This Week’s Games
Wed., Nov. 10 - Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS - Noon - Buy Tickets / ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Nov. 13 - GRIFFINS at Hamilton Bulldogs - 4 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sun., Nov. 14 - GRIFFINS at Hamilton Bulldogs - 4 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Last Week’s Results
Fri., Nov. 5 - Manitoba Moose 6 at GRIFFINS 5 - 5-3-0-2, 12 pts. (T5th, North Division)
Sat., Nov. 6 - Chicago Wolves 2 at GRIFFINS 4 - 6-3-0-2, 14 pts. (5th)
Sun., Nov. 7 - GRIFFINS 4 at Lake Erie Monsters 3 SO - 7-3-0-2, 16 pts. (2nd)
Afternoon Delight: Grand Rapids will host its 10th annual matinee game this Wednesday at noon against the Milwaukee Admirals, trying to improve upon its all-time record of 7-2 in the event. Sponsored by Lake Michigan Credit Union, the game features an educational twist, with approximately 5,000 students arriving at 10 a.m. to take part in many unique learning experiences. Elementary kids will discover topics centered on science, technology, engineering and mathematics through interactive displays and hands-on activities set up by Michigan Technological University. Meanwhile, this season’s middle/high school career forum will focus on career strategies. West Michigan experts and professionals will share effective strategies and tips to help students strengthen their skills for future careers. In addition, LMCU’s director of business development and community involvement, Vickie Smith, will discuss financial responsibility following high school and share information about the 2011 LMCU Hutt Scholarship. Other promotions on the day include senior citizen bingo, Winning Wednesday and Library Day. For complete promotional information, visit griffinshockey.com.
Clash of the Titans: The Griffins currently possess the second-highest winning percentage (0.667) in both the North Division and the Western Conference. They’ll face top-dog Hamilton (0.773) twice on the road this weekend, in 4 p.m. starts on Saturday and Sunday at Copps Coliseum.
Reebok/AHL Player of the Week Nominee: The Griffins today nominated forward Ilari Filppula for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied six points (2-4—6) in three games to assume the team’s scoring lead. After identical three point (1-2—3) outings against both Manitoba on Friday and Chicago on Saturday, he is tied for ninth in the AHL with 15 points (6-9—15). Filppula has registered multiple points in four of the last six games, including three three-point outings, and he has had a hand in seven (2-5—7) of the 15 goals scored by Grand Rapids’ league-leading power play.
Road Warriors: The Griffins have won five straight road games, two shy of the franchise record of seven set between Oct. 16-Dec. 3, 2004. Their last five-game winning streak on the road was Oct. 6-27, 2007, and their last five-game point streak away from Van Andel Arena was Jan. 3-Feb. 4, 2009 (4-0-1-0).
Very Special Teams: Grand Rapids continues to lead the league in power play (28.8%) while ranking sixth in penalty killing (88.2%). The Griffins own the AHL’s best special teams on the road, ranking first in both power play (33.3%) and penalty killing (97.4%). Grand Rapids has surrendered only one power play goal in the 39 times it’s been shorthanded as the visiting team.
Irish Eyes Are Smiling: With Joey MacDonald enjoying an extended stay with the Red Wings and Thomas McCollum having played a career-high six consecutive games, Jordan Pearce was given the start between the Griffins’ pipes on Sunday in Cleveland. He stopped the first penalty shot the Griffins have ever faced in overtime, denying Lake Erie’s Brandon Rogers 52 seconds into the extra session of Grand Rapids’ 4-3 shootout win. Pearce earned the victory and second star honors in his first appearance of the season, stopping 37-of-40 shots and 5-of-7 shootout attempts.
Who’s Hot?: Rookie Brendan Smith ranks second among all AHL defensemen with five goals and 11 points (tied)…Cory Emmerton’s career-high seven-game point streak (3-9—12) ended last night, along with a six-game assist streak that fell one-game shy of the Griffins’ single-season record and two games short of the franchise’s overall mark…Francis Pare (1-2—3) and Jamie Johnson (0-3—3) both have points in three of the last four games…Jan Mursak’s career-high eight-game point streak (5-5—10) was snapped by the Monsters on Sunday…Chris Minard, who scored 22 goals in just 40 games with Springfield last season, tallied his first in 12 games as a Griffin last night at Lake Erie. He now has points in three straight contests (1-3—4)…Jamie Tardif has points in four of the last five games (4-1—5)…Derek Meech has points in five of the last seven outings (2-5—7)…Tomas Tatar owns a three-game point streak (2-2—4), on which he put an exclamation point by scoring the decisive shootout goal in the seventh round on Sunday.
Milestones: With 90 career wins as a Griffin, Joey MacDonald (currently with Detroit) needs just one more to break a tie with Jimmy Howard for franchise supremacy…Derek Meech has played 242 regular season games as a Griffin, putting him just one shy of Tomas Kopecky for 10th place on the all-time list…Francis Pare needs four points to become the 21st player to reach 100 as a Griffin and seven goals to become the 14th player to score 50.
Shots Hard to Come By: For the season, Grand Rapids has surrendered just 27.25 shots per game, the fifth-fewest in the AHL. On the other end, the Griffins have averaged only 27.75 shots, ranking 24th in the league.
Familiarity Breeds Success: Grand Rapids is 6-1-0-1 within the North Division and 1-2-0-1 against the West Division.
Wed., Nov. 10 vs. Milwaukee Admirals (6-3-1-2) – Van Andel Arena – Noon
Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 11:45 a.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 51-38-7-5-4 Overall, 30-17-2-1-1 Home. Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Home. Second of eight meetings overall, second of four in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Lane Lambert (4th season). Notes: Admirals center Blake Geoffrion won the 2010 Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey as a senior at Wisconsin, where he was a teammate of Griffins defenseman Brendan Smith…Milwaukee will bring a three-game point streak (2-0-0-1) into the contest…Admirals goalie Mark Dekanich ranks third in the AHL with a 1.83 GAA.
Sat., Nov. 13 at Hamilton Bulldogs (7-1-1-2) – Copps Coliseum – 4 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 14 at Hamilton Bulldogs – Copps Coliseum – 4 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 3:45 p.m. (Saturday) and ESPN 96.1 FM at 3:45 p.m. (Sunday). Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 22-26-1-0-3 Overall, 10-15-0-0-1 Road. Season Series: First and second of six meetings overall, first and second of three in Hamilton. NHL Affiliation: Montreal Canadiens. Head Coach: Randy Cunneyworth (1st season). Notes: The Bulldogs are 6-1-1-0 at home and they enter the week on a nine-game point streak (6-0-1-2)…David Desharnais is tied for ninth in AHL scoring with 15 points (4-11—15)…Yannick Weber leads all league defensemen with seven goals.