The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/03/13 at 02:35 AM ET
The Grand Rapids Griffins' third game of the weekend takes place today in Rockford, so the Red Wings' ECHL affiliate had the spotlight to itself on Saturday night--and had the spotlight to itself in a big way as both the Stanley Cup and Wookiees, Stormtroopers and Darth Vader were in attendance as the Walleye wore X-Wing pilot-inspired jerseys and their opponents wore Darth Vader-inspired jerseys on Star Wars Night (with both sets auctioned off for charitable purposes).
The Walleye earned a measure of "revenge" against the "empire," too--if you're willing to call the Kalamazoo K-Wings the bad guys. Kalamazoo defeated Toledo 6-4 on Friday evening, but the Walleye Struck Back on Saturday, and Red Wings prospect Trevor Parkes led the way.
Parkes registered a goal and 2 assists, Marek Tvrdon scored a goal, Max Nicastro took 3 shots and Richard Nedomlel was "ejected" from the game at its conclusion (he got 2, 10 and a game misconduct), all as the Walleye defeated Kalamazoo 3-1.
The Walleye's website provides a spartan recap...
The force was with the Walleye Saturday night in the Huntington Center as they defeated the Kalamazoo Wings. Toledo has an overall record of 3-2-1-0 and is 2-1-0-0 at home this season.
Toledo would get the scoring started when Marek Tvrdon blasted a slap shot past goaltender Jordan Binnington at 3:32 of the second period. Travis Novak and Trevor Parkes each collected the assists on the first professional goal from Tvrdon. Kyle Rogers would sneak a wrist shot into the back of the net at 8:10 of the second to give the Walleye a 2-0 lead.
“I loved our energy from start to finish,” said Head Coach Nick Vitucci. “It all starts with energy, playing with physical edge and finishing checks. That effort paid off for us tonight.”
The Walleye power play would strike in the third period as Alden Hirschfeld and Jason Lepine set up Trevor Parkes for a goal at 14:01. It was the 5th goal of the season for Parkes. Kalamazoo would get a late goal from Ludwig Blomstrand at 18:50.
Walleye Notes: Goaltender Mac Carruth made 25 saves on 426 shots in net for Toledo. Carruth has a record of 3-1-0-0 on the season. Toledo finished the game 1-3 on the power play.
Toledo Walleye single game tickets and game plans are on sale right now. Get yours by calling 419-725-WALL or online at http://www.toledowalleye.com. The Toledo Walleye play all of their home games at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo. You can catch every Walleye hockey game live on Fox Sports radio 1230 and all 36 home games live on BCSN.
The Walleye also posted a highlight clip...
A post-game interview with Parkes, who has posted 5 goals, 4 assists and 9 points over the course of 6 games for Toledo...
An interview with Cup-keeper Phil Pritchard, who notes that the Chicago Blackhawks lent the Cup and their individually-won trophies to the Walleye as the Hawks and Red Wings split the Walleye's NHL affiliation...
And a post-game interview with coach Nick Vitucci:
And the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe posited a recap with quips and quotes:
“We were coming off two tough losses,” Parkes said. “It's great to come back and win one here at home.”
Coach Nick Vitucci said his team rebounded nicely from a poor effort Friday.
“It's was important because we were junk. We were garbage,” Vitucci said. “We stressed work ethic. When you compete and battle, things will come. I couldn't be happier with our performance from start to finish.”
Tvrdon scored on a long slap shot just as Toledo's power play expired early in the second period. Toledo took a 1-0 lead on assists from Travis Novak and Parkes. It was the first professional goal for Tvrdon, a 20-year-old rookie from Slovakia. He was assigned to Toledo from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.
Parkes added a power play goal with 5:41 left on assists from Alden Hirschfeld and Jason Lepine.
“I'm getting a lot of ice time and I try to do whatever I can to help this team win games,” said Parkes, who now has five goals and four assists in six games.
The Toledo Blade's Dan Hackenberg noted that Parkes, who plays as more of a grinder at the AHL level, has become a key contributor for the Walleye:
Parkes played his 29th career game in a Walleye uniform, or whatever it was Toledo was wearing Saturday night, and lifted his points total to 43.
One night after scoring two goals in a 6-4 setback in Kalamazoo, Parkes assisted on Toledo’s first two goals and then iced a 3-1 win over the K-Wings with a third-period tally in front of a full house at the Huntington Center. The 22-year-old forward now has nine points in the first six games of the 2013-14 season. It’s a level of production the Detroit Red Wings farmhand hasn’t always enjoyed at higher levels.
“In the Red Wings organization he’s one of those guys who gets lost in the shuffle a little,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said of Parkes. “He gets up there and doesn’t have a defined role. It’s more of a defensive role. Here, he has all the freedom he wants on offense. While he’s here, we’ll keep giving him those opportunities.”
Parkes has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Walleye while also playing for the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. It figures he may be back there before long.
Toledo fans will recall that Parkes was among very few effective scorers in last season’s short Kelly Cup playoff run. He had three goals in the six games. He now has 23 goals and 20 assists while in a Toledo uniform.
“I just try to contribute as much as I can,” the 6-foot-2, 202-pound Parkes said. “I want to get my all-around game going. I want to be bigger and stronger and be physical on the puck. I want to use my body to bring the puck to the net. I want to be hard to play against. I want to keep building on my all-around game and hopefully my scoring touch will stick around and get me to the next level.”
Parkes got his goal, Toledo’s team-high fifth, from the slot with less than six minutes to play.
“It’s fun to score goals,” he said. “I’m getting a lot of ice time and I try to do whatever I can to help this team win games.”
The Walleye mostly posted Tweets as they're still processing all of the photos they took of fans with the Cup and Star Wars Night festivities:
Another 10 Red Wings prospects played on Saturday, but only three experienced favorable outcomes.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in Sweden's SHL, the battle of the teams named AIK pitted Skelleftea AIK, who are captained by Jonathan Ericsson's brother Jimmie, against Red Wings prospect Mattias Janmark and AIK Stockholm.
Skelleftea came out on top, winning 4-3 in a shootout, and Janmark went scoreless, didn't score on his shoootout attempt and finished at -1 while playing a defenseman-like 24:31 on AIK's top scoring line.
Jimmie scored a goal for Skelleftea.
In the J20 SuperElit league, Rasmus Bodin didn't register a point in Linkopings HC's 3-2 shootout win over Orebo;
And I haven't tallied up the amount of goals by which Tingsryds AIF have lost while Hampus Melen's sat out, but the tally's particularly ugly. Tingsryds lost 2-0 to HV71 on Saturday. Tingrsyds has been outscored 84 to 32 over the course of 18 games, having lost 13 of them!
Back over on this side of the pond, in the QMJHL, it was a ho-hum night for Anthony Mantha, who registered 2 assists but finished at -2 in the Val-d'Or Foreurs' 4-2 loss to Halifax. Mantha now has 20 goals and 23 assists for 43 points registered over the course of 17 games played;
In the OHL, Zach Nastasiuk finished at -1 and was held off the scoresheet as his Owen Sound Attack dropped a fight-filled 6-0 loss to the Windsor Spitfired;
Jake Paterson didn't finish much better, stopping 23 of 27 shots in the Saginaw Spirit's 4-3 loss to Sault Ste. Marie;
In the WHL, a pair of Wings defensive prospects battled each other as Marc McNulty's Prince George Cougars and Mitchell Wheaton's Kelowna Rockets tangled for the second time in three nights. Neither player scored, but McNulty finished at -3 and Wheaton finished at +1 as McNulty's Cougars lost 4-1 to Wheaton's Rockets;
In the BCHL, David Pope returned to the West Kelowna Rockets' lineup, but he didn't register a point as West Kelowna lost 5-1 to the Trail Smoke Eaters;
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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.