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10/23/2006 11:09 PM - Homestand Continues With Three Games in Four Nights

This Week’s Games
Wed., Oct. 25 - Rochester Americans at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks

Fri., Oct. 27 - Toronto Marlies at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD/B2

Sat., Oct. 28 - Philadelphia Phantoms at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD/B2

Last Week’s Results
Fri., Oct. 20 - Houston Aeros 1 at GRIFFINS 2 - 3-1-1-0, 7 pts. (2nd, North Division)
Sat., Oct. 21 - Houston Aeros 4 at GRIFFINS 3 SO - 3-1-1-1, 8 pts. (2nd)

The Party Continues: Fresh off a weekend that saw them take three of four points, the Griffins will continue their eight-game homestand (1-1-0-1) with three games in four nights this week, beginning with Wednesday’s visit by the  6-0 Rochester Americans. Each night will feature special promotions for fans:
•    Wednesday vs. Rochester - Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Van Andel Arena, as the game presentation will feature a tribute to the arena’s first decade. Most lower bowl tickets will be priced at $10 and hot dogs are only $1 all night;
•    Friday vs. Toronto – It’s another Student Night, as all college and high school students can purchase a lower bowl ticket for only $10 with a valid student ID. In addition, the Wendy’s Friday Family Four Pack offers four small single combos from Wendy’s and four Griffins tickets for $44;
•    Saturday vs. Philadelphia – A celebrity bake sale will take place on the arena concourse to benefit Toys for Tots. Twenty-four desserts will be up for grabs, including Mayor George Heartwell’s Amaretto Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, Matt Ellis’ Granny’s Famous Sugar Cookies and Travis Richards’ Banana Cream Pie. In addition, the night will feature a Halloween costume contest and a post-game skate and autograph session.

Righting the Wrong: Grand Rapids had a 0.500 or better record last season against every team except Houston (1-2-0-1). The Griffins have already clinched a winning record against their rival this year, however, showing a 2-0-0-1 mark with one meeting remaining.

Take Offense: Griffins’ leading scorer Kip Miller owns a four-game point streak (1-4—5)…Krys Kolanos has points in four of his five games (2-3—5)…Matt Hussey has points in three of the last four contests (1-3—4)…Matt Ellis (3-1—4), Josh Langfeld (2-3—5) and Dan Smith (0-4—4) each have points in four of the team’s six outings.

Of Note: Friday’s 2-1 win over Houston was notable for three members of the Griffins. Jimmy Howard tied Jani Hurme for sixth on the Griffins’ all-time wins list with his 29th in two years; Ryan Oulahen picked up the first game-winning goal of his career, scoring at 9:58 of the second period; and Tom Galvin notched two assists for the first points of his pro career.

Very Special Teams: After going 2-for-5 on the power play while holding the Aeros scoreless on their three attempts on Saturday, the Griffins are now tied for first in the AHL in penalty killing (36-for-39, 92.3%) and fifth in power play (8-for-34, 23.5%).

Alumni Notes: Red Wings goaltender Joey MacDonald made his NHL debut last Thursday, relieving Chris Osgood in the first period of Detroit’s 5-1 loss at San Jose. He played 45:28 in a no-decision, making several outstanding saves and allowing just two power play goals on 15 shots. MacDonald, the Griffins’ career leader in wins, shutouts, saves, goalie games played and minutes played, became the 81st Griffins alumnus and the 15th goalie to play in the NHL…Forward Tomas Kopecky, who ranks among the Griffins’ all-time top 10 in games played, goals, assists, points and plus/minus, potted his first NHL goal for Detroit in last Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at Anaheim. He broke Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s shutout bid with 5:36 remaining…Jiri Hudler on Thursday scored his first goal of the season for the Red Wings on the power play with 8:52 left, the only blemish on Vesa Toskala’s night. 

Trick-or-Treat with Griff: On Halloween night, one local family will have the opportunity to go trick-or-treating with Griff, the Griffins’ mascot, or have him pass out candy at their house. This unique experience is now up for bid through the Griffins’ auction site, Any family with at least one child under the age of 13 residing within a 20-mile radius of downtown Grand Rapids is eligible to bid. The auction will conclude at noon on Friday, Oct. 27, with all proceeds benefiting the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream: Cold Stone Creamery will soon unveil a new flavor in honor of the Griffins - "Griff Tracks" - at its five Grand Rapids-area stores. A contest is being conducted for fans to suggest the one base ice cream flavor and three add-ins that will become Griff Tracks for the entire 2006-07 season. Fans can submit their suggestions through, at Griffins home games and at area Cold Stone locations. The deadline is Nov. 3, and the winner will be announced at the Nov. 4 Griffins game against the Manitoba Moose. The creator of Griff Tracks will receive a season's worth of ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery.

Scouting Report

Wed., Oct. 25 vs. Rochester Americans (6-0-0-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: First of eight meetings overall, first of four in Grand Rapids. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 10-7-1-0-0 Overall, 6-2-1-0-0 Home. NHL Affiliation: Buffalo Sabres. Head Coach: Randy Cunneyworth (7th season). Notes: Rochester and Iowa (6-0) are the only two unblemished teams left in the AHL…The North Division-leading Amerks have allowed only eight goals in six games, behind the stellar netminding of Craig Anderson (1.23 GAA, 0.959%) and rookie Adam Dennis (1.50 GAA, 0.969%)…The Griffins have beaten Rochester four straight times at Van Andel Arena, and they’ve earned six wins and a tie in the Americans’ seven visits since 2002…Of the eight meetings this season, the first four will take place in Grand Rapids and the last four in New York.

Fri., Oct. 27 vs. Toronto Marlies (3-3-1-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Second of eight meetings overall, first of four in Grand Rapids. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 4-3-0-0-0 Overall, 2-1-0-0-0 Home. NHL Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs. Head Coach: Greg Gilbert (1st season). Notes: Since losing Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals on April 22 at Van Andel Arena, the Griffins have beaten the Marlies four straight times (all on the road), including a 4-2 victory on Oct. 13…Former Red Wing Boyd Devereaux now plays for the Marlies…Former Houston sniper Erik Westrum is Toronto’s leading scorer (4-5—9).

Sat., Oct. 28 vs. Philadelphia Phantoms (3-2-1-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:40 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: First of two meetings overall, first and only in Grand Rapids. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 5-3-0-0-0 Overall, 2-2-0-0-0 Home. NHL Affiliation: Philadelphia Flyers. Head Coach: Kjell Samuelsson (1st season). Notes: The parent Flyers’ woes have had a major impact on the Phantoms, who received Niko Dimitrakos and seven-time NHL 20-goal scorer Petr Nedved on assignment last week. In addition, following Craig Berube’s elevation to the Flyers as an assistant coach on Monday, Kjell Samuelsson has taken over the Phantoms’ coaching reins. Saturday will mark his second game as the team’s bench boss.

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