Prospect round-up: Griffins win in OT; Walleye beat KC; Sulak 1+1; Pearson progresses

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits en route to a 4-3 OT win over the San Antonio Rampage. Matt Lorito scored 2 goals, including the OT winner, Colin Campbell, Dominic Turgeon and Ben Street had 2 assists apiece and Tom McCollum stopped 35 of 38 shots for Grand Rapids.

The Griffins’ website filed a recap:


San Antonio Rampage 3 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 OT

Feb. 9, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Matt Lorito scored his second goal of the night 3:16 into overtime on Friday to finish off the Grand Rapids Griffins’ wild and physical 4-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage at Van Andel Arena.

During a delayed penalty, Colin Campbell sent a feed across to Lorito at the bottom of the right circle, and the AHL All-Star put a shot on net that was snared by netminder Ville Husso, But unfortunately for the Rampage, Husso’s glove was over the line just inside the right post and the goal was subsequently upheld by video review, much to the delight of the 10,171 in attendance.

The Griffins, who’ve earned points in eight straight games (7-0-0-1), secured their fourth consecutive win and improved to 16-3-0-2 in their last 21 outings. Fourth in the Central Division in terms of points percentage (26-18-1-5, 0.580), they now rank second in the standings with 58 points.

Grand Rapids will play its third home game in four nights on Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Stockton Heat pay their lone visit of the season to West Michigan.

Despite the Griffins outshooting San Antonio (24-19-5-0) by a 16-7 margin and firing five shots during the first of their two power play chances, the opening period expired with zeroes showing on the scoreboard. Instead it was San Antonio that notched the first goal 2:37 into the middle frame, when Shawn Ouellette-St. Amant scooped a rebound past Tom McCollum from the slot.

Filip Hronek answered for the Griffins midway through the period, launching a one-timer from the point that sailed over Husso’s blocker at the 10:51 mark.

San Antonio forged ahead with a power play goal 1:41 into the third, as Jesse Graham pounded home a rebound from the bottom of the right circle, but the Griffins quickly answered to make it a 2-2 contest. Lorito collected the puck behind the net and tried to slip it inside the right post, and it ramped off the blade of Husso’s stick – which was lying on the ice after being dropped – and fluttered into the back of the net at 4:10.

The game deteriorated after Trent Vogelhuber’s hit on Matt Puempel below the Griffins’ goal line, which drew a boarding call, nearly sparked a melee and began a parade to the penalty box. A total of nine minors – five against San Antonio and four on Grand Rapids – were called in a span of 3:01, eventually creating a 4-on-4 that resulted in the first lead for the Griffins.

As Matthew Ford brought the puck into the zone at the left point, the Rampage defense momentarily relaxed in anticipation of an offside whistle that never came, and Ford took advantage of the extra space to rip a shot from the top of the circles into the left corner with 11:27 remaining.

The Rampage did not go quietly, forcing overtime on Andrew Agozzino’s blast through traffic at the 15:16 mark, but the Griffins went on to prevail and improve to 3-1 in overtime this season.

The teams combined for 80 shots on goal, with Husso stopping 38 and McCollum denying 35. The Griffins went 0-for-6 on the power play while ceding one goal on San Antonio’s three opportunities.

Three Stars: 1. GR Lorito (two goals); 2. GR Hronek (goal); 3. SA Grahan (power play goal, assist)

The Griffins’ website also posted a photo gallery, a highlight clip and an interview clip:

The Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner also chronicled the Griffins’ ascent:

The Griffins (26-18-1-5),have points in eight in a row and have won seven straight against San Antonio (24-19-4-1), including four this season.

Matt Ford had given the Griffins the lead, 3-2, to finish a penalty-riddled string in the third period with a goal at 4:10 with four a side, but it didn’t hold up.

Just under five minutes later, Andrew Agozzino scored on a one-timer from outside the left circle past goalie Tom McCollum.

But unlike the early-season woes, the Griffins didn’t panic.

“It’s a lot different now than it was the first couple months ago,” said coach Todd Nelson. “If that happened a couple months ago we would have figured out a way to give up one more in regulation. But with the run the guys are on right now … it’s a lot different mood right now.”

Wallner also reports not-so-good news for Joe Hicketts fans:

D Joe Hicketts, a scratch for the second game with a hyper-extended knee, is probably out another week, Nelson said.


In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye rallied from a 1-0 deficit on goals by Dylan Sadowy and Mike Borkowski to win a 2-1 decision over the Kansas City Mavericks. Borkowski also registered an assist, and Pat Nagle stopped 24 of 25 shots for Toledo.

The Walleye’s website posted a recap and a highlight clip:

Walleye battle hard to defeat Mavericks

(Toledo, OH) – The Walleye defeated the Mavericks 2-1 in a tough battle on Friday night in Toledo. Pat Nagle stopped 24 of 25 shots and is now 21-4-2-1 on the season. The Walleye are 31-12-2-2 on the season and 18-4-0 at home.

Kansas City scored at 4:45 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead.

Dylan Sadowy tied the game 1-1 at 4:26 of the second period.

Mike Borkowski gave the Walleye a 2-1 lead at 1:07 of the third period.

Fish Tales:

  • The Walleye are home on Saturday for a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against Kansas City and Sunday for a 5:15 p.m. puck drop against Wichita.
  • Nagle stopped 24 of 25 shots and is now 21-4-2-1 on the season.
  • Connor Crisp leads the Walleye with five points vs. Kansas City.

The Walleye’s YouTube channel also posted post-game interviews with Mike Borkowski and coach Dan Watson:


Elsewhere, in the Finnish Liiga, Libor Sulak scored a goal and added an assist, finishing at +1 in 24:11 played as his Lahti Pelicans won 4-1 over IFK Helsinki;

Julius Vahatalo won 44% of his faceoffs in 16:53 played as Jukurit lost 5-2 to Karpat Oulu;

In the OHL, Reilly Webb finished at -1 with 1 shot in the Saginaw Spirit’s 4-3 OT loss to Guelph;

Givani Smith’s Kitchener Rangers postponed their game against Sarnia due to snow;

In the WHL, Dennis Cholowski scored a goal and finished at +1 with 5 shots in the Portland Winterhawks’ 3-1 win over the Tri-City Americans. Michael Rasmussen finished even with 3 shots and a 5-for-16 faceoff record for Tri-City, and Cholowski was named the game’s second star;

Lane Zablocki finished at -1 with 3 shots and a 14-for-19 faceoff record in the Victoria Royals’ 6-1 win over Kelowna;

In the USHL, Filip Larsson stopped 14 of 17 shots and was pulled from the goal in the Tri-City Storm’s 3-1 loss to Fargo;

In NCAA hockey, Keith Petruzzelli stopped 27 of 30 shots in the Quinnipiac Bulldogs’ 3-2 loss to Yale;

Chase Pearson scored a goal and finished even, with a 7-for-13 faceoff record, and Patrick Holway had 3 shots and finished at -1 in the University of Maine Black Bears’ 3-2 loss to Providence.

Look out for Pearson. The second-year Black Bears forward and co-captain has posted 6 goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 29 games played;

Chase Perry didn’t dress in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers’ 7-3 loss to Dartmouth;

Jack Adams finished even in the Union College Dutchmen’s 3-1 win over Harvard;

And Kasper Kotkansalo finished at -1 with 1 shot in the Boston University Terriers’ 3-3 tie with UMass.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.