GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins will begin the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs by facing the Milwaukee Admirals in the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals, reprising their first-round series from last spring.
The second-seeded Griffins and third-place Admirals will stage Games 1 and 2 at Van Andel Arena on Friday, April 21 and Sunday, April 23before the series turns to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena for Game 3 on Wednesday, April 26 and, if necessary, Game 4 on Friday, April 28. The complete schedule is as follows:
Griffins 1st Round Schedule
|Game 1||Fri, April 21||Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS||7:00 PM|
|Game 2||Sun, April 23||Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS||4:00 PM|
|Game 3||Wed, April 26||GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals||8:00 PM|
|Game 4*||Fri, April 28||GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals||8:00 PM|
|Game 5*||Mon, May 1||Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS||7:00 PM|
All times Eastern and subject to change
The Griffins finished with a 7-5 record in the season series against the Admirals, having won four of the season’s first five meetings. Grand Rapids posted a 3-3 home mark against its longtime rival and was 4-2 in games played in Wisconsin.
This will mark the third all-time playoff meeting between these clubs. Last April, the fourth-seeded Griffins authored a 3-0 sweep of the division champion Admirals for their first-ever series win over a No. 1 seed and their first sweep in 13 years. Grand Rapids was on the other end of a sweep in its previous postseason clash with Milwaukee, losing the 2006 Western Conference Finals in four games after claiming the AHL’s regular season crown.
Other storylines of the series include:
- Both teams have hoisted the Calder Cup once since joining the AHL in 2001. Milwaukee earned its championship in 2004, while the Griffins still have three players from their 2013 cup squad: Mitch Callahan, Brian Lashoff and Nathan Paetsch.
- A combined 19 current Griffins and Admirals players participated in last year’s first-round clash, including 10 for Grand Rapids and nine for Milwaukee;
- The Griffins have qualified for the playoffs for five consecutive years – tying a franchise record set from 2000 to 2004 – and in 15 of their 21 seasons overall. The Admirals are in the postseason for the second straight year and the 14th time in their last 15 seasons;
- The Griffins will attempt to advance to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs for a fifth straight season, a feat matched or surpassed only by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2011 to 2016 and 2005 to 2009) since the AHL’s current 16-team format was adopted in 2005. They’ll have to do it against a team that knows them as well this season and better historically than any other; not only do Grand Rapids’ 12 regular season meetings with Milwaukee tie Cleveland for the most against any opponent this season, but the Griffins’ 164 all-time clashes with the Admirals are the most against any foe;
- This series will mark the Griffins’ first postseason visits to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the Admirals’ new home after 28 seasons at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Grand Rapids is 2-2 all time in playoff games in Milwaukee;
- One player and two assistant coaches from Beer City USA have connections to Brew City. Griffins defenseman Conor Allen appeared in 31 games (1-5—6) for Milwaukee last season, while Ben Simon (18 GP in 2003-04) and Bruce Ramsay (3 GP in 1995-96) had cups of coffee on the other side of Lake Michigan during their playing days. In addition, forwards Ben Street and Matthew Ford know the Badger State well, as the pair helped the University of Wisconsin win the 2006 NCAA championship.
Tickets for Games 1 and 2 of the division semifinals at Van Andel Arena are now available at all Star Tickets locations, including The Zone, online through griffinshockey.com/tickets, 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/playoff4packor call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2.
Fans who want to experience every Griffins game at Van Andel Arena during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs can now purchase a Griffins Playoff SuperPass. 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 SuperPass, visit griffinshockey.com/superpass or call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2.
Continuing a postseason tradition, the Griffins are extending their popular Friday promotion and will offer $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 first round, compliments of Auto Value Parts Stores.