This Week’s Games
Wed., Nov. 9 - Rockford IceHogs at GRIFFINS - Noon - WTKG 1230 AM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Nov. 11 - GRIFFINS at Hamilton Bulldogs - 7:30 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Nov. 12 - GRIFFINS at Rochester Americans - 7:35 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Nov. 2 Lake Erie Monsters 0 at GRIFFINS 3 5-5-0-0, 10 pts. (2nd, North Division)
Sat., Nov. 5 Charlotte Checkers 2 at GRIFFINS 1 5-6-0-0, 10 pts. (4th)
Home for the Holidays: The Griffins will close out a three-game homestand on Wednesday by hosting the Rockford IceHogs at noon. They will embark on a two-game road trip this weekend, with stops in Hamilton on Friday and Rochester on Saturday, before returning home to play a season-high five consecutive games, and seven of eight overall, at Van Andel Arena later this month.
Hockey Class: Wednesday’s 11th annual matinee game, sponsored by Lake Michigan Credit Union, has become a major educational event for West Michigan schools. Approximately 5,000 students and teachers will arrive at 10 a.m. to take part in many unique learning experiences. Elementary kids will discover topics centered on science, technology, engineering and mathematics through interactive displays and hands-on activities set up by Grand Valley State University. In addition, several speakers will educate high school students on various opportunities. Lake Michigan Credit Union’s director of business development and community involvement, Vickie Smith, will discuss financial responsibility following high school and share information about the 2012 LMCU Hutt Scholarship. John E. Weitzel, Western Michigan University’s master faculty specialist, will discuss career opportunities in the fields of marketing and advertising. Additionally, matinee bingo will return for its third year prior to the game, as the Griffins will welcome over 200 senior citizens for bingo in the banquet rooms from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Bingo is free and prizes include Griffins memorabilia and various gifts from our sponsors.
Redemption Wednesday: All fans who were in attendance for last Wednesday’s 3-0 shutout of the Lake Erie Monsters can redeem their ticket stub for a free ticket to Wednesday’s game versus Rockford at noon. If the Griffins beat the IceHogs, all fans in attendance can redeem their ticket stub for a free ticket to the Griffins game on Wednesday, Nov. 23 against Hamilton. Fans who choose not to redeem their Nov. 2 ticket stub for this Wednesday’s contest may instead redeem it for a free ticket for the Nov. 23 contest. Fans can redeem their stubs at The Zone during business hours (M-F 10-6; Sat. 10-2) and at the box office before the game.
Unstoppable: The Griffins are led on offense by forward Chris Conner, who is tied for third in the AHL with 16 points in 11 games. The Livonia, Mich., native rattled off a five-game point streak to begin the season, recording nine points (3-6—9) in that span. After going scoreless in the next two games, he has a chance to match the five-game point streak on Wednesday, having recorded seven points (2-5—7) in the team’s last four games.
North Division Rivals: The Griffins will play two of their three November road games this week, facing off against division rivals Hamilton at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Rochester at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday. Three of the Griffins’ five wins on the season have come against the North Division, where they have a 3-1 record overall. They previously shut out Hamilton 3-0 on Oct. 18, while their only divisional loss came to Rochester, 7-2 on Oct. 16.
Don’t Forget the D: The Griffins enter this week coming off two strong defensive performances. Joey MacDonald became the first goalie in the AHL to record a second shutout last Wednesday as the Griffins blanked the Lake Erie Monsters 3-0. Grand Rapids then limited the Charlotte Checkers to just 18 shots on Saturday but was only able to solve Checkers goaltender Justin Peters once in a 2-1 loss.
Season of Giving: The Griffins will be offering fans many opportunities throughout the month of November to help raise money and awareness for great causes. The team announced last week that defenseman Greg Amadio and forward Mitch Callahan are participating in Movember, the annual event in which players grow moustaches to help raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer. Fans can make a donation through moboro.co/gregamadio or mobro.co/mitchcallahan. The Griffins are also offering fans the opportunity to “Win Dinner with a Griffin,” to benefit the family of fallen Walker Police Officer Trevor Slot. Fans can secure their chance at one of two all-expenses-paid dinners with either defensemen Greg Amadio and Doug Janik or forwards Mitch Callahan and Tomas Tatar by purchasing a $10 raffle ticket at the Griffins Booster Club table during any game in November. Finally, the wives and girlfriends of Griffins players – a.k.a the “Better Halves” – will be selling $10 “Love for Lokomotiv” silicone memory bracelets on the concourse during all Saturday games this season. All proceeds will benefit Love for Lokomotiv, a foundation established to support the families of the victims of the tragic Sept. 7 plane crash in Russia that claimed the lives of 44 people, including three former Griffins. For more information on any of these opportunities, please contact the Griffins at (616) 774-4585.
Number 118: Gustav Nyquist became the 118th Griffins alumnus to appear in an NHL game after playing 11:07 for the Red Wings in the team’s 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 1. Nyquist was returned to the Griffins last Wednesday and played in the team’s 3-0 shutout win over Lake Erie.
Short Stay, Big Impact: The Griffins had to wait just four days to see the alumni number creep up yet again, as the Red Wings recalled left wing Fabian Brunnstrom from the Griffins on Saturday. Brunnstrom, who scored a goal in his Griffins debut last Wednesday against Lake Erie, recorded an assist against the Anaheim Ducks that night, becoming the 119th player to suit up in an NHL game after playing for the Griffins.
Two from Toledo: The Red Wings on Monday reassigned goaltender Tom McCollum from the Toledo Walleye (ECHL) to Grand Rapids. Additionally, the Griffins signed forward Nick Oslund to a professional tryout. McCollum has appeared in 21 games over two seasons (2009-11) with the Griffins, posting a 16-28-4 record and a 3.42 goals against average. Oslund rejoins the Griffins after signing an amateur tryout during training camp on Sept. 28. He has one assist and 11 penalty minutes in six games with the Walleye.
Who’s Hot?: In addition to Chris Conner’s four game point-streak, two other players are riding streaks heading into this week. Center Jamie Johnson currently has an AHL career-high three-game goal streak while notching five points (3-2—5) over the team’s past three contests, and right wing Willie Coetzee has recorded points in three straight games (2-1—3).
Milestone Watch: Defenseman Greg Amadio hit two milestones on last week, notching his 400th game in the AHL and his 500th penalty minute as a Griffin during last Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Lake Erie. He will hit another milestone with his next game played, as he sits one game shy of 500 as a pro. Several other players are closing in on games played milestones, with Jordan Pearce one appearance away from 100 as a pro, Tomas Tatar four games shy of 200 as a pro, Joey MacDonald six games away from hitting 200 games as a Griffin and 400 games as a pro and Joakim Andersson is nine games away from 100 as a Griffin. Chris Conner is close to a pair of milestones, as he is just seven goals from 100 in his pro career and 10 points from 200 in the AHL, while Tatar is seven points shy of 100 as a Griffin.
Wed., Nov. 9 vs. Rockford IceHogs (4-6-0-0) – Van Andel Arena – Noon
Radio: WTKG 1230 AM at 11:45 a.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through WTKG.com. All-Time Series: 7-12-2-2 Overall, 5-5-0-1 Home. Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Second of four meetings overall, first of two in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks. Head Coach: Ted Dent (1st season). Notes: The IceHogs took the first contest in the season series, beating the Griffins 3-2 in each team’s season opener on Oct. 8…Rockford is led in scoring by defenseman Brian Connelly, who has 10 points (1-9—10) in 10 games to rank second among AHL blueliners…Griffins captain Garnet Exelby suited up for Rockford last season…The IceHogs rank last in the Midwest Division with eight points on the season…Rockford sits last in the Western Conference in goals allowed per game, averaging 3.60.
Fri., Nov. 11 at Hamilton Bulldogs (5-5-1-0) – Copps Coliseum – 7:30 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 7:15 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through ESPN961.com. All-Time Series: 27-28-1-0-3 Overall, 13-16-0-0-1 Road. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Road. Second of 10 meetings overall, second of five in Hamilton. NHL Affiliation: Montreal Canadiens. Head Coach: Clement Jodoin (1st season). Notes: The Griffins shut out Hamilton in the teams’ first meeting this season, 3-0 on Oct. 18…Goaltender Joey MacDonald passed former teammate Jimmy Howard for first place in franchise history in games played that night, appearing in his 187th game while recording his 100th win and 18th shutout as a Griffin…Aaron Palushaj leads the Bulldogs in scoring with eight points (1-7—8) in six games…Former Griffin Garrett Stafford has three points (2-1—3) in six games for Hamilton after being traded from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 23…Hamilton sits one point above Grand Rapids in the North Division standings, with a 5-5-1-0 record (11 pts.) in 11 games…Bulldogs goaltender Nathan Lawson is tied with MacDonald and three others for the league lead with two shutouts alongside a 2.25 GAA (T15th) and 0.929 save percentage (T9th)…The Bulldogs rank among the league leaders in special teams with a 29.3 percent success rate on the powerplay (2nd) and 84.3 percent penalty killing record (8th).
Sat., Nov. 12 at Rochester Americans (5-5-2-1) – Blue Cross Arena – 7:35 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 7:15 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through ESPN961.com. All-Time Series: 29-20-1-1-2 Overall, 12-13-0-1-1 Road. Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Road. Second of six meetings overall, second of three in Rochester. NHL Affiliation: Buffalo Sabres. Head Coach: Ron Rolston (1st season). Notes: Rochester defeated Grand Rapids 7-2 on Oct. 16, the first meeting of the season between the two teams…Former Griffin Drew MacIntyre recorded his only win of the season that night…The Americans currently sit second in the North Division with a 5-5-2-1 record (13 pts.) in 13 games…Rochester has allowed an AHL-high 44 goals on the season… Zack Kassian leads Rochester in scoring and is tied for sixth among AHL rookies with 10 points (5-5—10) in 13 games.