The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/22/13 at 02:42 AM ET
The Grand Rapids Griffins wrapped up the pre-Christmas break portion of their schedule on a losing note, losing 3-2 to the Chicago Wolves--and they did so in frustrating fashion, rallying from a 2-0 deficit only to surrender the game-winning goal with 2:09 left in regulation.
The Griffins' website recounts the game's details...
Though the Grand Rapids Griffins fought back from a two-goal deficit on Saturday, a marker by the Chicago Wolves in the final minutes put the Wolves on top, 3-2, at Allstate Arena.
The Wolves have accounted for three Griffins’ losses this season, but Grand Rapids’ 21-6-1-1 record still is the best start in franchise history. The Griffins sit atop the Midwest Division with 44 points, and the Wolves (14-12-0-2) are in fourth with 30 points.
Mark Mancari gave the Wolves an early lead with a goal at 2:09 of the opening period. The Wolves capitalized on a turnover in the neutral zone and Mancari banked a wrister from the slot to put Chicago up 1-0 before the Griffins even had a shot on net.
At 2:25 of the second frame, the Wolves doubled their lead. Mancari maintained possession along the left boards before he found a rushing David Shields in the slot, who buried the puck.
The Griffins had an opportunity to pull the game within one with about 11 minutes to play in the second period when Teemu Pulkkinen tried to backhand the rebound of Mitch Callahan’s shot, but he was unable to control the bouncing puck. However, the Griffins found another opportunity at 13:16 when Brennan Evans scored from along the left wing boards, his second goal in three games.
Triston Grant evened the playing field for Grand Rapids with a goal 2:23 into the third period. David McIntyre won a faceoff in the home team’s zone and got the puck to Andrej Nestrasil, who launched a backhanded shot toward Jake Allen. Grant picked up the loose puck in the crease, wrapped it around the back of the net and snuck it in the right corner before Allen could get across.
With only 2:09 left to play, Dmitrij Jaskin scored the game-winning goal for the Wolves. Multiple Chicago players were swarming Tom McCollum’s crease, and he made a stick save but Jaskin was there to bury the rebound and seal the win.
McCollum made 33 saves in the loss, and Allen stopped 20 of 22 shots.
The Griffins will resume play after the holidays against the Milwaukee Admirals at 8 p.m. on Dec. 26 at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Notes: The Detroit Red Wings on Saturday reassigned center Louis-Marc Aubry and defenseman Gleason Fournier from the Griffins to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Three Stars: 1. CHI Jaskin (game-winning goal); 2. CHI Mancari (goal, assist); 3. GR McIntyre (two assists)
In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye are a little more accustomed to losing, but they've received sensational goaltending from former NHL'er Hannu Toivonen of late...Which may make Saturday's loss sting more. Toivonen stopped 35 of 37 shots as the Walleye dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kalamazoo K-Wings (a night after Toivonen stopped 47 of 48 in a 2-1 Walleye win over K-Zoo).
Of the Wings prospects who remain in Toledo: Max Nicastro finished at +1 with 1 shot; Gleason Fournier finished at -1 with 1 shot; Marek Tvrdon finished at -1 with 3 shots; Louis-Marc Aubry was even and took a minor penalty; and Richard Nedomlel played and finished at +1 the night after being tossed for an illegal check to the head.
The Walleye's website recounts the game's details:
Toledo collected an early goal from Max Shalunov, but Kalamazoo came back to beat the Walleye 2-1 on Saturday night in Kalamazoo. Toledo has an overall record of 8-13-3-0 and is 3-7-3-0 on the road this season.
Toledo would get the game’s first goal as Max Shalunov wristed a shot through Kalamazoo goaltender Jordan Binnington at 10:37. Forward Pat Mullane collected the lone assist on the first professional goal for Shalunov.“Getting off to a good start was the message tonight,” said Head Coach Nick Vitucci. “We did that getting the lead but a couple of breakdowns in the second period hurt us tonight.”
The Kalamazoo Wings would tie the game 2:42 of the second period when defenseman Brett Ponich slapped a rebound past Walleye net minder Hannu Toivonen. Kalamazoo would go in front of Toledo at 18:18 when Eric Kattlelus cut in front of the Toledo net and wristed a shot past Toivonen.Walleye Notes: Goaltender Hannu Toivonen made 35 saves on 37 shots in net for Toledo. Toivonen has a record of 3-5-0-0 this year.
Toledo had mad rush in the late third period but could not tie the game.
Elsewhere: In Russia, at the Channel One Cup, Mattias Janmark didn't register a point in Sweden's 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic;
Back over on this side of the pond, in the QMJHL, Phillipe Hudon remains absent from the Victoriaville Tigres' lineup. Victoriaville dropped a 3-2 loss to Drummondville on Saturday night;
Sans Anthony Mantha, the Val-d'Or Foreurs lost 4-2 to Gatineau;
And in the BCHL, David Pope didn't register a point in the West Kelowna Warriors' 4-0 win over Penticton.
Update: For the record, the ECHL stated that it fined Nedomlel for that check to the head on Friday:
Toledo’s Richard Nedomlel has been fined an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions in ECHL Game #267, Toledo at Kalamazoo on Dec. 20.
Nedomlel was assessed a match penalty under Rule #48.5 at 1:54 of the first period. He is fined under Rule #28 – Supplementary Discipline.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, player fines collected by the ECHL are given to the PHPA for its ECHL Player’s Hardship Fund.
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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.