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NO LOVE LOST

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The long-standing rivalry between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Chicago Wolves will be turned up a notch this year, with the introduction of the Comcast Cup challenge series.

Beginning with the season’s first clash this Saturday, Dec. 31 at Van Andel Arena, the team that earns the most points in the four-game regular season series between the clubs will earn the crystal Comcast Cup to go with bragging rights. In the event of a tie, total series goals and final regular season records would determine the winner.

In addition, a friendly wager between the franchises will raise the stakes to gastronomic proportions, as the mascot of the losing team will make a special delivery of food to the winning team’s players and staff. A Griffins victory would net a variety of Chicago-style cheesecakes, while a Wolves win would garner an assortment of West Michigan-grown fruit and premium nuts.

Counting both regular season and playoff clashes, the Griffins have played more games against Chicago (83) than any other team during their 10-year history. They lead the Wolves in the all-time regular season series with a 36-23-2-1-2 record (w-l-t-otl-sol) while holding an 8-11 mark in the postseason. All four playoff meetings have occurred since 2000; Chicago owns three series wins, including a victory in the 2000 Turner Cup finals, while Grand Rapids swept the then-defending Calder Cup champions in the 2003 Western Conference semifinals.

The Griffins and Wolves, who staged 10 meetings in each of the last two seasons and 12 in 2001-02, will witness their fewest regular season clashes since facing each other three times in 1999-00. Grand Rapids will host game two on Jan. 13, before the series shifts to the Windy City for a pair of contests on March 3 and 12.

Two of the four meetings will be televised live throughout lower Michigan on Comcast Local: this Saturday’s New Year’s Eve affair at Van Andel Arena, and the series finale at Allstate Arena on March 12.


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