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Red Wings prospects catchy-uppy post: Griffins win, Walleye lose, Wheaton and Athanasiou dazzle

Very briefly: I was "out" for the last couple of days, so I'm going to try to catch up with the Red Wings' prospects exploits as quickly as possible:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins played on Wednesday and will play tonight at home vs. Rockford and tomorrow against Chicago. Minus Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, the Griffins recalled Trevor Parkes and Louis-Marc Aubry from the Toledo Walleye on Tuesday and Martin Frk from Toledo on Thursday (and Petr Mrazek's in Detroit, too).

The Griffins had no problems playing through a "depleted" lineup on Wednesday, defeating the Iowa Wild 2-1 in OT.

The Walleye's website posted a recap and a Flickr photo gallery...

Despite losing many of their main contributors to the Detroit Red Wings over the last week, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 2-1 in overtime at Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday, earning their 18th win of the last 21 games of the campaign.

Cory Emmerton secured the game-winning goal in the extra five minutes, Brennan Evans recorded his first regular season goal since joining the Griffins and Tom McCollum blocked 30 shots to earn his third-straight victory and improve his record to 10-3.

The Griffins (20-5-1-1) and the Wild (10-13-2-0) finished the first 20 minutes of the game scoreless, with both teams producing an equal amount of pressure. Grand Rapids yielded two penalties to the Wild, a tripping call on Xavier Ouellet just 25 seconds into the contest and a slashing infraction against Triston Grant at 14:05, while Iowa suffered an interference call against Kyle Medvec at 6:13. The extra skater proved fruitless for both teams, and the Wild rounded out the period with a slight 8-6 shot advantage.

The scoring drought ended at 4:27 of the second period, courtesy of a quick wrist shot by Iowa’s Zack Phillips. Wild center Warren Peters won the puck off of the face off, driving it deep into the Grand Rapids zone. At the bottom of the right circle, Peters fed the puck to Phillips, who was waiting in front of the Griffins net, and he blasted the puck past the shoulder of McCollum to give the Wild a one-goal lead that held up for the duration of the second frame.

Grand Rapids finally cracked Kuemper at 12:11 of the third period to tie the score at 1-1. Calle Jarnkrok slid the puck to Evans on the blueline, and the defenseman slapped the puck past through traffic Kuemper, marking Evans’ first goal since his Calder Cup-clinching tally against the Syracuse Crunch in Game 6 of the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs.

The teams remained knotted at 1-1 at the conclusion of the third period, despite a too many men call against the Griffins at 14:32, sending Grand Rapids to its first overtime since Oct. 19. The depleted Griffins continued their winning habit, however, when Emmerton notched the game-winning goal at 3:52 of the extra frame off of a pass from Mitch Callahan.

McCollum earned his 10th win of the season behind 30 saves, while Kuemper blocked 27 of 29 shots.

The Griffins will return to Van Andel Arena Friday night at 7 p.m. to face the Rockford IceHogs before traveling to Allstate Arena for a match against the Chicago Wolves on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.

Notes: Tonight’s victory improved Grand Rapids’ overtime record to 1-1 this season after losing to the Toronto Marlies 4-3 in overtime on Oct. 5…Teemu Pulkkinen extended his team-leading point streak to eight games, while Emmerton improved his point streak to six games…The Griffins are now 3-0 against the Wild at Wells Fargo Arena, with each victory being decided by a single goal.

Three Stars: 1. GR McCollum (W, 30 saves); 2. GR Emmerton (one goal); 3. IA Kuemper (L, 27 saves)

And the Iowa Wild's website posted a highlight clip:

In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye have road games in Kalamazoo tonight and tomorrow, but they had a rougher time dealing with their depleted lineup--in no small part because Trevor Parkes leads the Walleye in scoring--and they dropped a 7-3 decision to the Evansville IceMen on Wednesday.

In terms of Red Wings prospects, Max Nicastro had an assist and finished at -2; Marek Tvrdon took three shots and finished at -1; Frk had an assist and finished at -2; and Richard Nedomlel took 3 shots and finished at -1.

The Walleye's website posted a recap:

The IceMen scored twice in the first period and pulled away from Toledo 7-3 Wednesday night in Evansville.  Toledo has an overall record of 7-12-3-0 and is 2-7-3-0 on the road this season.

Evansville would strike first when Daultan Leveille tipped a rebound in past goaltender Hannu Toivonen at 1:14 of the first period. The IceMen would make it 2-0 at 7:05 when Tristen King wristed a shot over the blocker of Toivonen.

“A tough start for us tonight,” said Head Coach Nick Vitucci. “You can’t fall behind night in night out in this league and win consistently. We need to find a way to get off to better starts and play some with the lead.”

The Walleye would outshoot Evansville 15-7 in the second period, but it would be the IceMen getting the goals. At 2:31, Matt Schepke would wrist a shot through Toivonen to make it 3-0. At 16:24 Tom Zanoski would trickle one past the Walleye goaltender to give the IceMen a 4-0 lead after two periods. Toledo had its chances including a two on one that forward Kevin Lynch was robbed of a goal by Evansville goaltender Garrett Bartus.

Toledo would score three goals in the third period. The first was scored by Travis Novak at 5:19 of the third period when tapped in his 6th goal of the year. Novak would get another power play goal at 9:31 of the third period when he blasted a shot through Bartus. The last Toledo goal came from Kyle Rogers when he deflected Max Nicastro’s shot in for his 5th goal of the year at 16:58.

Walleye Notes:  Goaltender Hannu Toivonen made 28 saves on 35 shots in net for Toledo. Toivonen has a record of 2-4-0-0 this year. Toledo has a record of 3-3-1-0 vs. the IceMen this season. The two teams play one final time this season on January 7th in Evansville.

The Walleye's record is uglier than the Christmas Sweater jerseys they'll be wearing on the 28th, but as the Chicago Blackhawks' AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, has called up prospects, and the Wings' prospects are shuffling back and forth, they're dealing with a significant lack of roster continuity.



In international competition...

Mattias Janmark did not register a point in Sweden's 3-2 loss to Russia at the Channel One Cup;

Anthony Mantha and Jake Paterson are taking part in Team Canada's World Junior Team's first exhibition game against Finland presently, and Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager wondered aloud whether Paterson will have the edge over Montreal Canadiens draft pick Zach Fucale in the net:

"I've come a long way my last couple years and I think playing the first year in Junior A really helped me," said Paterson, who was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2012. "I got to play lots of games. Being in Saginaw has been great. We've had pretty solid teams there. That has helped out. Just playing the amount of games I got to play, being a starter the last couple years was key. Also, a couple playoff rounds really put the pressure on as well."

The biggest deviation is that Paterson is 19 and went through this last year as a third-stringer behind Malcolm Subban and Jordan Binnington, who are now AHL rookies with the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues farm clubs.

"Jake was around last year," Team Canada goaltending consultant Fred Brathwaite said. "He obviously didn’t get to play, but he’s been around this environment a bit, a 19-year-old, who plays a lot in Saginaw. I think him being a leader on his team is a great thing for us here. With Zach, winning a Memorial Cup, he’s only 18. The way he carries himself and has adapted to [being drafted] to Montreal, which is a tough place to be, he’s a pretty calm, collected guy out there. For us to say who’s going to start is really tough."

Canada had 19-year-olds in goal throughout that halcyon five-year reign from 2005-09. It's probably sheer coincidence that Marc-Andre Fleury and Mark Visentin, both forever associated with blown third-period leads in gold-medal games in 2004 and '11, were both 18-year-olds. That wasn't why Canada finished with the silver. Point being, though, one shouldn't look past Paterson's experience.

"It let me get to know the tournament and let me be comfortable with camp," Paterson said. "That was big. Learning how tough it is to win the tournament is probably the biggest thing I took from last year’s experience."

Via SlapShotGoal on Twitter:




In major junior hockey, on Tuesday, defenseman Mitchell Wheaton had a helluva game for the WHL's Kelowna Rockets, registering a goal, 3 assists and a +2 in the Rockets' 7-1 win over Saskatoon, as noted by Yahoo Sports' Sager:

No. 1 star: Mitch Wheaton, Kelowna Rockets (WHL): The second-longest road win streak in Western league history will last through Christmas Day after Wheaton (1G-3A, +2) had a career night offensively during Kelowna's 7-1 romp at Saskatoon. The 18-year-old Detroit Red Wings fifth-rounder, who was selected last summer despite missing half of '12-13 due to injuries, was injured last month by a check from behind by Seattle's Roberts Lipsberg. Wheaton returned for the start of a six-game swing through the Prairies and the Rockets haven't lost since.

Wheaton, of Sherwood Park, Alta., had only two points in a game twice previously in the WHL. Normally a shutdown defenceman, Wheaton matched his career high by getting two secondary assists in the first period when the Rockets built a 3-1 lead. He pinched in off the point for a second-period power-play goal and drew an apple on New Jersey Devils draftee Myles Bell's insurance tally in the third.

Kelowna will go for its 14th road win in a row in its second game of the break on Dec. 28 at Vancouver.

In the OHL, on Wednesday, Zach Nastasiuk had no points and finished at -2 in the Owen Sound Attack's 3-2 OT loss to Sarnia;

On Thursday, the Guelph Storm continued to play without Tyler Bertuzzi, who has an "upper-body injury," but Guelph still took a 6-5 OT decision from Sault Ste. Marie;

And Andreas Athanasiou had a remarkable game last night, registering 4 goals and an assist, as well as a +4, in the Barrie Colts' 7-1 win over Sarnia.

Athanasiou now has 21 goals, 23 assists and 45 points registered over the course of 32 games played.

And finally, in the statistical outlier that is the BCHL, on Wednesday, David Pope did not fare in the scoring as his West Kelowna Warriors dropped a 3-1 decision to Vernon.


Update: From the Griffins, Piper's back!

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Vladimir16's avatar

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins played on Wednesday and will play tonight against Rockford and tomorrow against Chicago, with all three games taking place on the road.

I hope tonight’s game isn’t on the road seeing as I have tickets….

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 12/20/13 at 01:22 PM ET

George Malik's avatar


Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/20/13 at 01:24 PM ET

SYF's avatar

They need something new in Toledo.  Seriously.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 12/20/13 at 01:42 PM ET

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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.