Griffins Press Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – After completing a 3-0 sweep of the division champion Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday, the Grand Rapids Griffins will continue their quest for the Calder Cup by facing the Lake Erie Monsters in the best-of-seven Central Division Finals.

The fourth-seeded Griffins and second-seeded Monsters will stage Games 1 and 2 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Thursday, May 5 and Saturday, May 7 before the series turns to Van Andel Arena for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 10. The complete schedule is as follows:

2016 Calder Cup Playoffs – Central Division Finals – Best of Seven

Game 1
Thu., May 5
GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters
7 p.m.
Game 2
Sat., May 7
GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters
Noon
Game 3
Sun., May 8
Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS
4 p.m.
Game 4
Tue., May 10
Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS
7 p.m.
*Game 5
Sat., May 14
GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters
7 p.m.
*Game 6
Mon., May 16
Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS
7 p.m.
*Game 7
Tue., May 17
GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters
7 p.m.
* If necessary
All times Eastern and subject to change.
All games on ESPN 96.1 FM and AHLLive.com

The Griffins, who are coming off their first-ever playoff series win against a No. 1 seed, have advanced to the second round of the playoffs for a franchise-record fourth consecutive year, the third-longest streak in the AHL since 2005. The Monsters, meanwhile, swept the Rockford IceHogs 3-0 in the division semifinals for the first playoff series win in their nine-year history.

Grand Rapids posted a 7-4-0-1 record in the regular season series against the Monsters, including marks of 4-2 at Van Andel Arena and 3-2-0-1 at Quicken Loans Arena. Four of the Griffins’ victories were earned in either overtime or a shootout, and Lake Erie finished the series with victories of 5-3 (April 13) and 5-2 (March 26) in Grand Rapids.

While this will be the teams’ first-ever playoff meeting, the Griffins enjoyed great postseason success against rivals from Cleveland earlier in their history, earning a pair of series wins while going 8-2 overall with a perfect 5-0 record at Quicken Loans Arena (during its previous incarnation as Gund Arena). Grand Rapids swept the Cleveland Lumberjacks 4-0 during the 2001 IHL Eastern Conference Semifinals after defeating them 4-2 in the same round in 2000, when current Griffins head coach Todd Nelson patrolled Grand Rapids’ blue line.

Interestingly, Nelson played one season (1992-93) on the shores of Lake Erie for the IHL’s Lumberjacks, while Monsters head coach Jared Bednar logged one season (1998-99) for the Griffins as a defenseman. In addition, Grand Rapids assistant coach Ben Simon hails from the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights.

Tickets for Games 3, 4 and 6 of the division finals at Van Andel Arena will go on sale to the public on Thursday, April 28 at 10 a.m. at all Star Tickets locations, including The Zone, online through griffinshockey.com, by phone through Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737, or via the Griffins app for iPhone or Android.

Available for all playoff home games, Playoff 4-Packs include four or more tickets at a savings of $3 per ticket plus no service fees. To purchase a Playoff 4-Pack, visit griffinshockey.com/playoffs or call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2.

Fans who want to experience every Griffins game at Van Andel Arena during the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs can 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.

Continuing a postseason tradition, the Griffins are offering $2 beers and $2 hot dogs for all home playoff games for two hours after the doors open, while supplies last. In addition, 2,500 fans will receive Griffins playoff rally towels during the second round, compliments of Auto Value Parts Stores.