GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday announced their schedule format for the 2018-19 season, which is highlighted by inaugural meetings with the Ontario Reign and Belleville Senators, as well as continuing contests against the Eastern Conference’s Hershey Bears, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Cleveland Monsters.
The Griffins will start the home segment of their schedule on Friday, Oct. 12 at Van Andel Arena with Opening Night presented by Huntington Bank, one of six home dates that have been confirmed by the American Hockey League.
Grand Rapids will host its 22nd annual New Year’s Eve Celebration presented by Farm Bureau Insurance on Monday, Dec. 31. In addition to hosting Girl Scout Night, the Griffins’ home date on Saturday, Jan. 19 will serve as a lead-in to the 2019 Great Skate Winterfest, one of the team’s annual fundraisers for the Griffins Youth Foundation. Grand Rapids’ home contest on Saturday, Feb. 9 will welcome Scout Night.
Other home games include Saturday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Feb. 16.
Opponents for those six games will be revealed this summer, when the complete schedule for the AHL’s 83rd season is released. The 2018-19 campaign will mark the Griffins’ 18th year of AHL membership and 23rd season overall.
The Griffins and the Pacific Division’s Reign will match up in a home-and-home set in the two teams’ first-ever meetings. Grand Rapids has played 11 all-time regular season games in the state of California, while welcoming a Golden State club to Van Andel Arena 10 times. Ontario is the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.
Grand Rapids and Belleville will face off four times, twice in West Michigan and twice in Canada, for their initial games. A member of the North Division, Belleville joined the AHL in 2017-18 and is affiliated with the Ottawa Senators.
For the second consecutive season, the Griffins will contest home-and-home sets against Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, both of the Atlantic Division. Cleveland, who Grand Rapids has met 92 times in the regular season since 2007-08, will remain on the Griffins’ schedule and the two teams will play four times.
As part of the AHL’s division realignment for next season, San Antonio and Texas will join the Central Division as Cleveland moves to the North. Colorado enters the AHL as its 31st active team and will compete in the Pacific Division.
Grand Rapids will face off against divisional opponents 58 times, including 10 games apiece against Rockford and Milwaukee, eight games each versus Chicago, Manitoba, San Antonio and Texas, and six games against Iowa.
The Griffins will play teams from the Pacific Division six times, with a pair against Ontario and four versus San Jose.
Single-game tickets will go on sale to the public in September. Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com for more information.
Griffins 2018-19 Guaranteed Home Dates:
Fri., Oct. 12 – 7 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 31 – 6 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 19 – 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 26 – 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 9 – 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 16 – 7 p.m.