10/13/2009 11:34 AM
Last Week’s Result
Deep in the Heart: After playing just two games over the first 13 days of the AHL’s regular season, the Griffins will finally dive into the meat of the schedule this week with three games in the state of Texas over a four-night span. Thursday features their first-ever visit to Austin and meeting with the Texas Stars, while the San Antonio Rampage will serve as their host on Saturday and Sunday. Dating back to their inception, the Griffins have enjoyed much success against the Lone Star State’s teams, posting records of 61-36-7-3-6 overall and 28-20-4-2-3 on the road against clubs from Texas.
The Wait is Almost Over: After a record five straight road games to begin the season, the Griffins will make their Van Andel Arena debut next Friday, Oct. 23 against the Abbotsford Heat at 7 p.m., the start of an unprecedented three-game weekend to open their home schedule. Single-game tickets for all 40 home games are now on sale at all Star Tickets outlets, including the Zone and Meijer stores, or online through griffinshockey.com, while group, full-season and mini-plan ticket packages are available by calling the Griffins at (616) 774-4585.
Family Reunion: Three members of the Texas Stars played for Grand Rapids last season. Garrett Stafford led all Griffins defensemen and ranked sixth overall on the team with 45 points (11-34—45), Aaron Gagnon recorded 19 points (8-11—19) and finished second on the club with two shorthanded goals, and Landon Wilson averaged one point per game over 15 contests (8-7—15) before joining the Dallas Stars in late November…San Antonio head coach Greg Ireland was a head coach or assistant coach with the Griffins for four seasons (2003-07). Only six members of the Griffins remain from the last squad Ireland led in 2006-07: Evan McGrath, Ryan Oulahen (long-term injury), Jamie Tardif and Mike Walsh played for Grand Rapids during that regular season, while Cory Emmerton and Jakub Kindl skated during the playoffs.
A Strong Foundation: Backed by the goaltending of rookie Thomas McCollum (1.00 GAA, 0.958%) and Daniel Larsson (3.00 GAA, 0.909%), the Griffins’ defense has allowed an average of just two goals per game, the fifth-best figure in the AHL.
Hello, I Must Be Going: The Red Wings on Saturday recalled center Justin Abdelkader from the Griffins, just two days after he was assigned to Grand Rapids. He currently occupies the roster spot of Johan Franzen, who is expected to be out at least four months after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during Detroit’s 3-2 win over Chicago last Thursday.
Alumni Report: A total of 25 former Griffins can be found on the rosters of 12 different NHL clubs. Eleven currently ply their trade in Detroit, while Ottawa ranks second with three Grand Rapids graduates. Colorado defenseman Kyle Quincey leads all Griffins alums in the early going with six points (1-5—6) in five games.
Milestones: Jeremy Williams tallied his 100th pro goal on Saturday against his old teammates, the Toronto Marlies…Doug Janik netted the Griffins’ other goal to celebrate the 400th AHL game of his career, and his next point will be his 100th in the AHL…Jamie Tardif needs two points for 100 as a pro…Mike Walsh is two games shy of 200 as a pro…Evan McGrath needs three points to become the 20th player to reach 100 points in a Griffins uniform and two goals to reach 50 as a pro…Andy Delmore is six points away from 400 for his career.
Thu., Oct. 15 at Texas Stars (2-1-0-1) – Cedar Park Center – 8:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 17 at San Antonio Rampage (3-0-1-0) – AT&T Center – 8 p.m.
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