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Hudler Extends Point Streak to 12 Games

This Week’s Game

Sat., Nov. 12 - GRIFFINS at Hamilton Bulldogs - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks

Last Week’s Results
Fri., Nov. 4 - Syracuse Crunch 2 at GRIFFINS 5 - 7-2-0-1, 15 pts. (2nd, North Division)

Sat., Nov. 5 - Syracuse Crunch 2 at GRIFFINS 3 - 8-2-0-1, 17 pts. (2nd)


Sun., Nov. 6 - GRIFFINS 3 at Hamilton Bulldogs 1 - 9-2-0-1, 19 pts. (1st)

Quick Out of the Blocks: At 9-2-0-1 (19 pts.), the Griffins are off to their best AHL start and their second-fastest start ever in terms of both wins and points, trailing only their 2000-01 IHL squad that began 10-1-1 (21 pts.). Grand Rapids will take a three-game winning streak and a six-game point streak (5-0-0-1) into this week’s lone contest, a Saturday night road clash with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Life at the Top: On Saturday, Grand Rapids finished its five-game homestand with a near-flawless 4-0-0-1 mark, and the Griffins improved to 4-1 on the road with Sunday’s win at Hamilton. Grand Rapids’ 0.792 winning percentage is tops in the Western Conference and second overall in the AHL (Wilkes-Barre at 0.958). The Griffins reside in first place in the North Division with 19 points, one ahead of Manitoba.

All in the Family: The Griffins (19 pts.) and Detroit Red Wings (27 pts.) have combined for 46 standings points this season, more than any other NHL/AHL affiliation (Vancouver/Manitoba is second with 40). Impressively, both Grand Rapids and Detroit have left only five potential points on the table.

Dirty Dozen: Jiri Hudler’s goal on Sunday in Hamilton extended his AHL-high scoring streak to 12 games, tying his 12-game run from 2003-04 as the second-longest point streak in franchise history (Derek King, 17 games in 2000-01). The league-leader with 13 goals and 25 points, Hudler reached the quarter-century points mark six games faster than any other Griffin (Michel Picard, 18 games in 1997-98), and his 25 points are nine more than anyone else has totaled through the first 12 games of a season (four players with 16).

Attend to This: A capacity crowd of 10,834 witnessed the Griffins’ 3-2 win over Syracuse on Saturday, marking their first November sellout since 1999 and the earliest date for their second sellout of the season since 1997. Grand Rapids’ average attendance of 6,098 represents an increase of nine percent over the same period last season (5,589).

You Oughta Know: Grand Rapids is 0-2-0-1 versus Houston and a perfect 9-0 against the rest of the league…The Griffins rank third in the AHL in goals scored (4.17) and eighth in goals allowed (2.75)…While offense is on the rise around hockey, Grand Rapids has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of its 12 games and has surrendered more than three goals just twice.

Rally Caps: Each of Grand Rapids’ last four wins and five of its nine victories this season have been earned in come-from-behind fashion.

It’s How You Finish: The Griffins have been outscored 14-13 in opening periods this season but have dominated the remainder of their games, holding scoring advantages of 17-11 in the second period and 20-7 in the third. No AHL team has scored more third-period goals, and only two clubs have allowed fewer tallies down the stretch.

Explosive Start: Grand Rapids has scored 50 goals, its most ever through 12 games (46 in 2001-02) and 18 more than its 2004-05 edition. In addition, the Griffins have already scored five or more goals six times, one shy of their total from last season. If they can maintain their current pace, the Griffins would accumulate 333 goals this season, shattering their record of 279 from 2000-01.

Dominant Drew: With a pair of weekend wins, Drew MacIntyre improved his record to 5-1 and earned the Griffins’ nomination for AHL Player of the Week. After stopping 59 of 62 shots (0.952) and surrendering just three goals in victories over North Division rivals Syracuse and Hamilton, MacIntyre ranks among the league leaders with five wins (T5th), a 2.01 GAA (T8th) and a 0.932 save percentage (8th). He has allowed only five even-strength goals in his six games, and he’s just two wins shy of matching his 2004-05 total.

Power Surge: The Griffins have scored a power play goal in nine consecutive games (15-for-65, 23.1%), tying the franchise record set from Oct. 18-Nov. 7, 2002. For the season, Grand Rapids’ power play unit stands second in the AHL at 25.9% (21-for-81). Meanwhile, the Griffins’ penalty killers stand 19th at 81.4% (83-for-102). On average, opponents are enjoying 1.75 more power plays per game than Grand Rapids.

Pack Your Bags: Sunday’s win in Hamilton began a stretch that will ultimately see the Griffins play nine of 12 games (through Dec. 2) and 15 of 21 contests (through Dec. 21) in hostile territory.

Top of the Line: The line of Jiri Hudler (13-12—25), Eric Manlow (6-10—16) and Kent McDonell (3-12—15) has combined for 56 points (22-34—56) in just 12 games.

Recent Transactions: Nov. 2: G Jimmy Howard recalled by Detroit (NHL). D Brett Lebda assigned by Detroit (NHL). Nov. 4: G Jimmy Howard assigned by Detroit (NHL). D Jon Insana released. Nov. 5: G Jimmy Howard recalled by Detroit (NHL). G Kevin LaPointe signed to a professional tryout.

Who’s Hot?: Eric Manlow (6-10—16) has points in all but two games this season, and his 16 points tie for the third-most ever by a Griffin through 12 games…Kent McDonell (3-12—15) has points in 11 of the Griffins’ 12 games and owns a four-game scoring streak…Manlow’s 16 points (T7th) and 10 assists (T7th) place among the AHL’s best, while McDonell resides among the league leaders with 12 assists (T4th) and 15 points (T9th)…Tomas Kopecky had a career-high three-game goal streak (4-0—4) snapped on Saturday…Nate DiCasmirro has points in nine of the last 11 contests (4-7—11)…Kyle Quincey has points in five of six games (2-5—7).

Getting Closer: AHL all-star goaltender Joey MacDonald continues his recovery from off-season back surgery. He has been practicing with the team for more than a week and could return to the lineup as soon as this weekend. MacDonald’s last game for the Griffins was April 9 in Utah.

Alumni Report: Twenty-two Griffins alumni, representing 15 different NHL teams, have logged ice time in the NHL this season. The list includes three of the league’s top scorers in Ottawa’s Jason Spezza (5-20—25, T3rd), Detroit’s Jason Williams (5-14—19, T11th), and Los Angeles’ Pavol Demitra (8-10—18, T13th).

This Week in Griffins History: Nov. 7: Houston’s Compaq Center is the site of the 500th regular season game in Griffins history, which ends in a 2-2 tie with the Aeros (2002). Nov. 8: On “Parent Club Night,” the Griffins celebrate their affiliation with Detroit by wearing authentic Red Wings jerseys during their 2-2 tie with Hamilton at Van Andel Arena (2003). Nov. 9: Grand Rapids fires 48 shots during a 2-1 win at Utah, establishing a regular season franchise record for most shots on goal in a road game that is decided during regulation (2002). Nov. 10: Griffins pot three goals in the game's final 8:35 to rally for a 5-3 home win against Indianapolis (1998). Nov. 11: With their record-tying sixth straight home win, a 4-2 triumph over Utah, the Griffins move to 11-1-1 on the season, giving them the best record of 136 pro hockey teams in North America (2000). Nov. 12: For the first time ever, Grand Rapids plays a third consecutive regular season home game versus the same opponent, earning a 1-0 win over Houston. Joey MacDonald finishes with 23 saves to become the Griffins’ career leader with 11 shutouts (2004). Nov. 13: 6,841 fans, including more than 2,500 high school and elementary students from 39 schools, watch the Griffins defeat Chicago 3-2 in the first non-holiday weekday matinee (noon) in AHL history (2001).

Scouting Report


Sat., Nov. 12 at Hamilton Bulldogs (4-7-0-1) – Copps Coliseum – 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. Season Series: 2-0-0-0 Overall, 2-0-0-0 Road. Third of eight meetings overall, third of four in Hamilton. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 10-5-1-0-0 Overall, 6-3-0-0-0 Road. NHL Affiliations: Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers. Head Coach: Don Lever (1st season). Dog Days: Former Griffins tough guys Peter Vandermeer and Ryan Barnes now play for the Bulldogs…Hamilton is just 1-6-0-1 at home this season…The Dogs’ power play ranks fourth in the league at 22.1%...Andre Benoit’s 11 points (4-7—11) tie him for third among AHL defensemen and sixth among rookies.

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