This Week’s Games
Wed., Dec. 12 - Hamilton Bulldogs at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks
Fri., Dec. 14 - Hamilton Bulldogs at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - Comcast Local/WOOD/B2
Sat., Dec. 15 - Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD/B2
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Dec. 5 - Lake Erie Monsters 2 at GRIFFINS 3 - 9-12-1-2, 21 pts. (T4th, North Division)
Fri., Dec. 7 - Syracuse Crunch 0 at GRIFFINS 2 - 10-12-1-2, 23 pts. (T3rd)
Sat., Dec. 8 - Syracuse Crunch 2 at GRIFFINS 1 - 10-13-1-2, 23 pts. (T4th)
Home Cookin’: The Griffins will conclude their season-high six-game home stand this week by hosting a pair against the defending Calder Cup champion Hamilton Bulldogs (Wed. and Fri.) and the season’s first visit by the Milwaukee Admirals (Sat.). Grand Rapids, 3-1-0-1 at Van Andel Arena since its 0-7 start, now finds itself tied with Rochester for fourth in the North Division, just one point behind third-place Syracuse.
Bomshel and More: A look at this week’s promotions: Dec. 12 – Winning Wednesday – If the Griffins beat Hamilton, each fan in attendance will win a free ticket to the Jan. 16 game against Rochester. Fans can visit griffinshockey.com to print a coupon redeemable at the box office for up to four tickets for only $5 (upper bowl) or $10 (lower bowl) each. Dec. 14 – Ticket Deals – Fans can get four tickets and four Wendy’s single combos for just $44 when they purchase the Wendy’s Friday Family Four Pack, available at Star Tickets Plus outlets. Other ticket promotions include Bono’s Pit BBQ Student Night, Library Night and the web coupon. Visit http://www.griffinshockey.com for complete details. Dec. 15 – Bomshel – The hit country music duo will sign autographs for fans during a meet-and-greet prior to the game and perform from the ice during the first intermission. As part of Bundle Up With Goodwill, fans are asked to donate new or gently used coats, shoes, boots and similar articles of clothing. For each donation, fans will receive a 2-for-1 coupon redeemable for an upcoming Griffins game and a “thank you” promotional offer from Comcast of West Michigan. The game will be followed by an O’Charley’s O’pen Skate and an autograph session with Griffins players Jimmy Howard, Adam Keefe and Jakub Kindl (players subject to change).
On the Tube: This Friday’s game versus Hamilton will mark the first of five home contests this season that will be televised throughout Michigan on Comcast Local. The schedule also includes Jan. 26 vs. Chicago, Feb. 23 vs. Manitoba, March 29 vs. Rochester, and April 11 vs. Manitoba.
On a Roll: Saturday’s loss to Syracuse, which broke Grand Rapids’ three-game winning streaks both at home and overall, was just the third regulation defeat for the Griffins in their last 10 games (5-3-1-1) and their first in their last five contests in friendly confines (3-1-0-1)…Last Wednesday, Grand Rapids earned a 3-2 win over Lake Erie, rallying from a 2-0 deficit with three goals in the final 21 minutes. It marked the team’s first victory of the season when trailing after two periods…Since earning only one point in a nine-game stretch (0-8-0-1) from Oct. 28 to Nov. 21, the Griffins have captured points in seven of their last 10 games, and they are 4-2-1-0 in their last seven outings.
The Season of Joy: After posting a 2-9-0-2 mark during November – the fewest wins they’ve ever earned during a complete month of play (Nov.-March) – the Griffins are already 3-1-1-0 during December. Their recent three-game winning streak (Dec. 2-7) tied for their longest run of the season (Oct. 6-13).
No Soup for You: Following with his 22-save, 1-0 blanking at Milwaukee on Dec. 2, Jimmy Howard made 26 stops on Friday to record his second shutout in three games, a 2-0 victory over the Crunch. It marked the 10th shutout of Howard’s career, tying him with Marc Lamothe for second place on the franchise’s all-time list behind only Joey MacDonald (16). Following a career-high six-game winless streak from Nov. 9-21 (0-5-1, 4.28 GAA, 0.863%), Howard is 5-3 with two shutouts, a 1.63 GAA and a 0.935 save percentage (188-201) in his last eight games. Moreover, during December, he owns a 3-1 mark with two shutouts, a 1.01 GAA and a 0.955% (84-88).
Attendance On the Rise: A crowd of 9,262, the Griffins’ largest since opening night, witnessed Saturday’s game against Syracuse. Their attendance of 68,061 through 12 home games this season (5,672 avg., ninth in AHL) represents a year-to-date increase of 17.2%, as last season’s team welcomed 58,053 fans through its first 12 games at Van Andel Arena.
Rare Occurrences: The Crunch’s 2-1 win on Saturday was remarkable for two reasons. First, Syracuse scored both goals just seven seconds apart during the first period, setting a Griffins record for fastest two goals by an opponent (old record: eight seconds, Dec. 9, 2001 at Hamilton). In addition, it broke the Crunch’s seven-game losing streak at Van Andel Arena, where they had not won since their inaugural visit on Jan. 10, 2003.
Corazzini Nets AHL Nomination: The Griffins on Monday nominated right wing Carl Corazzini for the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied three goals and five points in three games last week. Corazzini lit the lamp in all three games – the longest goal streak for a Griffin this season – accounting for three of the team’s six goals while assisting on two others. He also was named one of the three stars in each contest. Corazzini leads Grand Rapids with 23 points and five power play goals (tied) and ranks second with 10 goals and 13 assists.
Welcome to the Club: The Griffins on Monday signed left wing Neil Clark and right wing Jamie Carroll to professional tryouts. Clark, 26, attended training camp with the Detroit Red Wings and originally signed a tryout with the Griffins on Sept 26. Released by Grand Rapids on Oct. 9 without appearing in the team’s season opener, he has since accumulated 22 penalty minutes in nine games with the IHL’s Port Huron IceHawks. Clark spent his 2006-07 rookie season with Laredo of the Central Hockey League. He helped the Bucks to a Southeast Division title and a berth in the CHL finals, totaling 17 points and 140 PIM in 43 regular season games before adding 12 points (6-6—12) and 76 PIM in 21 playoff contests. Carroll, 24, also comes to Grand Rapids from Port Huron, where he ranks second on the Icehawks with 12 goals and 22 points through his first 22 pro contests. Also a teammate of Clark’s in 2002-03 at Iona College, he played the last three seasons at Providence College.
By the Numbers: The Griffins’ scoring differentials this season are plus-three in the first period (24-21), minus-five in the second period (24-29) and minus-nine in the third period (20-29)…Only four of Grand Rapids’ losses this season – and just two of their last 13 – have been by more than two goals…The Griffins have notched a power play tally in nine of their last 11 games.
Strange But True: Grand Rapids is 5-11-0-1 when outshooting its opponents and 5-2-1-1 when being out-shot…The Griffins are 5-3-1-0 when recording 29 or fewer shots, but they own a 5-10-0-2 record in games with 30 or more attempts…Grand Rapids is two games over 0.500 on the road (7-5-1-1) and five games under the break-even mark at home (3-8-0-1).
Hockeytown Holiday: The Griffins have introduced their new “Hockeytown Holiday Ticket Package,” a perfect present for West Michigan hockey fans made available for the first time through collaboration with the Detroit Red Wings. The Hockeytown Holiday package includes two tickets to either of three Red Wings games at Joe Louis Arena, along with five Griffins lower-bowl flex tickets that can be redeemed for any Grand Rapids home game during the 2007-08 regular season, for only $99 – a savings of $74 off the regular ticket prices. Fans can choose from one of the following Red Wings home games: Jan. 10 vs. Minnesota, Feb. 1 vs. Colorado or March 15 vs. Nashville. To order the Hockeytown Holiday package or get more information, call (800) 2-HOCKEY or visit http://www.griffinshockey.com/holiday.
Red Wings Jersey Auction: Twenty-three autographed, game-issued Detroit Red Wings jerseys are being made available for public bidding throughout the 2007-08 season through exclusive auctions that begin at griffinshockey.com and conclude after select Griffins home games. Online bidding, which begins at $250 per jersey, will establish the starting bids for silent auctions that will take place on the arena concourse during Griffins games. Subsequently, the highest bids from the silent auctions will serve as the starting bids for live post-game auctions. The Valtteri Filppula and Pavel Datsyuk jerseys are currently up for bid online, concluding with silent and live auctions at this Friday’s game versus Hamilton. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation. For more information and a complete auction schedule, visit griffinshockey.com/fanzone/auctions.
Wed., Dec. 12 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (8-10-0-3) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 14 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast Local at 7 p.m. (Fri. only). Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. (Wed.) and 7 p.m. (Fri.). Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 16-15-1-0-2 Overall, 8-6-1-0-2 Home. Season Series: 1-1-0-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Home. Third and fourth of eight meetings overall, second and third of four in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Montreal Canadiens. Head Coach: Don Lever (3rd season). Notes: The defending Calder Cup champions stand in sixth place in the North Division, four points behind Grand Rapids…The Bulldogs have a pair of former Griffins in Eric Manlow (2004-06) and Joel Bouchard (2000-01)…Hamilton’s Sergei Kostitsyn is third in AHL rookie scoring with 22 points (6-16—22)…The Dogs rank fifth in the AHL in penalty killing at 86.5%...The home team lost both prior meetings this season.
Sat., Dec. 15 vs. Milwaukee Admirals (13-8-1-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:40 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 44-25-7-4-3 Overall, 25-11-2-1-0 Home. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Second of eight meetings overall, first of four in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Lane Lambert (1st season). Notes: Admirals forward Josh Langfeld (3-1—4 in nine games) played for the Griffins in both 2006-07 and 2001-02…Milwaukee is one of the AHL’s stingiest teams, allowing only 2.48 goals per game (3rd)…Prior to their 1-0 win at Milwaukee on Dec. 2, the Griffins hadn’t beaten the Admirals in regulation in 13 consecutive meetings, dating to a 5-3 win at the Bradley Center on March 14, 2006. Grand Rapids lost the final regular season meeting in 2005-06, was swept in the 2006 Western Conference Finals, and went 2-3-3-0 last season, with both wins coming in shootouts.