01/21/2008 9:58 AM
This Week’s Games
Fri., Jan. 25 - GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals - 8 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks
Sat., Jan. 26 - Chicago Wolves at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - Comcast Local/WOOD/B2
Sun., Jan. 27 - AHL All-Star Skills Competition – Binghamton, N.Y. - 7 p.m. - Comcast Local/B2
Mon., Jan. 28 - AHL All-Star Game – Binghamton, N.Y. - 7 p.m. - Comcast Local/B2
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Jan. 16 - Rochester Americans 3 at GRIFFINS 4 SO - 16-19-2-5, 39 pts. (4th, North Division)
Fri., Jan. 18 - Rochester Americans 1 at GRIFFINS 3 - 17-19-2-5, 41 pts. (4th)
Sun., Jan. 20 - GRIFFINS 5 at Chicago Wolves 2 - 18-19-2-5, 43 pts. (T3rd)
Climbing the Ladder: Thanks to a 3-0 record last week, along with struggles experienced by its divisional foes, Grand Rapids has moved into a tie for third place in the North Division with Syracuse and climbed within just two points of second-place Manitoba. The Griffins’ current three-game winning streak and four-game point streak (3-0-0-1) both tie their season highs and are their best runs since a 3-0-1-0 stretch from Dec. 1-7.
Hey! Hey! Hockeytown!: The Griffins will celebrate their affiliation with the Detroit Red Wings this Saturday when they host the rival Chicago Wolves, in a game that will be televised live throughout Michigan on Comcast Local. Fans will have the opportunity to meet Wings television analyst Mickey Redmond during a pre-game autograph session presented by your West Michigan Chrysler Jeep Dealers. Red Wings youth jerseys, presented by Comerica Bank, will be handed out from a Myway Storage SafeBox to the first 1,500 kids (ages 12 and under) in attendance. The Griffins will wear college-themed jerseys that will be auctioned to benefit the Calvin College hockey program. After the game, Griffins players Mark Cullen, Jonathan Ericsson and Carl Corazzini will sign autographs from the Griffins bench (players subject to change), and fans who bring their skates can take to the ice for the O’Charley’s Post-Game O’pen Skate.
Breaking Even?: A win this Friday at Milwaukee would give the Griffins (18-19-2-5) a 0.500 record for the first time since Nov. 9, when they stood 5-5-0-1.
If I Could Turn Back Time: Excluding a 10-game winless stretch (0-8-0-2) from Oct. 28-Nov. 23, Grand Rapids has posted an 18-11-2-3 mark (0.603) in its other 34 contests.
Reversals of Fortune: Grand Rapids has posted a 9-4-1-2 record at Van Andel Arena since losing its first seven home games in regulation. Similarly, since enduring a recent 2-8-1-2 road skid, the Griffins are 2-0-0-1 in their last three games away from home.
Star Studded: Goaltender Jimmy Howard and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson have been selected to play for the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team at the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok, which will be held Jan. 27-28 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, N.Y. They were both chosen to participate in their first AHL All-Star Classic by a committee of the league’s coaches. Both the All-Star Skills Competition this Sunday and the All-Star Game next Monday will be televised live throughout Michigan at 7 p.m. on Comcast Local.
Griffins vs. Sled Wings: The third annual sled hockey game between the Griffins and the Grand Rapids Sled Wings will take place tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Griff's IceHouse. The Sled Wings are a talented team of physically challenged teenagers sponsored by the Griffins Youth Foundation in partnership with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Admission is $5 at the door (free to children 2 and under). From 6-7 p.m., fans can try out a sled on the ice for a $1 donation to the Sled Wings program and take part in an autograph session with Griffins players.
Hartigan Nets AHL Nomination: The Griffins today nominated center Mark Hartigan for the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied seven points (3-4—7) in three games. He earned First Star honors in consecutive games, registering a goal and an assist in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout win over Rochester and factoring in all three goals (2-1—3) in the 3-1 rematch on Friday. After capping off the week with two assists in the 5-2 win at Chicago, he now leads the Griffins with 19 goals and 35 points and places third with 16 assists.
Howard’s Heroics: AHL All-Star Jimmy Howard returned from injury last week to go 3-0 with a 1.95 GAA and a 0.935 save percentage (86-92). Since the start of December he is 11-6-1 with two shutouts, a 1.89 GAA and a 0.935 save percentage (502-537). Howard now ranks among the AHL’s top netminders with four shootout wins (T1st), 1,941 minutes played (3rd), 875 saves (4th), 33 games played (5th), two shutouts (T5th), 16 wins (T5th), a 2.50 GAA (13th) and a 0.915 save percentage (13th). He owns an impressive 15-5-1 record this season when his teammates score at least two goals.
Player Notes: Ryan Oulahen, who tied his career high with three points (1-2—3) on Sunday at Chicago, needs to play in two more games to become the 16th player in Griffins history to log 200 regular season appearances…Five different Griffins own scoring streaks of at least three games: Garrett Stafford (1-3—4, four games), Mark Hartigan (3-4—7), Carl Corazzini (2-1—3), Jamie Tardif (2-1—3) and Jakub Kindl (1-2—3).
Shootout Stories: Three of the Griffins’ last six games have gone to a shootout, with Grand Rapids posting a 1-2 mark…Last Wednesday, Jimmy Howard was a perfect 5-for-5 in the shootout for the first time in his career, helping his team to a 4-3 victory over the Amerks…Mark Cullen scored the lone Griffins shootout goal in each of their last two games that extended into the skills competition.
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. Now online are the Dallas Drake, Dominik Hasek, Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom and Andreas Lilja jerseys, with silent and live auctions to be held this Saturday, and the Dan Cleary and Chris Chelios jerseys, with silent and live auctions set for Feb. 15. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation. For more information and a complete auction schedule, visit griffinshockey.com/fanzone/auctions.
Fri., Jan. 25 at Milwaukee Admirals (21-17-2-2) – Bradley Center – 8 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 45-27-7-4-3 Overall, 19-15-5-3-3 Road. Season Series: 2-2-0-0 Overall, 1-1-0-0 Road. Fifth of eight meetings overall, third of four in Milwaukee. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Lane Lambert (1st season). Notes: The Griffins’ 4-2 win over Milwaukee on Dec. 29 broke a streak of six straight meetings that had been decided by a single goal…That victory was just the second regulation win for Grand Rapids in its last 17 regular season and playoff meetings against the Admirals (4-10-3-0)…All-Star netminder Pekka Rinne stands 14th in the league with a 2.51 GAA.
Sat., Jan. 26 vs. Chicago Wolves (30-11-1-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast Local at 7 p.m. Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 41-26-2-3-2 Overall, 20-10-2-2-2 Home. Season Series: 1-0-1-0 Overall, 0-0-1-0 Home. Third of four meetings overall, second of two in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Atlanta Thrashers. Head Coach: John Anderson (11th season). Notes: The Griffins’ five goals against the Wolves on Sunday tied for the most Chicago has allowed at home this season…The game also marked only the third time in the Wolves’ last 16 outings that their AHL-leading offense was held to two or fewer goals…Not including their empty-netter, the Griffins out-scored Chicago 4-0 at even strength in that game…Four of the Wolves’ six goals against Grand Rapids this season have been scored on the power play.