11/12/2007 4:21 PM
Last Week’s Results
Afternoon Delight: The Griffins will continue a unique tradition at noon on Tuesday when they host the Quad City Flames in their seventh annual matinee game, presented by Lake Michigan Credit Union. An estimated 5,400 high school and elementary students will be in attendance, bulking up a crowd that has averaged 6,834 over the first six events. Grand Rapids began the tradition in 2001 by staging the first non-holiday weekday matinee in AHL history and has experienced great success, winning the first five nooners before dropping an 8-1 decision to Milwaukee on Nov. 14, 2006, before a record event crowd of 8,243.
You Can Be Anything: “You Can Be Anything, featuring the life and presidency of Gerald R. Ford” is the theme for this year’s matinee game, providing both elementary and high school students with an educational experience prior to the Griffins game (beginning at 10 a.m.). The Gerald R. Ford Museum will provide an interactive curriculum for elementary students in the arena banquet rooms. Displays will focus on the late president’s life, from his childhood in Grand Rapids to his time in the White House. In addition, professionals from LMCU and various fields will present career options to kids through interactive displays on the concourse. Concurrently, 1,100 high school students will participate in a career forum in the north end sections of the arena. “Money Matters,” a look at financial responsibility after high school, will be presented by Vicki Smith, LMCU business development manager. U.S. Congressman Vernon Ehlers will discuss his path to Washington as well as his relationship with President Ford, while former gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, president of The Windquest Group, will talk about his journey through business and politics and share his thoughts on education and business in Michigan.
Hunting Season Resumes Thursday: Grand Rapids will try to sweep a season series in Winnipeg for the third time when the Griffins make the season’s final visits to the MTS Centre this Thursday and Friday. The Griffins, who earned wins of 4-2 (Oct. 11) and 4-3 in overtime (Oct. 13) at Manitoba as part of their 3-0 start, won both visits to the Winnipeg Arena in 2002-03 and claimed all three games there in 1999-00.
Hats Off for Hartigan: Mark Hartigan netted the Griffins’ first hat trick of the season in Friday’s 6-5 shootout loss to the IceHogs, tallying the 37th trick in franchise history (regular season plus playoffs). It marked just the fifth time in Grand Rapids’ 12 seasons that the team lost despite getting three goals from a player.
Friendly Confines?: Despite scoring four goals on Saturday versus Toronto – doubling their previous high in a home game this season – the Griffins have started 0-5 at home for the first time in their history, having been outscored 23-9 in those games. Grand Rapids had not lost five consecutive games in regulation at Van Andel Arena since enduring a team-record seven-game slide from Dec. 11, 2004 to Jan. 15, 2005.
Right the Ship: Grand Rapids is 0-4-0-1 in its last five games, marking its longest slide of the season and its longest winless streak since going 0-2-1-2 from March 17-25, 2007.
Power Play Numbers: After converting just eight of their first 63 (12.7%) power play chances this season, the Griffins scored a season-high three times on four attempts in Rockford on Friday and went 4-for-13 (30.8%) overall for the weekend, raising their season percentage to 15.8% (17th in the AHL)…Seven of the 15 power play goals scored by opponents this season have come with Grand Rapids down two men. By contrast, all 12 power play goals scored by the Griffins thus far have come during 5-on-4 situations.
Hartigan Nets AHL Nomination: For the second straight week, the Griffins on Monday nominated center Mark Hartigan for the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied four points (3-1—4) in two games. He notched his first hat trick as a Griffin to earn first star honors on Friday in Rockford, then added an assist in Saturday’s defeat to Toronto. Hartigan, who owns a three-game point streak (4-2—6), leads the Griffins and is tied for fifth in the AHL with seven goals, and he ranks second on Grand Rapids with 11 points.
Consistent Forces: Brett Engelhardt (3-5—8) has yet to be held off the scoresheet in consecutive games played this season. Meanwhile, a host of Griffins players has yet to experience a scoring drought of more than two games: Mark Hartigan (7-4—11), Jonathan Ericsson (2-5—7), Garrett Stafford (4-3—7), Carl Corazzini (5-5—10) and Mark Cullen (4-8—12).
Stick Drive Continues: The Fifth Third Bank stick drive for the Griffins Youth Foundation continues through this Saturday, Nov. 17. Fans are encouraged to donate new or gently used hockey sticks at all Grand Rapids-area Fifth Third Bank locations. The sticks will be used by the hundreds of underserved, underprivileged and at-risk children who participate in the foundation’s programs.
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 first three jerseys – Johan Franzen, Jimmy Howard and Mikael Samuelsson – are now online, with the silent and live auctions set for Nov. 23. Online bidding for two more jerseys – Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula – commences this Friday, Nov. 16. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation. For more information and a complete auction schedule, visit griffinshockey.com/fanzone/auctions.
Tue., Nov. 13 vs. Quad City Flames (4-7-1-2) – Van Andel Arena – Noon
Thu., Nov. 15 at Manitoba Moose (8-5-1-0) – MTS Centre – 8:30 p.m.
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