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12/07/2010 12:17 PM -

This Week’s Games
Wed., Dec. 8 - Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - Buy Tickets / WOOD 1300 AM /

Fri., Dec. 10 - Texas Stars at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. -
Buy Tickets / ESPN 96.1 FM /

Sat., Dec. 11 - GRIFFINS at Peoria Rivermen - 8:05 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM /

Sun., Dec. 12 - Texas Stars at GRIFFINS - 4 p.m. - Buy Tickets / ESPN 96.1 FM /

Last Week’s Results
Fri., Dec. 3 - GRIFFINS 5 at Milwaukee Admirals 2 - 10-9-0-4, 24 pts. (6th, North Division) 

Sat., Dec. 4 - San Antonio Rampage 6 at GRIFFINS 3 - 10-10-0-4, 24 pts. (6th) 

Sun., Dec. 5 - San Antonio Rampage 3 at GRIFFINS 2 OT - 10-10-1-4, 25 pts. (6th) 

Hectic Holidays: The Griffins will have another busy slate this week, as they prepare for their second 4-in-5 of the season (1-2-0-1 from Nov. 24-28). Last weekend’s two-game set against San Antonio kicked off the Griffins’ 10-game home slate for December. Only twice before have the Griffins played 10 home games in a single month, and it worked out well for them on each occasion. They went 6-3-1-0 in December 2007 after going 7-2-1 in February 1999.

Fun at the Van: Wed. vs. Milwaukee – It’s Hockey Night! Through a new partnership between the Griffins, the Downtown Development Authority and the Arena District, fans can show their tickets to receive drink specials and 20% off food at participating Arena District restaurants and bars, both before and after the game. It’s a Winning Wednesday, with a post-game party at Peppino’s downtown, as well as Library Night. In addition, Griffins equipment manager Brad “Dogg” Thompson will celebrate his 1,000th game in professional hockey by giving hockey sticks to 10 lucky fans. Fri. vs. Texas – For ‘70s Night, fans are encouraged to dress in their best apparel from the decade while they enjoy ‘70s music and promotions throughout the night. The full slate of Friday night promotions returns, including Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs from 6-8 p.m. while supplies last, College Night, and the D-Zone. Sun. vs. Texas – “Sunday is Fun Day!” features a range of promotions, including $1 Cole’s breadsticks and $1 Pepsi products from 3-5 p.m.; a Griffins “G” logo Crazy Band giveaway for kids; Tomas Tatar jersey cards for the first 1,500 fans (compliments of J & H Family Stores); Fan 4 Packs; Library Night ticket discounts; and a J & H Family Stores Post-Game Skate.

Griffins Collect Toys for Tots: The Griffins are proud to serve as a drop site for the U.S Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now through Tuesday, Dec. 14, Griffins fans are asked to donate new, unwrapped toys that will help ensure a joyful Christmas for children throughout West Michigan. Toys can be dropped off either at the Griffins’ office lobby on the east side of Van Andel Arena anytime during normal business hours (Mon.-Thurs 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.), or at the guest services booth on the Van Andel Arena concourse during all three Griffins home games this week. Toys for Tots donations can also be made online by clicking here.

Reebok/AHL Player of the Week Nominee: The Griffins on Monday nominated forward Ilari Filppula for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied points in all three games last weekend (3-1—4). Most notably, he scored both a power play goal and a shorthanded tally during Saturday’s 6-3 loss to San Antonio. For the season, he now ranks among the Griffins’ leaders with nine goals (T1st), 10 assists (T3rd), 19 points (T1st), four power play goals (1st), six power play assists (T1st), 10 power play points (1st), and two unassisted goals (T1st).

Welcome Back: After being reassigned by Detroit to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye last Wednesday, right wing Willie Coetzee and defenseman Brian Lashoff rejoined the Griffins following Sunday’s game against San Antonio. The pair helped the Walleye earn a 2-1 record during their stint, with Coetzee scoring a goal in each game to finish with four points (3-1—4) and a plus-two rating, and Lashoff chipping in one assist.

There’s No Place Like Road: The Griffins are 8-4-0-0 on the road but just 2-6-1-4 at Van Andel Arena, where their seven-game winless streak (0-4-1-2 from Nov. 10-Dec. 5) matches the AHL’s season high and is one loss shy of their franchise record (0-7-0-1 from Oct. 20-Nov. 23, 2007). Eight of their 11 total losses at home this season have been by a single goal.

Mac Daddy: Joey MacDonald stopped 26 of 28 shots during Friday’s 5-2 victory at Milwaukee to earn his 91st win in a Griffins uniform, passing Jimmy Howard for sole possession of first place on the franchise’s all-time list. MacDonald, who also owns the team’s career shutout mark of 17, stands second to Howard in three other categories, including goalie games played (186 to 170), minutes (10659:17 to 9573:15) and saves (4849 to 4394).

Facts and Figures: There is currently a four-way tie for the Griffins’ scoring lead among Ilari Filppula (9-10—19), Jan Mursak (9-10—19), Cory Emmerton (6-13—19) and Tomas Tatar (6-13—19)…The Griffins are 7-5-0-1 within the North Division and 3-5-1-3 against the West Division…The Griffins rank second in the league with 577 penalty minutes and are tied for first with six game misconducts…After winning 28 of 40 games (28-10-1-1-0) against San Antonio over their first seven seasons as rivals, the Griffins have dropped seven of eight meetings (1-6-1-0) to the Rampage since the start of the 2009-10 season.

Kudos: Thomas McCollum, who turned 21 today, made 39 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to San Antonio, falling one save short of his career high…Travis Ehrhardt has points in consecutive games (1-1—2), three of his last four contests (1-2—3) and seven of the 12 games in which he’s played this season (2-5—7)…Brendan Smith logged his fifth multi-point game (0-2—2) of the season on Friday at Milwaukee…Cory Emmerton had points in three of five games (2-4—6) before suffering a knee injury that has sidelined him for the past two contests…Francis Pare has points in four of the last six games (2-4—6)…Jan Mursak has points in four of seven outings (3-4—7)…Ilari Filppula owns a three-game point streak (3-1—4) after missing the previous three games due to injury…Derek Meech’s two-game goal streak matches his career high as a Griffin (Feb. 21-23, 2007)…Tomas Tatar has 10 points in the last five games, with all of them coming on Dec. 3 at Milwaukee (2-1—3) and Nov. 27 at Chicago (2-5—7). He hasn’t registered a point at home since Nov. 6, when he scored a goal in the Griffins’ last victory on home ice (4-2 vs. CHI).

Milestones: On Friday, Francis Pare tallied three points (1-2—3) and became the 21st player to reach 100 as a Griffin (46-57—103). He needs four goals to become the 14th player to score 50…On Saturday, Jamie Tardif played in his 300th professional contest and 263rd career game as a Griffin, moving him past Evan McGrath (262) for eighth place on the team’s all-time list. Sunday’s 264th contest then tied him with Derek King for seventh all time on the club.

Scouting Report

Wed., Dec. 8 vs. Milwaukee Admirals (13-7-1-4) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:45 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at, free audio available through All-Time Series: 52-38-7-5-5 Overall, 30-17-2-1-2 Home. Season Series: 1-1-0-1 Overall, 0-1-0-1 Home. Fourth of eight meetings overall, third of four in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Lane Lambert (4th season). Notes: The road team has won all three meetings this season, most recently with Grand Rapids claiming a 5-2 victory at the Bradley Center on Friday, the only regulation home loss for the Admirals this season (5-1-1-1)...Milwaukee earned a 1-0 shootout win over the Griffins in their Nov. 10 meeting at Van Andel Arena, with Grand Rapids goalie Thomas McCollum getting credit for his first pro shutout with 24 saves…Admirals center Blake Geoffrion and Griffins defenseman Brendan Smith were teammates the last three years at Wisconsin…Milwaukee goalie Mark Dekanich, currently with NHL parent club Nashville, ranks fourth in the AHL with a 1.71 GAA and third with a 0.941 save percentage.

Fri., Dec. 10 vs. Texas Stars (13-8-1-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 12 vs. Texas Stars – Van Andel Arena – 4 p.m.

Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 6:45 p.m. (Fri.) and 3:45 p.m. (Sun.). Web Casts: Video web cast at, free audio available through All-Time Series: 4-1-0-1 Overall, 2-0-0-1 Home. Season Series: First and second of six meetings overall, first and second of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Dallas Stars. Head Coach: Glen Gulutzan (2nd season). Notes: The 2010 Calder Cup runners-up sit sixth in a brutal West Division despite a 0.609 winning percentage…Rookie Richard Bachman ranks seventh in the AHL with a 2.01 GAA…The Griffins rank second in the league in penalty minutes (23.08 per game) while the Stars are 30th (12.30)…Texas is fourth in the AHL in goals allowed (2.52 per game).

Sat., Dec. 11 at Peoria Rivermen (16-7-2-1) – Carver Arena – 8:05 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:45 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at, free audio available through All-Time Series: 14-16-1-2 Overall, 8-7-0-1 Road. Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Road. Second of eight meetings overall, first of four in Peoria. NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues. Head Coach: Jared Bednar (1st season). Notes: The Rivermen are on a nine-game point streak (7-0-2-0) that has positioned them just two points behind first-place San Antonio in the West Division…First-year Peoria coach Jared Bednar played 74 games for the Griffins as a defenseman in 1998-99, totaling 21 points (3-18—21) and a team-high 220 PIM…Rookie Jake Allen, the AHL’s goaltender of the month for November, leads the AHL with a 0.952 save percentage and ranks second with a 1.59 GAA.

Griffins Game Rewinds

Dec. 5 - SA 3 at GR 2 OT
AHLLive Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Interviews
ESPN Radio Highlights  McCollum Saves  Ehrhardt SH goal  Rampage GW goal
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report
Dec. 4 - SA 6 at GR 3
AHLLive Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Interviews
ESPN Radio Highlights  Meech goal  Filppula SH goal
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

Dec. 3 - GR 5 at MIL 2
AHLLive Video Highlights
ESPN Radio Highlights: Emmerton goal   Tatar goal
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

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