The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/19/13 at 02:11 AM ET
The Subway Super Series got underway on Monday night in Gatineau, Quebec, with a team of QMJHL stars battling a...middling-on-paper Russian team. Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin stole the show via a 3-assist performance in the QMJHL's 3-2 win over Russia, and Montreal Canadiens prospect Charles Hudon got talked up for his 2 goals-and-1-assist perforance in La Belle Province, but NHL.com's Adam Kimelman notes that a certain Red Wings prospect scored the game-winner:
Anthony Mantha's goal with 4:07 left in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and gave the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League a 3-2 win against Russia on Monday in the opening game of the Subway Super Series, palyed in Gatineau, Quebec.
The line of Mantha, Charles Hudon and Jonathan Drouin supplied all the offense for QMJHL. Hudon had two goals and an assist; Drouin had the primary assist on all three goals.
Mantha, taken by the Detroit Red Wings with the 20th pick of the 2013 draft, scored the winner at 15:53 of the third. Hudon carried the puck into the Russia end and dropped it for Drouin. His shot was blocked, but Mantha grabbed the loose puck in front of the Russia net, kicked it his backhand in the crease and scored.
Strong play in front of the net is nothing new for Mantha. Last season he was the only 2013 draft-eligible player in the Canadian Hockey League to score 50 goals, and this season he leads the QMJHL with 24 goals and 54 points in 23 games.
And I can't embed it, but Hudon, Drouin and Mantha conducted an English-language interview posted on the Super Series' website.
Mantha and the QMJHL will play a second game against the Russians on Wednesday, November 20th at 7 PM EST, and the game will air on Sportsnet and TVA Sports;
The series will begin its Russia-vs-Ontario Hockey League set of games on Thursday the 21st in Oshawa, ON, and Owen Sound Attack forward/captain Zach Nastasiuk will take part in that game (airing on Sportsnet ONE), and Saginaw Spirt goalie Jake Paterson will tend the net when the OHL plays the Russians on Monday the 25th in Sudbury (that game will air on Sportsnet East).
In news regarding another Wings-drafted OHL prospect, the Guelph Storm's website's Scott Tracey penned a profile of forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who's positing a surprising number of points despite his status as a scrappy forward. The profile reveals that Bertuzzi's dad is a player agent and quite the athlete himself:
Through his first 16 games of this season he had five goals and 16 assists for 21 points and is sixth on the team in scoring. Obviously his scrappy play is turning heads. The Detroit Red Wings surprised many when they selected him in the second round, 58th overall, in this past summer's draft. With that hurdle cleared, Bertuzzi is looking ahead to the next one.
"You always want to get better every year and obviously it's a bit of a confidence boost to get drafted," he says. "The next step is to get signed so I'm working hard to make sure that happens." Working hard' is not a novel idea for the youngster.
"Every team he's been on he's always been the hardest-working kid out there," says Tyler's dad, Adrian Gedye. "He's always been incredibly self-motivated. He'll always be the last kid off the ice at any practice."
Gedye, a former national team triathlete who competed in Olympic swimming trials, trains his son and other elite-level hockey players during the summer in their hometown Sudbury.
"He obviously takes hockey very, very seriously," Gedye says.
Bertuzzi does admit that he speaks to his uncle Todd, who played for the Storm when he was a junior-aged player:
"I talk to him a lot and he gives me really good advice," Tyler says. "He's already been through all this so it's nice to be able to get his thoughts."
And in business news of a sort, the Grand Rapids Business Journal's David Czurak reports that the Griffins have expanded their practice facility, and they're going to utilize their expansion to help aid their Youth Foundation:
The Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation, DP Fox Sports & Entertainment and the city of Grand Rapids will celebrate the construction of a new multi-purpose room at Griff’s Ice House on Tuesday, beginning at 5:15 p.m., at 30 Coldbrook NE, just east of Division Avenue.
“This project is an example of what can be accomplished when partners work together to improve the quality of life of our residents,” said Lynn Rabaut, executive director of the Griffins Youth Foundation and former Grand Rapids city commissioner.
The project added a 1,200-square-foot multi-purpose room to the northeast side of Griff’s Ice House, which offers two rinks and skating classes for the public.
The Griffins Youth Foundation will use the new room for its educational programs. The room will also be used for some off-ice conditioning.
“I’m pleased that together DP Fox Sports & Entertainment and the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation are able to reach deeper into the community to include a larger group of our at-risk youth population to participate in a sport that sometimes is cost prohibitive,” said Tim Gortsema, senior vice president of business operations for DP Fox.
The Griffins spent Monday evening raising money for the Griffins Youth Foundation by taking part in their annual "Tip a Griffin" event at local Ucello's restaurants. The Griffins posted both some of their own Tweets and some fan Tweets from the event:
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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.