Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Prospect news: Griffins lose in Charlotte; Walleye win; Givani Smith scores 2 goals

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, it's good-news-bad-news for the Grand Rapids Griffins. The good news is that Anthony Mantha scored his 7th goal in 6 games; the bad news is that the Griffins blew a 2-0 lead and lost 4-2 to the Charlotte Checkers on Friday.

The Griffins filed a recap...

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Charlotte Checkers 4

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Grand Rapids Griffins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from Mike Borkowski and Anthony Mantha, but surrendered four unanswered tallies in a 4-2 defeat to the Charlotte Checkers on Friday at Bojangles’ Coliseum.

Borkowski opened the scoring for the Griffins (4-2-0-0) 3:02 into the contest. Colin Campbell won a battle for the puck behind the Charlotte net and centered a pass to Borkowski in the slot for a shot past Michael Leighton’s catching glove and his first goal in a Grand Rapids uniform.

Mantha gave the visitors a two-goal advantage 1:29 later when he collected a loose puck at his own blue line before accelerating down the right wing and firing a wrist shot from the top of the right circle above Leighton’s glove-side shoulder for his AHL-leading seventh goal of the campaign.

Despite two power play chances, Charlotte registered just five shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes. However, the Checkers came to life early in the second, forcing Jared Coreau to make a vital save to preserve the Griffins’ 2-0 lead. Just over a minute into the middle frame, Connor Brickley’s pass from the point made its way through traffic and bounced off Coreau’s pads, with Patrick Brown’s rebound at the edge of the crease denied by the 6-foot-6 Grand Rapids netminder’s outstretched glove.

The Checkers continued to apply the pressure, and Keegan Lowe got Charlotte (2-3-0-0) on the scoresheet 7:38 into the second. Ryan’s feed from the high slot reached Lowe at the point for a wrist shot high to the glove side.

Sergey Tolchinsky evened the score for Charlotte with 9:05 to play in the second. Andrew Miller’s pass from the slot found Andrew Poturalski at the left circle, who quickly sent a rink-wide pass to Tolchinsky at the bottom of the right circle for a one-timer into the open net.

Brock McGinn gave the Checkers their first lead of the night on the power play with less than a second remaining in the middle stanza. On an eventual 2-on-1, Ryan sent a pass from the right circle across to McGinn for a shot inside the left post to give Charlotte a 3-2 edge heading into the second intermission.

The Griffins had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the final frame when Poturalski was whistled for interference at the 18:01 mark when he pushed Eric Tangradi into Leighton. Coreau left his net soon after to create a 6-on-4 advantage, but the Checkers put the game beyond any doubt when McGinn cleared the puck from his own blue line into the open net for his second goal of the game with 50 seconds on the clock.

Charlotte finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Grand Rapids was unable to convert on seven opportunities. Leighton stopped 26 of 28 shots to earn the victory as Coreau turned aside 28 of 31 shots in his sixth consecutive start to begin the season.

The Griffins have a rematch against Charlotte at Bojangles' Coliseum on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Notes: The Griffins are 1-2 in the first night of back-to-back games, but are 2-0 in the second half. Grand Rapids is 4-0 when scoring three or more goals and 0-2 when netting two or fewer.

Three Stars: 1. CHA McGinn (two goals); 2. CHA Ryan (two assists); 3. CHA Lowe (goal)

The Griffins' website also filed a photo gallery and a SendtoNews highlight clip; the Checkers filed a recap and photo gallery.


In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Norfolk Admirals 3-2 in OT, with Cal Heeter stopping 23 of 25 shots as Tyson and Tylor Spink combined for the OT marker. The Walleye's website posted a recap:

Walleye make it Five Straight with OT Win

(Norfolk, VA) Tylor Spink scored 45 seconds into overtime to propel the Walleye to a 3-2 win Friday night in Norfolk. Toledo has a season record of 5-1-0-0 and is 4-1-0-0 on the road.

The Admirals used a pair of goals from forward Nick MacNeil to take a 2-0 lead over the Walleye after one period of play. The two teams combined for 31 shots on goal in the opening period (Toledo 16 – Norfolk 15).

Jared Nightingale picked up his first goal of the year when he wristed a blue line shot into the net at 9:35 of the second period. The Walleye tied the game when defenseman Jacob MacDonald (2nd) jumped into to a rush up the ice and finished off a mini breakaway with 2:35 left in the period.

Following a scoreless third period, Tylor Spink sent a perfect wrist shot into the back of the net just 45 seconds into the frame.

Walleye Notes: Goaltender Cal Heeter stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced and has a record of 3-0-0-0 on the season. Toledo held the Admirals to just 10 shots on goal over the final two periods and held a final shot advantage of 42-25.


Elsewhere, in the Finnish Mestis, Julius Vahatalo scored a goal for TUTO hockey as they defeated Hermes 4-2;

In the Swiss NLA league, Joren van Pottelberghe served as the back-up in HC Davos' 5-2 win over HC Lugano;

In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh's Val-d'Or Foreurs defeated Rouyn-Noranda 4-3;

In the OHL, Vili Saarijarvi's Mississauga Steelheads lost 5-2 to Sarnia;

Givani Smith scored 2 goals, earning 2nd star status in the Guelph Storm's 3-1 win over Owen Sound. You can watch highlights of the game here;

In NCAA hockey, Chase Perry served as the back-up as Rensselaer lost 4-1 to Union;

James de Haas finished at -1 in the Clarkson Golden Knights' 4-3 loss to Minnesota;

Chase Pearson scored a goal and Patrick Holway sat out the University of Maine Black Bears' 2-2 tie with Colgate;

Dennis Cholowski had an assist as the St. Cloud State Huskies defeated Alabama Huntsville 5-1;

And David Pope had 2 assists in the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks' 5-1 win over UMass Lowell.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



I was following the GR game from their website, via Twitter tweets. It was evident that their failure to score on the PP was causing a momentum shift. Sounds like the Wings PP lately.
It’s not good when you get 7 chances in one game and can’t score!

Posted by NewfieWing on 10/29/16 at 12:31 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.