The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/17/13 at 03:06 AM ET
Even the Grand Rapids Griffins "were due" for a loss, but I'm sure they're not happy about the way Saturday night's 4-3 loss to the Chicago Wolves transpired. The Griffins rallied from a 3-1 deficit only to surrender a shorthanded goal 5:01 into the 3rd period--their second "shorty" of the night--and they couldn't overcome their errors. The Griffins website's recap recounts the game's events:
The Chicago Wolves’ special teams proved to be the deal breaker for the Grand Rapids Griffins as two shorthanded goals and a power-play tally helped the Wolves to a 4-3 decision over the Griffins on Saturday at Allstate Arena.
After earning at least one point in their first nine road games this season, the game marked the second consecutive regulation loss on the road for Griffins. However, their 10-4-1-1 overall record still kept them atop the Midwest Division in front of a three-way tie for second place between Chicago (9-6-0-1), the Milwaukee Admirals and the Rockford IceHogs. The Griffins will take on the Admirals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
Ryan Sproul opened up scoring for the Griffins at 7:13 of the first period with a shot that snuck in above Matt Climie’s left shoulder from a nearly impossible angle deep in the right circle.
The Griffins were awarded a power play opportunity when Joel Edmundson went to the box for interference at 8:03, but it was the Wolves who took advantage. Tom McCollum was behind his net to put a cleared puck into play, but Nathan Longpre stole the puck from him and wrapped it around into the empty net for the shorthanded tally at 9:44.
Chicago started the second period with 27 seconds of a five-on-three advantage, but the Griffins held them scoreless.
At 3:57, Longpre sent a pass to Cade Fairchild skating in the slot, but the puck took a fortunate bounce and landed on the stick of Sergey Andronov, who was standing to the left of McCollum’s net. Andronov’s shot from a sharp angle got past McCollum to make it 2-1. Dmitrij Jaskin provided a two-goal cushion for the home team with a power-play goal tipped in off a long pass from the point at 9:47.
The Griffins pulled within one goal when Nathan Paetsch sent a shot toward Climie that was redirected by David McIntyre into the net, his first goal of the season.
Grand Rapids headed into the second intermission down a goal, but it took them only 35 seconds into the final frame to tie the game. Gustav Nyquist controlled the puck in the Wolves’ right circle and fed it to a rushing Tomas Jurco, who carried the puck across the crease and backhanded it past a sprawled Climie.
Minutes later, a power play once again would work against the Griffins. A shorthanded wrister from the left circle by Taylor Chorney at 5:31 accounted for the difference.
McCollum turned away 20 of 24 shots in the loss, and Climie saved 23 of 26 shots.
Three Stars: 1. CHI Longpre (goal, two assists); 2. CHI Jaskin (goal); 3. CHI Regner
The Griffins posted a Flickr photo gallery from the game and a SendtoNews, auto-play highlight clip, but the Wolves website's recap offers YouTube-friendly highlights, and oh hey, there's Chris Chelios being honored before the game!
If you're interested, the Chicago Tribune's Paul LaTour offers the Wolves' perspective:
[A]fter tying a single-game franchise record with two short-handed goals, it doesn't seem like a bad plan for the Wolves, who extended their winning streak to five games in their return from their annual circus trip.
"Yeah, we're taking penalties just so we can score goals because our power play isn't doing so good," Anderson said, laughing. "(Assistant coach) Davey Allison has a done really great job with our penalty kill. We talked about being aggressive on the push down the ice, and they've really bought into that."
Taylor Chorney scored the second short-handed goal to break a third-period tie as the Wolves (9-6-0-1) also snapped a four-game home losing streak. They hadn't won at Allstate Arena since their Oct. 12 home opener.
Nathan Longpre had the Wolves other short-handed goal and added two assists, including one on Chorney's game-winning goal. Longpre also assisted on a short-handed goal in Friday's 4-3 victory at Milwaukee.
With the Wolves trailing 1-0, Longpre stole the puck from Griffins goalie Tom McCollum behind the net before scoring his second goal of the season midway through the first period.
"I wanted to get on the goalie and make him move the puck," Longpre said. "I got lucky when he tried to reverse it."
In Sweden, it's, "Good news, bad news":
Mattias Janmark returned to AIK Stockholm's lineup and registered an assist in 18:49 of ice time--about four minutes less than he usually plays--after recovering from a knee injury, but he did so in AIK's 6-2 loss to Frolunda;
Mattias Backman didn't register a point but had a better outing, playing 16:24 in Linkopings HC's 3-2 OT win over Lulea;
In Sweden's J20 SuperElit league, Linkopings HC's team which usually includes Rasmus Bodin played the Tingsryds IF team which usually includes Hampus Melen, but neither player skated in LHC's 3-0 win over Tingsryds, and you don't want to know how bad Tingsryds' goal differential is. It makes the Wings' goal differential look elegant.
Back over on this side of the pond, in the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha played in his last game before the Val-d'Or Foreurs and the rest of the QMJHL takes a 6-day break for the Subway Super Series, whose first two games (on the 18th and 20th) will include Mantha's presence, and Mantha tacked an assist on to his point total (24 goals, 30 assists and 54 points registered over the course of 23 games played), but Val-d'Or dropped a 4-2 loss to Baie-Comeau;
The OHL's not taking a break for the Super Series. Zach Nastasiuk willplay against the Russian juniors on November 21st, and Jake Paterson playing for the OHL on November 25th (the Wings have no WHL representatives, and if you're in Canada, you'll be able to see all the games on Sportsnet).
Paterson spent Saturday on the bench instead of tending the net, watching the Spirit defeat Mississauga 2-1;
The Owen Sound Attack's captain has cooled off offensively of late--that's Mr. Nastasiuk--and he went scoreless in the Owen Sound Attack's 4-2 loss to Oshawa;
Andreas Athanasiou, on the other hand, has gotten back on the offensive train, and he registered 3 assists and was named the first star in his Barrie Colts' 8-2 win over Niagara. He's registered 8 goals and 16 assists for 24 points registered over the course of 20 games played;
And Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm dropped a 4-3 decision to Guelph, but he registered a goal and an assist, and Bertuzzi's playing very well. He's registered 6 goals and 21 assists for 27 points registered over the course of 20 games. Not bad for a scrapper.
In the WHL, defenseman Marc McNulty returned to the Prince George Cougars' lineup after suffering some sort of "injury," and he didn't register a point, but he did finish at +3 in the Cougars' 3-1 win over Everett;
Another defenseman, Mitchell Wheaton, had a very good night, registering 2 assists as the Kelowna Rockets defeated Medicine Hat 4-3;
And in the oddity that is the BCHL (they're technically a Junior A league outside the CHL's umbrella, but they don't pay their players' expenses so they can retain their NCAA college eligiblity), West Kelowna Warriors still don't have sniper David Pope in the lineup. West Kelowna's still winning, though, winning a 4-3 decision over Cowichan on Saturday.
In NCAA hockey, Pope will be heading to Clarkson University, where James de Haas currently plays defense. de Haas had a rough night, finishing at -3 in the Clarkson Golden Knights' 4-3 loss to Colgate;
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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.