Search Grand Rapids Griffins



11/22/2011 2:47 PM -

This Week’s Games
Wed., Nov. 23 - Hamilton Bulldogs at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM /

Fri., Nov. 25 - Oklahoma City Barons at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM /

Sun., Nov. 27 - Oklahoma City Barons at GRIFFINS - 5 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM /

Last Week’s Results
Fri., Nov. 18 - San Antonio Rampage 5 at GRIFFINS 4 OT - 6-8-1-0, 13 pts. (5th, North Division)

Sat., Nov. 19 - Milwaukee Admirals 3 at GRIFFINS 1 - 6-9-1-0, 13 pts. (5th)

Thankful for Hockey: The Griffins began a season-high five-game homestand last week, losing to San Antonio 5-4 in overtime on Friday and Milwaukee 3-1 on Saturday. The team still has a chance to make its holiday homestand a successful one with three more home games this week, as the Griffins welcome the Hamilton Bulldogs to Van Andel Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before playing a pair against the Oklahoma City Barons: Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.

Bring on the Bulldogs: The Griffins have found great success against Hamilton this season, outscoring the Bulldogs 11-0 while recording two of their AHL-best three shutouts in Copps Coliseum. The Griffins have won six of the past seven contests against their North Division rivals. The Griffins will play the Bulldogs eight more times this season, with the next four games coming at Van Andel Arena. The first of those games is Wednesday at 7 p.m., which is also a Winning Wednesday redemption for fans who did not redeem their ticket stubs from the Griffins’ 3-0 win over Lake Erie on Nov. 2 for a free ticket to last Wednesday’s contest against Rockford.

Blanked: The Griffins’ back-to-back shutouts of the Hamilton Bulldogs on Oct. 18 (3-0) and Nov. 11 (8-0) marked the sixth time in franchise history that the Griffins shut out an opponent two meetings in a row. In all previous instances, the Griffins won the third game as well, allowing one goal in four of those contests. The Griffins previously accomplished the feat against Hamilton when they beat the Bulldogs 1-0 on Feb. 9, 2002 and 2-0 on Feb. 15, 2002. Grand Rapids most recently did it against the Cleveland Barons, blanking them 4-0 on Jan. 9, 2005 and 5-0 on March 29, 2005.

Familiar Foe: The Griffins will take on Oklahoma City twice this week, having already split back-to-back contests with the Barons this season. The Griffins lost to the Barons 4-1 on Oct. 21 before avenging the loss with a 3-2 shootout decision on Oct. 22. The Griffins got goals from Andrej Nestrasil and Brent Raedeke, before Brendan Smith clinched the game in the ninth round of the shootout.

Promotions Galore: The Griffins’ three games this week will provide fans with the opportunity to experience many different promotions. Wednesday’s contest versus Hamilton is a Winning Wednesday presented by Amway, meaning fans will receive a free ticket to the Griffins’ next Wednesday game, Dec. 13 versus Rockford, if the Griffins beat the Bulldogs. In addition, the first 200 fans to visit the Amway table in Section A will receive a t-shirt. Friday’s game versus Oklahoma City is the Griffins’ annual “Teddy Bear Toss.” Fans are asked to bring a new store-tagged teddy bear or stuffed animal to throw on the ice when the Griffins score their first goal. All stuffed animals collected will be donated to Hug-A-Bears of Kent County. Fans can also experience the usual Friday promotions, with $1 domestic drafts and $1 hot dogs from 6-8 p.m., while supplies last, and Free Ride Friday, with complimentary fare on the Rapid bus before and after the game by showing your ticket to that night’s game. The Griffins will take on the Barons again for their first home Sunday contest of the season. Sunday’s game is highlighted by Mascot Mania, with various local mascots roaming the concourse and interacting with fans throughout the game, and a “Be Your Own Bobblehead” t-shirt giveaway for the first 1,500 kids 12 and under. Fans can also enjoy the “Sunday is Fun Day!” promotions, with $1 Cole’s Breadsticks and $1 Pepsi drinks from 4-6 p.m.  and a J&H Family Stores Post-Game Open Skate.

Historic Streak: The Milwaukee Admirals were able to walk away from Van Andel Arena with two points on Saturday after beating the Griffins 3-1, continuing an AHL-record road point streak. The Admirals have not lost a road game in regulation since Jan. 13, 2011 at Manitoba, posting a 16-0-4-3 record in a streak that now stands at 23 games.

Double the Excitement: The Griffins’ 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday was a record-setting night, as the Griffins were awarded two penalty shots for the first time in franchise history. At the 5:25 mark of the second period, Chris Conner was awarded a penalty shot after being held on a breakaway by Milwaukee’s Roman Josi. Tomas Tatar had the Griffins second opportunity at 8:48 of the third period, but both were stopped by Admirals netminder Jeremy Smith. It was the third time in franchise history the Griffins were involved in a game with two penalty shots, with the most recent coincidentally coming against the Admirals on April 10, 2011. Smith became the first AHL goalie to stop two penalty shots in a game since Bridgeport’s Wade Dubielewicz did it on Dec. 10, 2005 versus Hershey.

Brunnstrom’s Back: The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday assigned left wing Fabian Brunnstrom to the Griffins. Brunnstrom was previously assigned to Grand Rapids on Oct. 31, scoring a goal in his only game as a Griffin on Nov 2. versus Lake Erie before being recalled by Detroit on Nov. 5. The 26-year-old winger has appeared in four games with the Red Wings this season, recording an assist and two penalty minutes.

Leading the Charge: The Griffins are led on offense by their top line of Chris Conner, Jamie Johnson and Gustav Nyquist. Conner is fourth in the AHL in assists and tied for sixth in overall scoring with 20 points (6-14—20) in 16 games. Linemate Gustav Nyquist places third among AHL rookies with 16 points (5-11—16) in as many games. The line is centered by Jamie Johnson, who leads the Griffins with eight goals after notching 10 points (7-3—11) in seven games before being held pointless on Saturday versus Milwaukee.

Another Name on the Wall: Griffins defenseman Brendan Smith became the 120th alumnus of the Griffins to suit up for an NHL game, and the 44th to do so with Detroit, when he made his NHL debut on Thursday in the Red Wings’ 5-2 loss to San Jose. Smith was held off the scoresheet, but he has since tallied two assists in the Red Wings’ past two games while averaging 14:54 in ice time.

Roster Shuffle: The Griffins made several roster moves on Monday, preparing to continue their five-game homestand with a retooled blueline. Gleason Fournier was reassigned to Toledo (ECHL) by Detroit after skating in two contests with the Griffins this past weekend. Fournier scored the Griffins’ opening goal in his AHL debut last Friday against San Antonio, notching the second goal of his professional career. The Griffins also released forward Nick Oslund from his professional tryout. Oslund recorded one assist and two penalty minutes in five games. Additionally, the Griffins recalled defenseman Bryan Rufenach from Toledo. A seventh-round selection (208th overall) of the Red Wings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Rufenach leads all ECHL defensemen with seven goals and is tied for the league lead with 11 points. He has recorded points in seven straight games for the Walleye after exploding for a four-goal game on Nov. 9 versus the Chicago Express.

Milestone Watch: Tomas Tatar and Greg Amadio reached milestones on Friday versus San Antonio, with Tatar skating in his 200th game as a pro and Amadio recording his 500th game as a pro and 1,100th penalty minute in the AHL…Francis Pare’s tally on Nov. 11 against Hamilton gave him 65 goals for his career, tying Jiri Hudler for seventh in franchise history and putting him within four of tying Matt Ellis for fourth place (69)…Pare is also three assists from tying Ellis for eight place all time with 84 and four away from tying Jeff Nelson for seventh…Joakim Andersson is four games away from 100 as a Griffin…Jamie Johnson is six games away from 100 as a Griffin…Chris Conner is six goals from 100 as a pro and six points from 200 in the AHL…Tatar is three points from 100 as a Griffin.

Season of Giving: The Griffins are offering fans many opportunities throughout the month of November to help raise money and awareness for great causes. Defenseman Greg Amadio and forward Mitch Callahan are participating in Movember, the annual event in which players grow moustaches to help raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer. Fans can make a donation through or The Griffins are also offering fans the opportunity to “Win Dinner with a Griffin,” to benefit the family of fallen Walker Police Officer Trevor Slot. Fans can secure their chance at one of two all-expenses-paid dinners with either defensemen Greg Amadio and Doug Janik or forwards Mitch Callahan and Tomas Tatar by purchasing a $10 raffle ticket at the Griffins Booster Club table during any game in November. Finally, the wives and girlfriends of Griffins players – a.k.a the “Better Halves” – will be selling $10 “Love for Lokomotiv” silicone memory bracelets on the concourse during all Saturday games this season. All proceeds will benefit Love for Lokomotiv, a foundation established to support the families of the victims of the tragic Sept. 7 plane crash in Russia that claimed the lives of 44 people, including three former Griffins. For more information on any of these opportunities, please contact the Griffins at (616) 774-4585.

Griffins Give Back: The “Griffins Give Back” program will provide free tickets to this Sunday’s game to hundreds of local unemployed workers through Michigan Works! Over 1,000 lower bowl tickets began distribution last Wednesday through two Michigan Works! offices to those who visit in person and provide proof of unemployment and a valid Michigan driver’s license. The program debuted in 2009-10 and has provided a total of 9,394 tickets for unemployed workers and their families for three games over the past two seasons.

Wed., Nov. 13 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (6-8-1-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:45 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at, free audio available through All-Time Series: 28-28-1-0-3 Overall, 14-12-1-0-2 Home. Season Series: 2-0-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Third of 10 meetings overall, first of five in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Montreal Canadiens. Head Coach: Clement Jodoin (1st season). Notes: The Griffins have shut out Hamilton in both meetings this season, defeating them 3-0 on Oct. 18 and 8-0 on Nov. 11 at Copps Coliseum…The Griffins set a franchise record for most shots in a road game on the second night, tallying 51, while tying franchise records for most goals scored in a road game and largest margin of victory…Chris Conner tied a franchise record in the teams’ first meeting this season, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to record two shorthanded goals in one game, while Joey MacDonald passed former teammate Jimmy Howard for first place in franchise history in games played with 187…The Bulldogs are led in scoring by Brian Willsie, who has 11 points (2-9—11) in 16 games…Former Griffin Garrett Stafford is tied for third on Hamilton in scoring with seven points (3-4—7) in 15 games…Hamilton defenseman Zack FitzGerald is tied for fourth in the AHL with 65 penalty minutes…The Bulldogs average just 14.06 penalty minutes per game, the fourth-fewest in the league…Hamilton’s two divisional losses have come to the Griffins, it is 4-0 against the other three North Division teams…The Bulldogs have the best road power play in the league (36.8%) and fourth-best road penalty killing (91.3%), but they have played the fewest road games (5) in the AHL.

Fri., Nov. 25 vs. Oklahoma City Barons (12-5-0-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 vs. Oklahoma City Barons – Van Andel Arena – 5 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 6:45 p.m. (Fri.) and 4:45 p.m. (Sun.). Web Casts: Video web casts at, free audio available through All-Time Series: 3-1-1-1 Overall, 1-0-0-1 Home. Season Series: 1-1-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Third and fourth of eight meetings overall, first and second of four in Grand Rapids. Head Coach: Todd Nelson (2nd season). Notes: The Griffins split back-to-back road meetings with the Barons last month, losing 4-1 on Oct. 21 and winning 3-2 on Oct. 22…Oklahoma City ranks third in the AHL with 25 points, sporting a 12-5-0-1 record…Philippe Cornet leads the Barons and is tied for the AHL lead with 12 goals…Former Griffin Ryan Keller is tied for the Barons’ lead in scoring with 14 points (5-9—14) in 18 games…Barons defenseman Bryan Helmer is one of the highest scoring defensemen in Griffins’ franchise history, having recorded 81 points (19-62—81) in 160 games from 2004-06…The Barons are getting solid goaltending from both Yann Danis, who ranks among AHL leaders with a 2.17 GAA (T9th) and 0.930 save percentage (T5th), and David LeNeveu, who trails Danis with a 2.26 GAA (13th) and 0.922 (T15th) save percentage.

Griffins Game Rewinds
Nov. 18 - SA 5 at GR 4 OT
AHLLive Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Interviews
ESPN Radio Highlights:  Fournier Scores  Andersson Scores  Robak Scores
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

Nov. 19 - MIL 3 at GR 1
AHLLive Video Highlights
GriffVision Video Highlights
ESPN Radio Highlights: Nyquist Goal  Ryan Goal
Flickr Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004