04/07/2008 12:12 PM
Last Week’s Results
Final Fling: The Griffins will conclude their 2007-08 campaign with a two-game set against the Manitoba Moose this Friday and Saturday at Van Andel Arena. The games hold great meaning for the second-place Moose, as they are trying to protect their scant four-point lead over hard-charging Syracuse (16-0-0-3 in its last 19 games) in the battle for home-ice advantage in their upcoming North Division Semifinal playoff series.
Friday’s Festivities: Friday’s game will feature this season’s final installment of the popular Dollar Dogs/Dollar Beers promotion, with $1 hot dogs and 21 oz. domestic drafts starting at 6 p.m. (until 8 p.m. or while supplies last). The Griffins will wear their third jerseys, modeled after the Red Wings’ white road sweaters. Following the game, the jerseys will be autographed by the respective Griffins and auctioned to fans, with all proceeds benefiting GVSU Club Roller Hockey. Ticket promotions include the Wendy’s Family Four Pack, Bono’s Pit BBQ Student Night and Library Night. Click here for complete details.
On the Tube: Comcast will televise Friday’s game live at 7 p.m. on channel 20 in Grand Rapids and Lansing and channel 190 in Southeast Michigan.
Saturday’s Sayonara: The Griffins’ Grand Finale, presented by your West Michigan Chrysler Jeep Dealers, will feature post-game fireworks and live performances by local band Mr. Whooha during each intermission. Fans can browse the Griffins’ hockey equipment sale on the concourse from 6-9 p.m. for great deals on new and used gloves, pants, socks, skates and more, including $5 wood sticks (cash only, all sales final), and those who bring their skates can take to the ice for the O’Charley’s Post-Game O’pen Skate.
Join the Crowd: Another sellout crowd of 10,834 – the Griffins’ fifth of the season and fourth in their last 13 home contests – packed Van Andel Arena for last Friday’s game against Houston. The Griffins have drawn 30,439 fans for their three home games since they were eliminated from playoff contention on March 26, playing before consecutive sellout crowds and an average audience of 10,146, or 94 percent of Van Andel Arena’s capacity. Grand Rapids’ attendance is up 2.4% from the 2006-07 season (6,819 avg., fifth in AHL), when it finished with its largest attendance in four years. Should the Griffins draw at least 15,550 (71.8% of capacity) for their two-game set against Manitoba this weekend, they will celebrate two consecutive seasons of increased attendance for the first time in franchise history.
In the Show: With the advancement of nine current or former Griffins to the NHL this season, Grand Rapids has now sent 95 players on to the NHL during its 12 seasons of play. Forty-one Griffins alumni logged ice time with a record 19 different NHL teams during the 2007-08 regular season, combining to play 1,529 games while accumulating 182 goals, 355 assists, 537 points, 73 wins and 10 shutouts. (* Played for Grand Rapids this season.)
King Carl: With 24 goals, 36 assists and 60 points, Carl Corazzini is a near lock to become just the third player in Griffins history to lead the team in all three scoring categories, something which was accomplished in each of the team’s first four seasons but not once since (Michel Picard in 1999-00, 1997-98 and 1996-97, Glen Metropolit in 1998-99). He is also bidding to become the first player to ever lead the team in games played (78), goals, assists, points, power play goals (12) and game-winning goals (5). Metropolit led all but games played in 1998-99, while Picard finished first in each category except power play goals in 1996-97…Corazzini scored his 12th power play goal during the Griffins’ 3-2 win in Rochester on Saturday, tying for the fifth-highest single-season total in franchise history. Also, with 264 shots on goal – already the second-highest total ever – he is on a pace to finish with 270, which would fall just one shy of Donald MacLean’s team record set in 2005-06.
One Small Step: Ryan Oulahen needs one game to log his 230th regular season contest with the Griffins, which would tie him with Derek Meech for 10th all time. In addition, Kyle Quincey is one game shy of becoming the 17th player in Griffins history to log 200 regular season appearances.
Exclusive Company: Jimmy Howard’s career-high 53 games played place him fourth on the Griffins’ single-season list, behind only Joey MacDonald (66 in 2004-05), Pokey Reddick (61 in 1996-97) and Marc Lamothe (60 in 2002-03).
Ironmen: Carl Corazzini and Jamie Tardif have played in each of the Griffins’ 78 games thus far. They are bidding to join 15 previous players who appeared in each regular season contest for Grand Rapids.
Road Woes: Grand Rapids finished its 2007-08 road slate with a 13-23-1-3 record, marking its fewest victories ever earned away from Van Andel Arena. After blasting out of the gate with a perfect 5-0 mark, the Griffins finished 8-23-1-3 in enemy territory.
Perfect Pogge: Last Wednesday, Toronto goaltender Justin Pogge joined four other netminders who’ve shut out the Griffins twice in the same season: Nolan Schaefer (CLE 2004-05), Tyler Moss (EDM 2004-05 and MTB/TOR 2003-04), Tom Askey (3 times, RCH 2001-02) and Jamie McLennan (HOU 2001-02). He also became just the third netminder to post three career shutouts against the Griffins (Moss 5, Askey 3).
There’s Your Problem Right There: The Griffins rank second in the AHL in shots per game (32.59) but just 25th in goals scored (2.58). Discounting shootout goals that skew the numbers, opposing goaltenders boast a 0.922 save percentage versus Grand Rapids this season.
For the Record: The Griffins will miss the playoffs for just the third time in the franchise’s 12 seasons…Grand Rapids currently sits 12 games below 0.500, tying its all-time low-water mark and ensuring its first losing record since the 1998-99 campaign…The Griffins will set or already have set franchise lows for points (current 66, previous record 76), home points (36, 41), road points (30, 34), wins (29, 34), home wins (16, 19) and road wins (13, 15).
Red Wings Jersey Auction: Twenty-three autographed, game-issued Detroit Red Wings jerseys are being made available for public bidding throughout the 2007-08 season through exclusive auctions that begin at griffinshockey.com and conclude after select Griffins home games. Online bidding, which begins at $250 per jersey, will establish the starting bids for silent auctions that will take place on the arena concourse during Griffins games. Subsequently, the highest bids from the silent auctions will serve as the starting bids for live post-game auctions. Last up for online auction are the Brian Rafalski and Henrik Zetterberg jerseys, with silent and live auctions scheduled for this Saturday’s season finale. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation.
Fri., April 11 vs. Manitoba Moose (45-26-2-4, 2nd North) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
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