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Griffins Host Admirals Before Weekend Set in San Antonio

April 7, 2015 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

This Week's Games

Wed., April 8 Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS 7 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com

Fri., April 10 GRIFFINS at San Antonio Rampage 8:30 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com

Sat., April 11 GRIFFINS at San Antonio Rampage 8 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com

Last Week's Results

Wed., April 1 Rockford IceHogs 1 at GRIFFINS 6 41-19-6-2, 90 pts. (1st, Midwest Division)

Fri., April 3 GRIFFINS 2 at Rockford IceHogs 6 41-20-6-2, 90 pts. (1st)

Sat., April 4 Toronto Marlies 2 at GRIFFINS 7 42-20-6-2, 92 pts. (1st)

Six or More : The Griffins picked up four of six possible points last week, with six or more goals scored by the winning team in all three games. On Wednesday, the Rockford IceHogs paid a visit to Van Andel Arena for an important division battle between the Midwest's top two teams. Grand Rapids emerged as the victor quite handedly by a 6-1 margin. Five Griffins enjoyed two-point nights, including two goals from Andy Miele, while Nathan Paetsch was awarded the second penalty shot of the season for Grand Rapids, but he was unable to convert against Rockford netminder Antti Raanta. On Friday, the IceHogs returned the favor by trouncing the Griffins, 6-2, at BMO Harris Bank Center. Veterans Jeff Hoggan and Paetsch earned the Griffins' tallies, both assisted by Louis-Marc Aubry, to make it a one-goal contest at the end of two periods, but Rockford ran away with the game in the third by scoring three unanswered goals. The Griffins brushed the dust off on Saturday by knocking off the visiting Toronto Marlies, 7-2. Similar to Saturday's game against Rockford, it was a one-goal game heading into the second intermission with Grand Rapids leading 3-2, but the Griffins exploded for four goals in the third to run away with the contest. While five Griffins had two-point nights (Anthony Mantha, Mark Zengerle, Marek Tvrdon, Nick Jensen and Miele), all seven goals were spread across different skaters.

Playoff Tickets : Fans who want to experience every Griffins game at Van Andel Arena during the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs can now purchase a Griffins Playoff Pass. Enjoy the same great seat at significant savings plus the convenience of the "pay-as-we-play" method of payment. To reserve your Griffins Playoff Pass, please call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2. The on-sale date for single-game playoff tickets will be determined once the first-round schedule and opponent have been finalized.

Final Winning Wednesday Promotions : All fans who were in attendance for the Griffins' win against the Rockford IceHogs on April 1 can redeem their ticket stub for a free ticket to Wednesday's game. To redeem a Winning Wednesday ticket, please visit The Zone during normal business hours or the Van Andel Arena box office prior to Wednesday's game beginning at 5:30 p.m. Additionally, the first 300 fans to visit the Amway table in Section A will receive a gift. Fans can also enjoy a buy-one, get-one-free deal on a 16 oz. Pepsi all night long at any concession stand that sells fountain drinks. Children with Griff's Reading Goals bookmarks who have completed the three hours of reading can redeem their bookmark for two free upper level tickets to this game. This will be the final bookmark redemption date of the season.

Clinched : With just two weeks remaining in the AHL's regular season, the Griffins aim to win the Midwest Division title after having clinched a playoff berth last Thursday while idle. By clinching, Jeff Blashill became the first coach in franchise history to qualify for the playoffs in three consecutive seasons - Bruce Cassidy, Danton Cole and Greg Ireland each made back-to-back playoff appearances. Furthering his accolades, Blashill also recently became the first coach in franchise history to lead the Griffins to three 90-point seasons with last Wednesday's 6-1 rout of the Rockford IceHogs. A look at the current division and conference standings:

Midwest Division

Conf. Seed Team Points ROW Games Left Home Road Opponents' Winning % GR Magic # Over (Pts.) Magic # Over GR

2 xGR 92 40 6 3 3 0.553 --- ---

4 xRFD 89 38 7 4 3 0.485 12 16

7 CHI 79 36 7 5 2 0.541 2 26

8 MIL 79 31 5 2 3 0.598 n/a n/a

12 LE 74 30 7 3 4 0.545 n/a n/a

Remaining Western Conference Teams

Conf. Seed Team Points ROW Games Left Home Road Opponents' Winning % GR Magic # Over (Pts.) Magic # Over GR

1 yUTI 93 41 7 3 4 0.522 16 12

3 xSA 92 37 6 4 2 0.619 13 13

5 OKC 84 38 6 4 2 0.470 5 21

6 TEX 84 33 6 3 3 0.568 4 21

9 HAM 76 32 6 1 5 0.591 n/a n/a

10 TOR 75 32 7 2 5 0.502 n/a n/a

11 ADK 74 32 7 4 3 0.575 n/a n/a

13 *CHA 65 24 5 2 3 0.650 n/a n/a

14 *RCH 60 25 6 2 4 0.553 n/a n/a

15 *IA 48 21 7 4 3 0.594 n/a n/a

Currently in playoff position

xClinched playoff berth

yClinched division title

*Eliminated from playoff contention

No Winter Woes : Since Jan. 23, Grand Rapids has accumulated a 23-4-3-1 record (0.807).

Penalty Shot...Or Not : In last Wednesday's game versus Rockford, Griffins defenseman Nathan Paetsch was awarded a penalty shot after a Rockford defender intentionally threw an idle stick toward Paetsch during a Grand Rapids power play. However, Paetsch was unable to put the puck past IceHogs netminder Antti Raanta in his attempt. Including the playoffs, the Griffins have failed on their last 10 penalty shots. The last successful attempt was by Doug Janik against Rochester's David Leggio on April 10, 2012.

Serving Time : Although penalties were present all throughout Saturday's 7-2 triumph over the Marlies, frustrations between Grand Rapids and Toronto ultimately came to a head at 16:44 of the third period. Between Josh Leivo, Brad Ross, Sam Carrick, Louis-Marc Aubry and Chris Bruton, 56 penalty minutes were doled out after a brawl broke out between the group, which eventually spilled into the Griffins' bench. Grand Rapids finished the night with its most penalty minutes earned in a single game this season (49). The previous season-high of 31 PIM was set on two separate occasions, most recently on Jan. 17 in a 5-2 loss at Hamilton. The 49 PIM earned on Saturday were also the most in a single game for the Griffins since their historic bench-clearing brawl against the Rockford IceHogs on Jan. 19, 2013, when the team racked up 91 PIM.

No Rust for Coreau : Earning just his second start in the Griffins' last 19 games, Jared Coreau backstopped a 7-2 win over Toronto on Saturday at Van Andel Arena, turning aside 36 shots in the victory. Coreau's other start during the 19-game span saw him give up four goals in a 4-3 loss at Lake Erie on March 21.

PK on Point : Grand Rapids' penalty killing record (87.0%) ties for third overall in the league with the Utica Comets, and the two teams are led by only the Hamilton Bulldogs (88.4%, 1st) and the Hershey Bears (87.8%, 2nd). The Griffins have not given up a power play goal in their last 23 times shorthanded from March 27-April 4 (five games). The last goal they surrendered while shorthanded was on March 22 versus Adirondack.

How Spooky : The six goals that the Griffins allowed in Friday's 6-2 loss to Rockford were the most given up by the team since a 6-5 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Oct. 31 at Van Andel Arena.

Have You Seen This Scorer? : Grand Rapids is currently without the services of three of its four top scorers. Teemu Pulkkinen (2nd) and Landon Ferraro (3rd) are both on recall with the Detroit Red Wings, while Mitch Callahan (4th) suffered a season-ending ACL injury on Feb. 13 versus San Antonio. Andy Miele is the Griffins' top scorer and the only one of the four still active on the roster.

Griffins Leaders : Since being recalled to the Detroit Red Wings on March 7, Teemu Pulkkinen's reign atop the Griffins' leaderboard has finally ended, as Andy Miele (23-42 - 65, 65 GP) surpassed him after notching two goals and two assists last week. Pulkkinen still ranks second with 61 points (34-27 - 61) in 46 games and leads the AHL with 34 goals. He's followed by Albany's Paul Thompson, who has 32 goals in 67 games. The Griffins' highest-scoring defenseman is Nathan Paetsch, who owns seven goals and 29 assists in 69 games, his most productive season offensively since joining the Griffins in 2012-13. Nick Jensen (6-17 - 23) and Ryan Sproul (5-18 - 23) are tied for second among team blueliners. Left wing Chris Bruton leads the team in PIM with 119.

Walleye World : The ECHL's Toledo Walleye (48-14-5-2, 103 pts.) have just three games remaining on their regular season schedule and will wrap up their 2014-15 campaign on Sunday versus Kalamazoo, which is a game that was rescheduled from earlier in the season due to inclement weather. The team garnered points in all four of its games last week, including three wins and an overtime loss. Griffins-contracted forward Kyle Bonis has sealed the deal for Toledo in all four of the Walleye's most-recent victories from March 28-April 4, potting game-winning goals on March 28 vs. Evansville, April 3 at Kalamazoo, April 4 vs. Elmira and converting on Toledo's last shootout attempt in a 3-2 shootout win at Indy on April 1. With Saturday's victory over the Jackals, the team now ties the 1995-96 Storm (48-14-8) for the most wins in Toledo ECHL history. Just one night prior, Toledo set a new ECHL record for the greatest point turnaround from one season to the next.

Ferraro Recalled, Nastasiuk Joins : The Detroit Red Wings on Monday recalled right wing Landon Ferraro from the Griffins and reassigned right wing Zach Nastasiuk from the Ontario Hockey League's Owen Sound Attack to their AHL affiliate. A native of Trail, British Columbia, Ferraro ranks third on the Griffins in scoring with 42 points (27-15 - 42) in 70 games and currently ranks second in the AHL in shots with 235. The 23-year-old has played in 270 career games with Grand Rapids from 2009-15, accumulating 75 goals, 65 assists and 204 penalty minutes. Detroit's first choice (32nd overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Ferraro made his NHL debut with the Wings last season in a 3-2 victory versus the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 18, becoming the 142nd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL. During his time with Detroit, the 6-foot, 185-pound right wing skated in four games and notched two shots on goal and two PIM. A native of Barrie, Ontario, Nastasiuk captained the Attack to a 35-24-2-7 record this season, registering 77 points (35-42 - 77), 34 PIM and a plus-nine rating in 64 games. On Saturday, Owen Sound was eliminated from the OHL Playoffs after falling to the Guelph Storm, 2-1, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. In all, Nastasiuk has amassed 187 points (90-97 - 187), 107 PIM and a plus-six rating in 256 career games with the Attack from 2011-15. Detroit's second choice (48th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Nastasiuk went scoreless in five regular season games with the Griffins at the conclusion of their 2013-14 season, before potting one assist in seven games with Grand Rapids during the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Scouting Report

Wed., April 8 vs. Milwaukee Admirals (33-25-7-6) - Van Andel Arena - 7 p.m.

Radio : WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. Web Casts : Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series : 72-51-7-6-7 Overall, 40-24-2-1-2 Home. Season Series : 6-2-1-0 Overall, 3-1-0-0 Home. Tenth of 10 meetings overall, fifth of five at Van Andel Arena. NHL Affiliation : Nashville Predators. Head Coach : Dean Evason (3rd season). Notes : The Admirals tie with the Chicago Wolves for third in the Midwest Division, seventh in the Western Conference and 16th overall...Milwaukee is currently in playoff position, but the Hamilton Bulldogs are three points behind with a game in hand...Former Griffin and Calder Cup Champion Triston Grant is a member of the Admirals this season. In 68 games, he has clocked 25 points (12-13 - 25), 113 PIM and a minus-six rating...Rookie right wing Viktor Arvidsson continues to lead the Ads in scoring with 51 points (19-32 - 51) in 65 games. Arvidsson is followed in second by Austin Watson (24-16 - 40) and in third by Colton Sissons (23-16 - 39)...Arvidsson leads the AHL in shots with 245, trailed in second by currently-recalled Griffin Landon Ferraro (235)...The last time the Griffins and Admirals met on March 20 at Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids stole a late-game 3-1 victory...The Admirals are on a four-game point streak but have only one victory in that stretch and post a 2-4-2-2 record in their last 10 outings...Milwaukee goaltender Magnus Hellberg currently ties for 10th overall among league goaltenders with a 2.24 goals against average, alongside a 15-9-5 record and a 0.918 save percentage.

Fri., April 10 at San Antonio Rampage (43-21-5-1, 92 pts.) - AT&T Center - 8:30 p.m.

Sat., April 11 at San Antonio Rampage - AT&T Center - 8 p.m.

Radio : WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 8:05 p.m. (Fri.) and 7:35 p.m. (Sat.). Web Casts : Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series : 35-21-1-5-2 Overall, 17-11-0-2-1 Road. Season Series : 1-0-1-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Road. Third and fourth of four meetings overall, first and second of two at AT&T Center. NHL Affiliation : Florida Panthers. Head Coach : Tom Rowe (2nd season). Notes : The Rampage and Griffins are tied for second place in the Western Conference through 70 games and trail the Utica Comets by only one point. San Antonio leads the West Division and ties for fourth overall...This weekend's series could very well determine the eventual Western Conference champion and may have a huge impact on playoff seeding...The Rampage were on a nine-game winning streak before falling to the Adirondack Flames, 7-3, last Saturday...Right wing Bobby Butler leads the squad in scoring with 27 goals and 32 assists (59 pts.), while Brett Olson (14-30 - 44) and Mark Mancari (13-31 - 44) are tied for second...Matthew Corrente, who has appeared in just 10 games with San Antonio after playing in 48 with Syracuse earlier this season, has accumulated the most penalty minutes on the team with 144...The Rampage are the only team in the league to register more goals per game (3.34) than the Griffins (3.29). However, Grand Rapids only allows an average of 2.40 goals against per game (6th), while San Antonio averages 2.99 (21st)...The Rampage's power play record (19.0%) ties for sixth overall with Bridgeport but their penalty killing record (82.8%) ranks 18th.


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