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"HOCKEY DAY IN MICHIGAN" SATURDAY


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins will be proud participants in Saturday’s third annual “Hockey Day in Michigan,” a statewide celebration of the sport, its players and its fans spearheaded by the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, FSN Detroit, the Detroit Red Wings and the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association. The event coincides with USA Hockey’s “Hockey Weekend Across America,” which begins today and continues through Sunday.

Local activities will commence with the inaugural Cross-Ice Hockey Jamboree at Van Andel Arena, as the Griffins welcome 34 teams and more than 250 players from nine West Michigan youth hockey associations for cross-ice games from noon-5:30 p.m. Each team will play four games lasting approximately 10 minutes each. No scores will be kept, reflecting the event’s goals of celebrating hockey and having fun.

Also from noon-5 p.m., the Griffins’ mascot, Griff, will tour hockey rinks throughout the community to greet recreational players and fans. Scheduled stops include Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park, Patterson Ice Center, and the Walker Ice & Fitness Center.

Three of the cross-ice teams will join in the Griffins’ festivities prior to their 7 p.m. game against the Milwaukee Admirals. The teams will throw t-shirts into the crowd and remain on the ice for the National Anthem, and two players will skate out with each starting Griffins player as he is introduced.

Fans are asked to show their spirit and pride for the sport by wearing any hockey jersey to the Griffins game, which will feature a number of other promotions. Phil Stacey from last season’s American Idol will meet fans and sign autographs before the game and perform live from the ice during the first intermission, thanks to Lighthouse Insurance. The Griffins will wear special jerseys with a stylistic “G” crest that will be up auction, with all proceeds benefiting the Griffins Youth Foundation. In addition, fans can bring their skates and take to the ice after the game for the O’Charley’s Post-Game O’pen Skate.

Michigan has nearly 70,000 registered hockey players, coaches and officials, in addition to almost 5,000 teams registered with USA Hockey, the most of any state in the nation.


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