with the IHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks this season.
Player of the Week Nominee: Center Evan McGrath earned the Griffins’ nomination for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award today after totaling three points in two games last week. He notched a pair of assists in Friday’s 5-1 win over Lake Erie then scored a power play goal in Saturday’s 5-3 loss at Peoria.
Take Me to Your Leaders: Several Griffins rank among the AHL’s individual leaders: Justin Abdelkader – T9th rookie points (9), 4th rookie goals (7), T3rd rookie power play goals (3), 5th rookie shooting percentage (0.269); Ville Leino - T18th points (13), T3rd goals (9), T3rd game-winning goals (2); Jimmy Howard – T12th goals against average (2.43); Landon Wilson – T2nd power play goals (5).
Putting up the Points: Numerous Griffins continue to average at least one point per game: Ville Leino (4-9—13 in eight games), Landon Wilson (6-4—10), Darren Haydar (4-6—10), Mattias Ritola (4-6—10), Darren Helm (1-8—9 in eight games) and Francis Pare (3-3—6 in five games).
First Impressions: Grand Rapids has outscored its opponents 17-10 in the first period but just 24-23 from the second period on.
Milestones: Ryan Oulahen has appeared in 239 regular season games for the Griffins, placing him eighth on the team’s all-time list and just four games behind seventh-place Tomas Kopecky (243)…Darren Haydar needs one assist for 300 as a pro.
Nearing the Century Mark: Last Tuesday, former Grand Rapids forward Krys Kolanos (2006-07) became the 96th Griffins alumnus to skate in the NHL, scoring a goal in Minnesota’s 3-1 loss at San Jose.
Tue., Nov. 11 vs. Houston Aeros (7-6-0-0) – Van Andel Arena – Noon
Radio: WTKG 1230 AM at 11:35 a.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at AHLLive.com) and audio web cast (free at wtkg.com) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 29-23-6-2-6 Overall, 16-10-2-1-3 Home. Season Series: First of two meetings overall, first and only in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Minnesota Wild. Head Coach: Kevin Constantine (2nd season). Notes: The Aeros have three former Griffins in forwards Krys Kolanos (2006-07, currently recalled to Minnesota) and Bryan Lundbohm (2004-05) and defenseman Jon Insana (2004-08)…Houston is just 2-5 on the road this season.
Fri., Nov. 14 vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (6-5-0-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at AHLLive.com) and audio web cast (free at woodradio.com) available through griffinshockey.com. Season Series: First of two meetings overall, first and only in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: New York Rangers. Head Coach: Ken Gernander (2nd season). Notes: Friday marks the first-ever meeting between Grand Rapids and Hartford…The Wolf Pack are one of the AHL’s premier franchises. They won the 2000 Calder Cup and have qualified for the playoffs in each of their 11 seasons, never finishing lower than third in their division…Hartford leads the AHL with an average of 30.50 penalty minutes per game. By contrast, the Griffins rank 28th at 13.70 PIM per contest…The Wolf Pack are winless on the road (0-2-0-1).
Sat., Nov. 15 at Quad City Flames (5-8-1-0) – I Wireless Center – 8:05 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at AHLLive.com) and audio web cast (free at woodradio.com) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 0-3-0-1 Overall, 0-1-0-1 Road Season Series: First of four meetings overall, first of two in Moline. NHL Affiliation: Calgary Flames. Head Coach: Ryan McGill (2nd season). Notes: Last season, Quad City became the first opponent in Griffins history to sweep a season series of at least four games…The Flames are just 1-4-1-0 on home ice this season…Quad City netminder Matt Keetley stands seventh in the AHL with a 2.27 GAA…Flames winger Peter Vandermeer racked up 310 PIM for the Griffins in 2004-05.
Sun., Nov. 16 at Milwaukee Admirals (5-4-0-1) – Bradley Center – 6 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 5:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at AHLLive.com) and audio web cast (free at woodradio.com) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 45-31-7-5-4 Overall, 19-17-5-4-3 Road. Season Series: 0-1-1-0 Overall, 0-0-1-0 Road. Third of eight meetings overall, second of four in Milwaukee. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Lane Lambert (2nd season). Notes: Following the game, the Griffins will remain in Suds City for a rematch with the Admirals on Tue., Nov. 18…Two of Milwaukee’s five wins this season have come at Grand Rapids’ expense.