This Week’s Games
Wed., Oct. 24 - GRIFFINS at Hamilton Bulldogs - 7:30 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks
Sat., Oct. 27 - GRIFFINS at Peoria Rivermen - 8 p.m. - WOOD/B2
Sun., Oct. 28 - Peoria Rivermen at GRIFFINS - 4 p.m. - WOOD/B2
Last Week’s Results
Sat., Oct. 20 - Rockford IceHogs 5 at GRIFFINS 1 - 3-1-0-0, 6 pts. (T4th, North Division)
Sun., Oct. 21 - Quad City Flames 3 at GRIFFINS 2 - 3-2-0-0, 6 pts. (T4th)
Think Pink: The Griffins have teamed with Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grand Rapids to host “Pink at the Rink” during this Sunday’s game against the Peoria Rivermen. In support of breast cancer awareness month, all Griffins players will lace up their skates with pink laces and display pink ribbons on their helmets. During pre-game warmups, several players will sport pink tape on their sticks, which will subsequently be autographed and put up for bid during a silent auction on the concourse. Fans can show their support for the cause in several ways, with all proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grand Rapids:
• Purchase $10 upper bowl tickets and $15 lower bowl tickets through the “Pink at the Rink” link at griffinshockey.com, with $5 from every ticket going to the charity;
• Place a bid during the stick auction;
• Purchase a Griffins pink hat, presented by Centennial Securities and Action Restoration, for a donation of $15. In addition, carnations from Sunnyslope Floral and Gift will be available for a donation;
• Make an optional donation to skate alongside Griffins players during a special O’Charley’s Post-Game O’pen Skate.
Take a Shot at the Champ: The Griffins will board the bus for a pair of road games this week, beginning with Wednesday’s contest in Hamilton against the defending Calder Cup champions. Grand Rapids, which last season earned records of 3-6-0-1 overall and 1-4 on the road against the Bulldogs, has played 28 games against defending champions during its seven seasons in the AHL, posting an aggregate record of 13-12-2-1-0 (vs. 2002-03 Chicago, 2003-04 Houston, 2004-05 Milwaukee and 2005-06 Philadelphia).
Bygones: Peoria will look to exact a measure of revenge on Grand Rapids during this weekend’s home-and-home series. Last spring, the Griffins and Rivermen’s battle for the AHL’s final playoff spot went down to the last day of the regular season (April 15), with Grand Rapids prevailing by a single point in the crossover duel.
The Tradition Continues: The Griffins’ remarkable 12th consecutive home-opening sellout crowd of 10,834 witnessed their 5-1 loss to Rockford on Saturday. Dating to last season, 10 of their last 18 regular season home games have been played before crowds of 10,000-plus, including eight sellouts.
Comforts of Home?: The Griffins have started 0-2 at home for just the third time in 12 seasons (2002-03 and 1996-97). Five years ago, they endured three losses and a tie before finally earning a victory in their fifth game at Van Andel Arena.
Road Sweet Road: Grand Rapids has started 3-0 on the road for the sixth time, all within the last eight seasons (2005-06, 2004-05, 2002-03, 2001-02 and 2000-01). The only better road start was a 7-0 run in 2004-05.
For Openers: Saturday’s four-goal margin marked the Griffins’ worst home-opening defeat in franchise history. With a loss in their home opener each of the last two seasons, the Griffins have dropped to 7-5 all time in Van Andel Arena debuts.
Constant Threats: Mark Cullen (2-4—6), Carl Corazzini (2-3—5) and Brett Engelhardt (2-2—4) have all produced points in four of the Griffins’ five games thus far.
So Long: Following Sunday’s game against Quad City, the Red Wings recalled left wing Igor Grigorenko, who is scoreless with two penalty minutes in five games with Grand Rapids during his first season in North America.
Ellis Nets First NHL Goal: In Detroit’s 4-2 win Thursday at San Jose, former Griffins captain Matt Ellis scored his first NHL goal, netting the game-winner at 7:34 of the third period against Evgeni Nabokov. After notching his first NHL point with an assist in Anaheim last Monday and adding another helper in Phoenix on Saturday, Ellis owns a three-game point streak.
Engelhardt Nets AHL Nomination: The Griffins on Monday nominated right wing Brett Engelhardt for the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied a goal and an assist in two games last week. He was named the game’s third star on Saturday, scoring the Griffins’ lone goal on the power play, then chipped in an assist on Sunday to extend his point streak to four games (2-2—4), the longest on the team this season. Engelhardt is tied for first on the team with two goals and third with four points.
Mending Wing: Defenseman Kyle Quincey remains on Detroit’s injured reserve list but is rehabbing in Grand Rapids.
Wed., Oct. 24 at Hamilton Bulldogs (3-2-0-1) – Copps Coliseum – 7:30 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:10 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. Season Series: First of eight meetings overall, first of four in Hamilton. NHL Affiliation: Montreal Canadiens. Head Coach: Don Lever (3rd season). Notes: The defending Calder Cup champions have a pair of former Griffins in Eric Manlow and Jamie Rivers…Hamilton netminder Yann Danis ranks among the AHL’s leaders with a 1.12 GAA (2nd) and a 0.955 save percentage (3rd) through three games. Last season, he went 5-1-1 with a 1.68 GAA and a 0.940 save percentage in seven games against the Griffins.
Sat., Oct. 27 at Peoria Rivermen (4-2-0-0) – Carver Arena – 8 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 28 vs. Peoria Rivermen – Van Andel Arena – 4 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:40 p.m. (Sat.) and 3:40 p.m. (Sun.). Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. Season Series: First and second of six meetings overall, first of three in both Peoria and Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues. Head Coach: Dave Baseggio (2nd season). Notes: Peoria center Trent Whitfield feasted on the Griffins last season, posting four goals and 10 points in seven meetings…The Rivermen boast two of the AHL’s top eight goalies in Marek Schwarz (1.50 GAA, 6th) and Hannu Toivonen (1.85 GAA, 8th).