Search Grand Rapids Griffins



01/23/2006 4:28 PM - Daunting Road Trip Awaits at Week’s End

This Week’s Games
Wed., Jan. 25 - San Antonio Rampage at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WTKG 1230 AM/B2 Networks

Fri., Jan. 27 - GRIFFINS at Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights - 8 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2

Sat., Jan. 28 - GRIFFINS at Peoria Rivermen - 9 p.m. - WOOD/B2

Sun., Jan. 29 - GRIFFINS at Iowa Stars - 6:05 p.m. - WOOD/B2

Last Week’s Results
Wed., Jan. 18 - Iowa Stars 3 at GRIFFINS 6 - 29-11-1-2, 61 pts. (1st, North Division)

Fri., Jan. 20 - Toronto Marlies 5 at GRIFFINS 3 - 29-12-1-2, 61 pts. (1st)

Sat., Jan. 21 - Toronto Marlies 5 at GRIFFINS 6 - 30-12-1-2, 63 pts. (1st)

Back on the Road: After completing a season-high six-game homestand (4-1-0-0) against San Antonio this Wednesday, the Griffins will play three road games in three nights this weekend against Omaha (Fri.), Peoria (Sat.) and Iowa (Sun.). Starting with Thursday’s flight to Omaha, they’ll log approximately 1,815 miles in four days, including 1,157 miles – about 17 hours – on a bus before arriving home next Monday morning.

Flying High: With 30 wins and 63 points through their first 45 games, the Griffins (30-12-1-2) – first-place in the North Division with a four-point lead over Manitoba – are on pace to claim 53 wins and 112 points. The 2000-01 squad set the franchise records in both categories with 53 victories and 113 points.

Home is Where the Wins Are: The Griffins’ 17-3-1-2 mark at Van Andel Arena gives them the third-best home ice record in the AHL. Grand Rapids could challenge the 2000-01 squad that posted a franchise-best 31-7-3 record in friendly confines. Saturday’s capacity crowd of 10,834 marked the Griffins’ fourth sellout in 23 home games this season, their most since playing before five packed houses during the 2000-01 campaign.

Never Say Die: The Griffins trailed Toronto 4-3 after two periods on Saturday and eventually fell behind 5-3 before rallying for a dramatic 6-5 win. It marked the team’s AHL-best eighth win this second when trailing after two periods (8-10-0-1).

You’re Unbelievable: After tying an AHL record and setting a franchise mark by notching a hat trick for the second straight game last Wednesday, Donald MacLean scored his league-leading 29th goal of the season with 37.3 seconds remaining on Saturday to complete the Griffins’ incredible 6-5 comeback victory over Toronto. His four hat tricks – double the Griffins’ previous single-season record – are the most for any AHL player since Hartford’s John Tripp netted four in 2002-03, and his 29 goals already surpass the season-ending total for the Griffins’ leader from three of the last four seasons. MacLean is on pace to break Michel Picard’s franchise record of 46 goals from 1996-97 and could become the first Griffin ever to lead his league in lamp-lighters. He owns a seven-game point streak (9-4—13) and has registered points in 14 of the last 15 games (17-8—25); in addition, he has 28 goals in his last 34 contests.

Four’s a Crowd: Four Griffins stand among the AHL’s top 19 scorers – Jiri Hudler (56 pts., 3rd), Eric Manlow (46 pts., T9th), Valtteri Filppula (43 pts., T17th) and Donald MacLean (42 pts., T19th).

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: When Donald MacLean and Iowa’s Mathias Tjarnqvist each scored three goals last Wednesday, it marked just the second time in Grand Rapids history that both a Griffins player and an opposing player tallied hat tricks in the same game. Grand Rapids’ Greg Bullock and Michigan’s Marty Flichel traded tricks in a 7-5 Griffins win in Kalamazoo on Feb. 13, 1998.

No Average Joe: Joey MacDonald is reverting to his old form following a slow start. After posting a 3.87 GAA and a 0.877 save percentage through New Year’s Eve, his numbers for the month of January alone are a 2.58 GAA and a 0.901 save percentage.

Blistering Pace: The Griffins are on pace to reach significant milestones or set franchise records:

  • The Griffins have scored an AHL-high 179 goals, their most ever through 45 games and 72 more than their 2004-05 edition – an increase of 67%. On their current pace, the Griffins – who scored only 200 goals last year – would accumulate 318 goals, smashing their record of 279 from 2000-01. The last AHL team to score 300 or more goals was the 1998-99 Providence Bruins (321).
  • Grand Rapids has already tallied 66 power play goals, more than its total from the entire 2004-05 season (55) and just one shy of the team record set in 2002-03. The Griffins’ 21.4% conversion rate stands second in the league.
  • Ranking third in the AHL with 56 points (22-34—56), Jiri Hudler is bidding to break the franchise scoring record (Michel Picard, 101 points in 1996-97) and become the second Griffin to win a league scoring title (Derek King, 83 points in 2000-01). His 60 projected assists would also eclipse the current team standard of 55 (Jeff Nelson and Picard in 1996-97).

    Who’s Hot?: Eric Manlow has a four-game point streak (1-4—5) and points in six of seven outings (1-7—8)…Tomas Kopecky has points in six of his last eight appearances (5-4—9) and in 10 of 14 games (6-9—15)…Eric Himelfarb has goals in consecutive games (2-1—3)…Bryan Helmer owns a four-game point streak (1-5—6)…Matt Ellis has six points in the last five games (2-4—6)…Darryl Bootland has points in eight of the last 10 games (3-8—11).

    Milestones: Donald MacLean’s assist last Wednesday was the 200th of his AHL career, and his goal on Saturday was his 29th of the season, putting him eighth on the Griffins’ single-season goals list…Jiri Hudler’s three assists on Saturday gave him 139 points as a Griffin, giving him sole possession of fourth place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. His 51 goals currently tie Ed Patterson for fifth all time…Darryl Bootland needs 14 penalty minutes to tie Bruce Ramsay’s career franchise record of 781…Tomas Kopecky needs two goals for 48 as a Griffin (T8th all time), one assist for 56 (T10th) and one point for 102 (T10th).

    League Leaders: Jiri Hudler stands near the top of the AHL with 22 goals (T8th), 34 assists (4th) and 56 points (3rd)…Donald MacLean leads the league with 29 goals and is tied for 19th with 42 points…Eric Manlow ranks among the leaders with 32 assists (T5th) and 46 points (T9th)…Valtteri Filppula boasts 43 points (T17th)…Darryl Bootland’s 215 penalty minutes place fourth on the circuit…Tomas Kopecky’s plus-15 rating ties for 8th…Bryan Helmer ranks among the top defensemen with eight goals (T7th) and six power play markers (T5th).

    If at First You Don’t Succeed: Grand Rapids has scored first in just 19 of its 45 contests this season. The Griffins are 15-2-0-2 when scoring the game’s opening goal, compared to 15-10-1-0 when falling behind 1-0.

    There’s Nothing Like January in Winnipeg: Griffins forwards Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula have been selected to play for the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, which will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Hudler, who will make his second all-star appearance in three seasons (2004), was chosen as a starter for the Feb. 1 All-Star Game via fan voting at, while Filppula was selected as a reserve by a committee of AHL coaches. Comcast Local will televise the AHL All-Star Skills Competition live on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., and provide a next-day broadcast of the AHL All-Star Game that will air on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.

    This Week in Griffins History: Jan. 23: West Michigan Hockey, Inc. principals Daniel G. DeVos and David L. Van Andel announce plans to bring a professional ice hockey team to the greater Grand Rapids area (1995). Jan. 24: Griffins and Detroit Red Wings hold a joint press conference at The B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids to announce a five-year affiliation agreement (2002-03 to 2006-07). Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and assistant GM Jim Nill are present for the announcement, made before an overflow crowd of media and sponsors (2002). Jan. 25: Left wing Jody Hull, a veteran of 736 NHL games, joins the Griffins on a conditioning assignment from the Ottawa Senators. That night, the Griffins score seven unanswered goals in a 7-1 romp at Norfolk, as Chris Bala joins Petr Schastlivy and Kevyn Adams as the only rookies in team history to net a hat trick (2002). Jan. 26: Griffins name IHL veteran Bob McNamara as director of hockey operations/general manager (1996). Jan. 27: Griffins score five unanswered goals in the last half of the third period in a 5-3 win over Michigan (1998). Jan. 28: Griffins enjoy their largest victory margin of the season, a 7-0 rout of Houston at Van Andel Arena (2003). Jan. 29: Josh Langfeld scores twice to lead Grand Rapids to a 4-0 win over Milwaukee (2002).

    Scouting Report

    Wed., Jan. 25 vs. San Antonio Rampage (12-27-1-2) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.

    Radio: WTKG 1230 AM at 6:40 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: 2-0-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Third of four meetings overall, first of two in Grand Rapids. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 20-9-1-0-0 Overall, 8-5-1-0-0 Home. NHL Affiliation: Phoenix Coyotes. Head Coach: Pat Conacher (1st season). Stampede Stories: Grand Rapids is 8-2 against San Antonio the last two seasons but just 2-2 in games played at Van Andel Arena…Griffins players have registered four hat tricks versus the Rampage during the last three seasons…San Antonio, owner of the AHL’s worst record, sits 17 points out of a playoff spot…The Rampage have lost their last five road games by a cumulative 17-2 margin, including three shutouts.

    Fri., Jan. 27 at Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights (16-21-1-7) – Omaha Civic Auditorium – 8 p.m.
    Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: 3-0-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Road. Fourth and final meeting overall, second and final in Omaha. NHL Affiliation: Calgary Flames. Head Coach: Ryan McGill (1st season). Knight Moves: Omaha, looking for its first win against Grand Rapids, has lost seven straight games in regulation to fall into sixth place in the West…The Knights have been outscored 30-13 during their current skid.

    Sat., Jan. 28 at Peoria Rivermen (22-16-1-2) – Peoria Civic Center-Carver Arena – 9 p.m.
    Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 8:40 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Road. Second of four meetings overall, second and final in Peoria. NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues. Head Coach: Steve Pleau (1st season). Rollin’ on the River: The Rivermen have won four straight at home, allowing just a single goal in each of their last three outings…On Dec. 2, the Griffins allowed a season-high seven goals in a 7-4 loss at Peoria, including a team-record six power play goals (6-for-9)…Grand Rapids rookie Ryan Oulahen notched a personal-best two goals in that contest.

    Sun., Jan. 29 at Iowa Stars (21-19-1-1) – Wells Fargo Arena – 6:05 p.m.
    Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 5:40 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: 2-1-0-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Road. Fourth and final meeting overall, second and final in Des Moines. NHL Affiliation: Dallas Stars. Head Coach: Dave Allison (1st season). Starry Night: Dave Allison coached the expansion Griffins to a 70-55-19 record from 1996-98 Including the two seasons (2000-02) Allison spent behind the Milwaukee Admirals’ bench, the Griffins have compiled a 16-4-4-1-1 record (w-l-t-otl-sol) against their former coach…The home team has won all three meetings this season.

  • Search Archive »

    Browse by Month »

    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