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Barrage of Home Games Begins Thursday

April 14, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Grand Rapids Griffins vs. the Chicago Wolves
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. the Chicago Wolves
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins)

Upcoming Games

Chicago Wolves (15-4-0-1) at GRIFFINS // Thurs., April 15 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Watch: WXSP-TV and AHLTV

Listen: ESPN 96.1 FM

Season Series: 1-4-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Home, 0-4-0-0 Road. Sixth of 10 meetings overall, second of five in Grand Rapids

All-Time Series: 88-68-2-6-3 Overall, 43-29-2-4-2 Home, 45-39-0-2-1 Road

NHL Affiliations: Carolina Hurricanes (primary), Nashville Predators (2020-21)

Noteworthy: The home team is 5-0 in the season series.

Iowa Wild (10-9-4-0) at GRIFFINS // Fri., April 16 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Iowa Wild at GRIFFINS // Sat., April 17 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Watch: WXSP-TV and AHLTV

Listen: ESPN 96.1 FM

Season Series: 1-1-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home, 1-1-0-0 Road. Third and fourth of four meetings overall, first and second of two in Grand Rapids

All-Time Series: 34-15-3-2 Overall, 16-6-2-2 Home, 18-9-1-0 Road

NHL Affiliation: Minnesota Wild

Noteworthy: Iowa's last visit to Van Andel Arena, a 4-1 loss to the Griffins on March 11, 2020, proved to be the final game of the COVID-shortened 2019-20 campaign.

Cleveland Monsters (9-5-1-0) at GRIFFINS // Tue., April 20 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Cleveland Monsters at GRIFFINS // Wed., April 21 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Watch: WXSP-TV and AHLTV

Listen: ESPN 96.1 FM

Season Series: 3-1-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Home, 2-1-0-0 Road. Fifth and sixth of eight meetings overall, second and third of four in Grand Rapids

All-Time Series: 57-32-5-10 Overall, 32-16-1-2 Home, 25-16-4-8 Road

NHL Affiliation: Columbus Blue Jackets

Noteworthy: The Griffins beat the Monsters 2-1 in overtime in their home opener on Feb. 20.

Recent Results

Thurs., April 1 // GRIFFINS 2 at Chicago Wolves 5 // 8-5-2-0 (18 pts., 2nd Central Division) Recap | Highlights

Sat., April 3 // GRIFFINS 2 at Cleveland Monsters 4 // 8-6-2-0 (18 pts., 3rd) Recap | Highlights

Get Busy

After playing just 16 games overall and only four times at home during the first 69 days of this 2020-21 season - owing to both a light early schedule and five postponements over the last month - the Griffins are scheduled to play their final 16 games and 12 home contests over a span of only 31 days. With Thursday's clash against Chicago, they'll begin a seven-game homestand along with a gauntlet of three home games in as many nights and five home games in just seven nights. It'll be just the 11th 3-in-3 at Van Andel Arena in franchise history, with the last coming Feb. 26-28, 2016, when they beat Iowa twice before besting Chicago in overtime. They'll face that same slate of opponents, in reverse order, this week.

A Long Time Coming

The Griffins have not played since a 4-2 setback at Cleveland on Saturday, April 3, and they haven't played at home since a 2-1 overtime loss to Rockford on March 16. While Grand Rapids enters the week on its first three-game losing streak of the season, the team has earned points in all four home games thus far (2-0-2-0).

Last Time Out

On April 3 at Cleveland, the Griffins started strong by building a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes on a power play goal by Riley Barber plus Mathias Brome's first AHL tally, but the Monsters rallied with four answered goals for a 4-2 victory, their first series win in four tries this season. Four straight minor penalties committed by the Griffins in the second period - including a pair of too-many-men calls - opened the door for the Monsters, who scored the first two of their three second-period goals on the power play. Cleveland then shut that door on Grand Rapids thanks largely to Daniil Tarasov, who made his North American debut after beginning this season in the KHL. The 2017 third-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets finished with 27 saves and stopped the last 21 shots he faced.

Try This Again

Thursday marks the third attempt to play that particular game (AHL Game #157) between the Griffins and Wolves. Postponed from its original March 19 date due to league COVID-19 protocols affecting Chicago, it was subsequently bumped from its April 13 rescheduled date due to protocols affecting Grand Rapids over the last week. The Griffins' games scheduled for last Friday in Cleveland and Saturday at home against Rockford also fell victim but have been re-slated for May 11 and May 3, respectively.

That's a First

The Griffins on Thursday will begin a seven-game April homestand that surpasses their most regular season home games ever during the month. Prior to this season, their high-water mark for regular season games at Van Andel Arena during April had been five, established in 2015.

Life of Riley

Riley Barber has goals in two straight games and four of the last five outings, along with points in 13 of 16 games this season. His 12 goals on the season tie him third in the league, amazing considering that his 16 games played are nine fewer than every other player in the top five of the AHL's goal-scoring race. Barber's 19 points (12-7-19) tie for 18th in the league while his nine power play points tie for fifth. He posted a nine-game point streak from Feb. 5-March 11 that was the longest ever to start a player's Griffins career as well as the longest from the start of a Griffins season.

Images from this story

Grand Rapids Griffins vs. the Chicago Wolves
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. the Chicago Wolves

(Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins)

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