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GRIFFINS RIDE SEVEN-GAME WINNING STREAK INTO THREE-GAME WEEK

Ryan Sproul, Cory Emmerton, Teemu Pulkkinen, Nathan Paetsch (l-r)

This Week’s Games
Wed., Nov. 13    GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals    8 p.m.    WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM/ AHLLive.com
Fri., Nov. 15    Rockford IceHogs at GRIFFINS    7 p.m.    WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM/ AHLLive.com
Sat. Nov. 16    GRIFFINS at Chicago Wolves    8 p.m.    WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM/ AHLLive.com

Last Week’s Results
Wed., Nov. 6    Rockford IceHogs 2 at GRIFFINS 6    8-2-1-1, 18 pts. (1st, Midwest Division)
Fri., Nov. 8    GRIFFINS 6 at Hamilton Bulldogs 1    9-2-1-1, 20 pts. (1st)

The Midwest: Thanks to a seven-game winning streak, Grand Rapids (9-2-1-1, 20 pts.) remains at the top of the Midwest Division ahead of the Rockford IceHogs (8-7-1-0, 17 pts.), while the Milwaukee Admirals (6-2-2-1, 15 pts.) follow closely behind in third. The Chicago Wolves (6-6-0-1, 13 pts.) moved up to fourth place last weekend after two victories over the Charlotte Checkers, knocking the Iowa Wild (6-5-0-0, 12  pts.) down to last place in the division. The Griffins rank second overall in the Western Conference behind the Abbotsford Heat (11-4-0-1, 23 pts.) and third overall in the league behind the Heat and the Manchester Monarchs (9-2-1-2, 21 pts.).

Friday Promos: Friday’s game versus Rockford gives fans the opportunity to enjoy $2 hot dogs and $2 domestic drafts from 6-8 p.m., while supplies last. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and the first 500 fans to visit the Mercy Health table on the concourse will receive a free t-shirt and megaphone. Fans can also obtain information about lung cancer and schedule a CT lung screening by visiting the Mercy Health table. College students can purchase an upper bowl ticket for $13 (or $11 in advance at The Zone) and stop by the McFadden’s concourse table to receive a free pass to the post-game party at McFadden’s. Every Friday night is also a Griffins D-Zone night, where fans can have $2 beers and $2 hot dogs served directly to their seats and also a Free Ride Friday, permitting any fan to enjoy complimentary fare on the Rapid busses by showing their ticket to that night’s game. Call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com/dzone to order D-Zone tickets, and visit ridetherapid.org for information on bus schedules, routes and maps.

Road Warriors: Dating back to the playoffs, the Griffins are 12-0-1-1 in their last 14 road games, including 7-0-1-1 this season. The road record marks the second time in 18 seasons that the Griffins have earned points in each of their first nine road games (6-0-1-2 in 2002-03). The Griffins have the longest-running winning streak on enemy ice with five victories, dating back to their win over the Chicago Wolves on Oct. 26.

On Their Way: The Griffins’ 9-2-1-1 record (20 pts.) marks the team’s second best start in franchise history (11-1-1 in 2000-01), and Grand Rapids’ seven-game winning streak has helped yield the best winning percentage in the league (0.769). In the 2012-13 Calder Cup-winning season, the team held a 7-4-1-1 record (16 pts.) through 13 games. Grand Rapids went on an eight-game winning streak last season from Nov. 3-24 before their run was snapped by the Milwaukee Admirals in a 3-2 loss on Nov. 25.

Jump Starts: When scoring first this season, Grand Rapids holds a 6-1-0-1 record, producing a 0.813 winning percentage. Grand Rapids has registered 18 goals for and 8 goals against in the first period, 23 GF and 13 GA in the second period and 11 GF and 12 GA in the third period for a combined total of 53 GF and 35 GA. Overall, Grand Rapids has outshot its opponents 414 to 379 and leads the AHL with 4.08 goals per game.

Rookie Plus/Minus: Among league rookie defensemen, Grand Rapids has a clean sweep in the plus-minus category with Xavier Ouellet, who is currently in Detroit, and Alexey Marchenko both registering at plus-eight, while Ryan Sproul clocks in at plus-seven.
 
Right Wing Leaders: Right wing Gustav Nyquist (7-10—17) continues to lead the team in scoring, having done so since the first game of the season. Second-year pro Tomas Jurco (5-9—13) follows behind in second place, while right wing Teemu Pulkkinen (6-5—11) and rookie defenseman Ryan Sproul (4-7—11) tie for third place. Captain Jeff Hoggan (5-5—10) secures the fifth spot after having consistently tallied at least one point in nine of 13 games this season. Defenseman Brennan Evans (26, first) leads in penalty minutes and left wing Triston Grant (18) and right wing Mitch Callahan (18) tie for second place, courtesy of Callahan’s 10-minute game misconduct against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday.

McCollum’s Fire: Goaltender Tom McCollum’s 6-0 record marks the second time in franchise history that a goaltender has started a season 6-0; Petr Mrazek also registered a 6-0 starting record in his first professional season in 2012-13. Through six games, McCollum has posted a 2.25 goals against average and a 0.922 save percentage.

Griffins Streaks: Left wing Jeff Hoggan is on a four-game point streak after scoring five points (2-3—5) from Nov. 1-8. A point in Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Admirals would award Hoggan with the longest point streak on the team, which is currently shared by three other skaters: Cory Emmerton (Oct. 26-Nov. 1), Tomas Jurco (Oct. 4-18) and Gustav Nyquist (Oct. 4-18). Emmerton and Jurco tie for the longest assist streak with four, and right wing Teemu Pulkkinen holds an active three-game goal streak (Nov. 3-8). Goaltender Tom McCollum is on a six-game winning streak, which ties with Petr Mrazek (6-0, 2012-13) for the best season start for a goaltender in Griffins history. The Griffins and the Abbotsford Heat, who reign first in the Western Conference, are both on active seven-game winning streaks, tying for the longest winning streak in the league.
 
NHL Firsts: On Nov. 3, Griffins defenseman Adam Almquist was recalled by the Detroit Red Wings, subsequently making his NHL debut in Detroit’s 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 4. Almquist became the 135th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL, and he notched his first NHL goal and point last Thursday against the Dallas Stars before being assigned to the Griffins on Friday. The Huskvarna, Sweden, native has appeared in 10 games with Grand Rapids this season, registering seven points (0-7—7), 23 shots on goal and 12 penalty minutes. Almquist is the third Griffin to make his NHL debut this season, following in the footsteps of center Luke Glendening (133rd) and defenseman Xavier Ouellet (134th). Goaltender Petr Mrazek made his season debut with the Wings on Nov. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-0 victory, making 14 saves to earn his first career NHL shutout.

Walleye World: After a three-game stretch over the course of the last week, the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye (4-5-1-0) rank third in the North Division. The Walleye triumphed over the Florida Everblades 4-3 in overtime on Saturday, with forward Martin Frk (1-2—3) scoring his first professional point. On Sunday, Frk notched an assist on forward Alden Hirschfeld’s goal in Toledo’s 6-3 loss to the Orlando Solar Bears. On Monday, the Walleye squared off against the Solar Bears again, suffering a 4-2 loss. Frk tallied an assist on a Marek Tvrdon (3-2—5) goal, marking his third point in three games. Forward Trevor Parkes (5-4—9) ranks second on the team in scoring, while Tvrdon and forward Kevin Lynch (3-2—5) are tied with Russ Sinkewich (1-4—5) in fifth place.

Scouting Report

Wed., Nov. 13 at Milwaukee Admirals (6-2-2-1) – BMO Harris Bradley Center – 8 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:40 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series: 59-47-7-5-7 Overall, 26-24-5-4-5 Road. Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Road. Second of 10 meetings overall, first of five at BMO Harris Bradley Center. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Dean Evason (2nd season). Notes: The Admirals defeated the Griffins 3-2 on Oct. 18 at Van Andel Arena in front of a sold-out crowd on opening night…Milwaukee completed a four-game road stretch on Sunday, defeating the Iowa Wild on Nov. 3 and falling to the Texas Stars in back-to-back games on Nov. 8-9 and to the San Antonio Rampage on Nov. 10 to close out their road trip…Defenseman Anthony Bitetto (6-4—10) and rookie center Colton Sissons (5-5—10) are tied for the scoring lead on the team, with rookie left wing Mikka Salomaki (2-7—9) hot in pursuit in third place…Sissons is tied for 13th among league rookies in points…Bitetto ranks among league defensemen for points (10, T9th), game-winning goals (2, T1st) and power play goals (3, T4th)…Milwaukee posted an eight-game point streak from Oct. 11 to Nov. 3 before suffering those three consecutive losses on the road last weekend.

Fri., Nov. 15 vs. Rockford IceHogs (8-7-1-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:40 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series: 15-15-3-4 Overall, 10-6-1-1 Home. Season Series: 2-0-0-1 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Home. Fourth of 10 meetings overall, second of five at Van Andel Arena. NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks. Head Coach: Ted Dent (3rd season). Notes: The Griffins fell to the IceHogs 5-4 in a shootout on Oct. 19 after giving up a two-goal lead in the last 2:10 of the third period. Grand Rapids bounced back on Sunday, Nov. 3 with a 3-1 win at the BMO Harris Bank Center and Wednesday, Nov. 6 in a 6-2 victory at Van Andel Arena…Rockford has given up a power play goal in each of the team’s last three games, dropping to 27th in the AHL with a penalty kill rate of 77.0%...Defenseman Jared Nightingale, who leads Rockford in penalty minutes with 41, played in his 450th professional game on Saturday…Rockford defenseman Adam Clendening (3-12—15) leads the team in scoring, followed by rookie centers Mark McNeill (6-5—11) and Alex Broadhurst (4-7—11).

Sat., Nov. 16 at Chicago Wolves (6-6-0-1) – Allstate Arena – 8 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:40 p.m. TV: The U-Too (Chicago) at 8 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series: 57-40-2-4-2 Overall, 29-23-0-2-0 Road. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Road. Second of 10 meetings overall, second of five in Rosemont. NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues. Head Coach: John Anderson (12th season). Notes: The Griffins and Wolves have met once so far this season, with Grand Rapids claiming a 3-2 win over Chicago on Oct. 26 at Allstate Arena…Center Corey Locke (3-7—10) leads the Wolves in scoring, while second place is knotted three ways between right wing Mark Mancari (4-3—7), right wing Shane Harper (3-4—7) and defenseman David Shields (3-4—7)…Harper and Shields tie for third overall in the league in shooting percentage, both having scored on three of nine shots (33.3%)…Jake Allen ranks 11th in the AHL with a 2.29 goals against average, just behind Griffins netminder Tom McCollum (6-0, 2.25 GAA, 10th). Allen backstopped the Wolves to a pair of 2-1 victories over the Charlotte Checkers last week, stopping 58 of 60 shots between the two games.


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