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Ville Leino
10/14/2008 8:43 AM -

This Week’s Games
Sat., Oct. 18 - GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters - 1 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHL Live / FSN Ohio

Sun., Oct. 19 - GRIFFINS at Toronto Marlies - 4 p.m. - WOOD / AHL Live

Last Week’s Result
Sat., Oct. 11 - GRIFFINS 3 at Lake Erie Monsters 4 OT - 0-0-1-0, 1 pt. (T4th, North Division) 

Come Back Again: Following last Saturday’s season-opening 4-3 overtime loss at Lake Erie, the Griffins will return to Quicken Loans Arena for a rematch with the Monsters this Saturday, Oct. 18 at 1 p.m., marking just the third time in franchise history that they’ll open the season with consecutive games against the same opponent (2000-01 vs. Cleveland, 1997-98 vs. Michigan).

A Long Time Coming: After beginning the season with three straight road games, the Griffins will finally make their Van Andel Arena debut against the Hamilton Bulldogs next Saturday, Oct 25, the latest date for a home opener in franchise history. The Griffins will try to extend their remarkable sellout streak in home openers to 13 years during the Opening Night Celebration presented by Northwest Airlines WorldPerks®. The first 5,000 fans will receive LED Thundersticks, and an extended pre-game show will celebrate the former Griffins who won the 2008 Stanley Cup as members of the Detroit Red Wings.

Griffins Visit White House: Aaron Downey and Darren Helm will join their former Red Wings teammates today for the team’s visit to the White House. President George W. Bush will honor the 2008 Stanley Cup Champions during a ceremony in the East Room at 2:30 p.m.

For Starters: Following Saturday’s overtime loss, Grand Rapids is now 9-2-2-0 all time both in season openers and road openers. The Griffins have earned points in each of their last 10 road debuts (8-0-2-0) as well as in six straight season openers (4-0-2-0).

Crime Does Pay: During the first period of Saturday’s game, Grand Rapids’ Darren Helm and Lake Erie’s Kyle Cumiskey each had an unsuccessful penalty shot attempt. It was the first game in Griffins history to feature two penalty shots, and the first AHL contest since Dec. 15, 2007 (CHI vs. IOW) to have two in a single period.

Kudos for Oulahen: Ryan Oulahen scored 53 seconds into Saturday’s opener, recording the second-fastest season-opening goal in franchise history (0:33, Dave Van Drunen, 10/12/02 vs. Cleveland). The game was Oulahen’s 230th in a Griffins uniform, tying him with Derek Meech for tenth on the team’s all-time list. He stands only two games behind ninth-place Hugo Boisvert (232).

You Never Forget Your First: Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader scored his first pro goal 4:59 into the third period on Saturday, while Ville Leino potted his first goal in North America. They were two of five Griffins to make their AHL debuts that night, joining Sergei Kolosov, Daniel Larsson and Logan Pyett.

Such Sweet Sorrow: The Griffins on Monday released goaltender Isaac Reichmuth, who had served as understudy to Daniel Larsson during Saturday’s loss in Cleveland…The Red Wings lost a former Griffin on Monday when defenseman Kyle Quincey was claimed on waivers by Los Angeles. Quincey, who posted 75 points (16-59—75) and 382 penalty minutes in 201 games with Grand Rapids from 2005-08, became the second former Griffin to be claimed by the Kings from Detroit in the past year (Matt Ellis).

Mending His Wing: Goaltender Jimmy Howard remains on Detroit’s injured reserve list but continues to rehab his broken finger in Grand Rapids.

Milestones: Aaron Downey needs two games played for 300 in the AHL, and Darren Haydar needs six assists for 300 as a pro.

AHL Live: The AHL has entered into a new long-term partnership with NeuLion Inc., a leading provider of live and on-demand international and sports programming over the Internet, to bring a one-of-a-kind online experience to fans worldwide using NeuLion technology beginning with the 2008-09 season. AHL Live is now available via, showcasing high-quality live AHL games not available anywhere else on the Internet. AHL Live offers hockey fans throughout the world an opportunity to tune into their favorite team with a simple Internet connection. This subscription-based service gives fans an all-access pass to watch live games for the entire season or on a pay-per-view basis, as well as access to live game audio and archived games. Individual games are available for $6 each, and a team season pass is just $140 for 80 regular-season broadcasts. Calder Cup Playoff games and the annual AHL All-Star Classic will also be available. NeuLion and the AHL plan to offer additional service features such as game highlights, player interviews and features, video on demand and other behind-the-scenes video in the near future.

Get ‘Em While They’re Hot: Single-game tickets for all 40 Griffins home games are on sale at all Star Tickets outlets, including the Zone and Meijer stores, by phone through Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737, or online. Group, full-season and mini-plan ticket packages are available by calling the Griffins at (616) 774-4585.

Scouting Report

Sat., Oct. 18 at Lake Erie Monsters – Quicken Loans Arena – 1 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Ohio at 1 p.m. Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 12:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at and audio web cast (free at available through All-Time Series: 6-3-1-1 Overall, 2-2-1-1 Road. Season Series: 0-0-1-0 Overall, 0-0-1-0 Road. Second of eight meetings overall, second of four in Cleveland. NHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche. Head Coach: Joe Sacco (2nd season). Notes: Dating to last season, the Griffins are winless in their last three visits to Quicken Loans Arena (0-2-1-0)…Lake Erie forward Chris Mueller made his pro debut with the Griffins at the end of last season, going scoreless in two games…Mueller and Griffins winger Justin Abdelkader were teammates the last three seasons at Michigan State.

Sun., Oct. 19 at Toronto Marlies – Ricoh Coliseum – 4 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 3:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at and audio web cast (free at available through All-Time Series: 10-12-0-0 Overall, 4-7-0-0 Road. Season Series: First of eight meetings overall, first of four in Toronto. NHL Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs. Head Coach: Greg Gilbert (3rd season). Notes: Grand Rapids lost its last three visits to Toronto in 2007-08, including a pair of 2-0 blankings…Marlies netminder Justin Pogge has three shutouts in nine career games against the Griffins, in the process posting a 6-2 record with a 2.08 GAA and a 0.935 save percentage…Griffins captain Darren Haydar was born in Toronto.

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