The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/01/13 at 01:14 AM ET
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects concluded a busy November on Saturday night, and the AHL's Grand Rapids finished the month on a high note, sweeping their home-and-still-at-home series with the Texas Stars.
The Griffins followed up Friday night's wild 5-4 win with a tamer effort, defeating Texas 5-1, and they did so thanks to fine balance between the Wings' prospects and the team's NHL contributors, with 11 skaters registering points, Patrick Eaves scoring 2 goals and Jordin Tootoo and Triston Grant both entertaining the crowd with scraps.
The Griffins' website posits a recap...
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Behind two goals by Patrick Eaves and 33 saves from Tom McCollum, the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday rolled to their fifth straight win overall and their sixth in a row at home, a 5-1 thrashing of the Texas Stars at Van Andel Arena.
Grand Rapids (15-4-1-1) showed its dominance on both ends of the ice, scoring at least five goals for the sixth consecutive home game while limiting its opponent to no more than a single goal for the fourth time in its last five outings. The Griffins’ defense also did a number on the AHL’s top two scorers this weekend, limiting Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour to just a lone assist each during the two-game sweep of the Stars.
The Griffins, who maintain a seven-point lead atop the Midwest Division, will continue a season-high seven-game homestand next weekend when the Rochester Americans come to town for a Friday-Saturday set.
The Griffins tallied late in the first and early in the second to jump ahead 2-0. Cory Emmerton connected on a one-timer from above the circles with 2:04 left in the first period, and Alexey Marchenko threaded a wrist shot through traffic from the point 3:41 into the second.
Texas netminder Allen York surrendered goal number three at the 6:50 mark, as Calle Jarnkrok grabbed the puck along the right boards just inside the Texas blue line, raced down to the half-wall and fired a shot that somehow slipped past York as he hugged the right post.
The Stars (11-8-2-2) used a power play to finally solve McCollum on their 26th shot of the night, with Jyrki Jokipakka notching his first AHL goal from the left circle at 17:26, but it took the Griffins just 24 seconds to respond. An Eaves floater from above the right circle eluded York, giving the NHL veteran points in four of his five games as a Griffin.
Eaves added his second goal at the 8:41 mark of the third, reaching his stick out to deflect an Adam Almquist pass into the top of the net.
Two of the Griffins’ heavyweights answered the bell in the third period as the Stars’ frustrations mounted. Jordin Tootoo pummeled William Wrenn just over seven minutes into the frame, while Triston Grant and Cameron Gaunce went toe-to-toe three minutes later.
McCollum, who made his first appearance in two weeks and earned his first victory since Nov. 6, improved to 7-2 on the season. York finished the night with 30 saves.
Notes: Grand Rapids has won 13 of 15 games following a 2-2-1-1 start to the season, posting a 10-2 record during November…Defenseman Nick Jensen, reassigned to the Griffins by the Detroit Red Wings from ECHL Toledo earlier today, was a healthy scratch. The rookie has yet to make his AHL debut.
Three Stars: 1. GR Eaves (two goals); 2. GR McCollum (W, 33 saves); 3. GR Marchenko (goal, assist)
And the Griffins posted both a Flickr photo gallery and a slate of highlights and post-game comments:
In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye had a much more difficult Thanksgiving weekend, going 0-and-3. Toledo followed up 7-0 and 4-0 decisions to the South Carolina Stingrays with a third consecutive opponent shutout, losing 3-0 to the Wheeling Nailers.
Both Max Nicastro and Louis-Marc Aubry took 5 shots, Martin Frk had 3, Trevor Parkes and Marek Tvrdon (back in the lineup after sitting out Friday) had 2 shots and Jared Coreau stopped 26 of 29 shots.
The Walleye's website posted a recap of the game:
Toledo threw nearly 40 shots on goal but was beaten 3-0 Saturday night in Wheeling. Toledo has an overall record of 5-9-2-0 and is 2-5-2-0 on the road this season.
Despite Toledo carrying the play in the first period, Wheeling would collect the only goal at 13:30 of the first period. Anton Zlobin beat Jared Coreau with a wrist shot from the top of the circles for the lone goal of the first.
“For a second straight game the effort and desire was there from our team,” said Head Coach Nick Vitucci. “We couldn’t do much more than we did tonight. If we continue to play like that good things will happen.”
The second period was more of the same from the Walleye. Wheeling collected a shorthanded goal at 8:45 of the period from Ben Duffy to extend the lead to 2-0.
Wheeling would also collect the lone goal of the third period when Duffy collected his second goal of the night at 3:00.
Walleye Notes: Goaltender Jared Coreau made 26 saves on 29 shots in net for Toledo. Coreau has a record of 1-5-2-0 this year. Toledo has gone 190 minutes and 30 seconds since their last goal scored. Walleye finished with 39 shots on a goal; a new season high.
The Toledo Blade also took note of a telling stat:
Toledo was 0 for 6 on the power play as Wheeling was whistled for 11 penalties.
In Sweden, in the SHL, Mattias Janmark did not play in AIK Stockholm's 3-2 win over Frolunda;
Back on this side of the Atlantic, in Major Junior hockey...
In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha had a goal and an assist and finished at +3 in the Val-d'Or Foreurs' 6-2 win over Moncton, giving Mantha 27 goals, 32 assists and 59 points registered over the course of 27 games played;
In the OHL, Jake Paterson had a rough outing, giving up 4 goals on 10 shots as the Saginaw Spirit lost 5-2 to Oshawa;
Andreas Athanasiou had a remarkable effort in a losing cause, registering a goal and 2 assists and being named the 2nd star in his Barrie Colts' 5-3 loss to Kitchener;
And Zach Nastasiuk both went scoreless and took a penalty that led to the Plymouth Whalers' first goal, but his Owen Sound Attack rallied and prevailed 3-2 over Plymouth via a shootout;
In the WHL, Mitchell Wheaton continues to nurse a badly broken nose, so he did not take part in the Kelowna Rockets' 3-2 shootout win over Kamloops;
And Marc McNulty had a wonderful effort in a losing cause, registering a goal and an assist from the blueline but still finishing at -2 in the Prince George Cougars' 5-3 loss to Vancouver.
In the BCHL, David Pope didn't register a point in the West Kelowna Warriors' 5-1 win over Langley;
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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.