Prospect round-up: Griffins lose in a shootout; Walleye win a fight-filled affair; Cholowski registers a helper

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins had a disappointing outing against the Stockton Heat, rallying from a 1-0 deficit on goals from Matthew Ford and Eric Tangradi, but surrendering a game-tying goal with 2:03 remaining en route to a 3-2 shootout loss to the Heat.

The Heat tied the game not long after Evgeni Svechnikov fought Dalton Prout, and Robbie Russo took a tripping penalty in the altercation, so the Griffins got tripped up by a lack of discipline.

Here’s the Griffins website’s recap:



Feb. 10, 2018

– A 3-2 shootout loss to the Stockton Heat on Saturday at Van Andel Arena snapped the Griffins’ four-game overall and home winning streaks, but Grand Rapids still extended its season-high point run to nine games (7-0-0-2) as it prepares to embark on a crucial trip to Winnipeg next week.

The Griffins held a late 2-1 lead over the Heat before Tyler Wotherspoon forced overtime on a power play goal with 2:03 remaining in regulation, and Stockton prevailed 2-0 in the shootout. Grand Rapids is now 16-3-0-3 in its last 22 contests and 26-18-1-6 overall.

The Griffins will now hit the road for a pair of games next week against the conference-leading Manitoba Moose, a team that they trail by 11 points in the Central Division race and that they’ve defeated three straight times since Jan. 8. The Thursday-Saturday set will faceoff at 8 p.m. EST each night.

After a scoreless first period, Stockton (22-16-2-3) used a power play to grab the lead 19 seconds into the middle frame. Entering the Griffins’ zone on a 2-on-1 rush, Joseph Cramarossa centered a pass to Brett Findlay, who went to his backhand to slide the puck just inside Jared Coreau’s right post.

Birthday boy Eric Tangradi clanged a backhand off the right post 12 minutes into the period but got redemption less than 20 seconds later, thanks to the brilliant passing of Ben Street and Evgeny Svechnikov. Taking a stretch pass from Robbie Russo at the Stockton line, Street slipped a blind feed through a defender’s legs to Svechnikov, who then dropped a pass through another player’s wickets to Tangradi for a top-shelf tally from the left hashmarks at 12:16.

Grand Rapids seized the lead with a power play marker 1:58 later. Filip Hronek, whose 25 points place second among rookie AHL defensemen, snapped a shot from the top of the circles that Matthew Ford tipped past the glove of Jon Gillies for a 2-1 Griffins advantage.

With Grand Rapids clinging to that same margin in the waning minutes of the third, Stockton evened the score with its second power play tally of the night, as Wotherspoon found the right corner of the net with a wrist shot from the point at the 17:57 mark.

The Griffins had the best scoring chance in overtime when Matt Lorito was awarded a penalty shot after being slashed on a breakaway, but Gillies denied him to eventually force the shootout and snap Lorito’s seven-game point streak.

The shootout was all Stockton, as Andrew Mangiapane and Hunter Shinkaruk tallied for the visitors while Gillies turned aside tries by Dominic Turgeon and Hronek to secure the Heat’s win.

Coreau, now 11-2-3 in his last 16 outings, finished with 29 saves. Gillies countered with 25 stops.

Notes: The crowd of 10,234 was the Griffins’ fourth of more than 10,000 in their last five home games and their seventh in excess of 9,000 in their last 10 at Van Andel Arena…Lorito’s shootout attempt was just the third ever for the Griffins in overtime, including the postseason. Eric Himelfarb misfired on April 23, 2007 in a playoff game against Manitoba, and Doug Janik connected at Rochester on April 10, 2012.

Three Stars: 1. STK Wotherspoon (power play goal, assist); 2. GR Tangradi (goal); 3. STK Mangiapane (shootout winner)

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

In the ECHL, Connor Crisp scored a hat trick and then got kicked out of the game for fighting in the Toledo Walleye’s 5-0 win over Kansas City. Matej Machovsky pitched a 22-save shutout before also getting kicked out of the game for fighting, and A.J. Jenks and Ryan Obuchowski had 2 assists apiece.

The Walleye’s website posted a recap:

Walleye shut down Mavericks for seventh straight victory

(Toledo, OH) – The Walleye shut out the Mavericks 5-0 in front of a sold out crowd on Saturday night in Toledo. Connor Crisp scored a hat trick and Matej Machovsky stopped 22 shots and is now 11-7-0-1 on the season. The Walleye are 32-12-2-2 on the season and 19-4-0 at home.

Connor Crisp scored a beautiful goal with assists from Borkowski and Sadowy at 18:57 of the first period to put the Walleye up 1-0.

Crisp scored his second of the game poking Ryan Obuchowski’s shot in the net to extend the Walleye lead to 2-0 at 8:35 of the second period. Simon Denis extended the Walleye lead to 3-0 with a power play goal at 17:48 of the second.

Crisp completed his hat trick at 11:56 of the third period to make it a 4-0 Walleye lead. Nagle came in to replace Machovsky at the 12:14 mark of the third after he made 22 saves. Jenks was cross checked, leading to a fight between the two teams. Kyle Bonis made it 5-0 Walleye with a power play goal at 19:22 of the third. “Getting that power play goal in the third really helped us. Hopefully we can continue it tomorrow,”  Bonis said.

Watson knew it would be a tough matchup between the two teams. “I knew that if we played hard, we would be able to defeat this team.”

Fish Tales:

  • The Walleye are home Sunday for a 5:15 p.m. puck drop against Wichita.
  • Machovsky stopped 22 shots and is now 11-7-0-1 on the season.
  • Connor Crisp leads the Walleye with eight points vs. Kansas City.
  • The Walleye are 6-2-0 all-time vs. Kansas City.
  • Tonight’s crowd of 8,000 marked our 17th sellout of the season.

The Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe also chronicled the dust-up between the two teams:

After Crisp scored his third of the game, a fight broke out and fans went absolutely wild. Kansas City forward Garrett Klotz punched Walleye forward A.J. Jenks after play had stopped. Klotz then repeatedly cross-checked Jenks as he lay on the ice.

Walleye coach Dan Watson called the situation “absolutely embarrassing.”

“Their coaching staff should be embarrassed. Their organization should be embarrassed,” Watson said. “Klotz should be suspended for the rest of the year. I think he should be done. It’s unacceptable. Our league is trying to get rid of the image from the 1980s and 1990s. If this is going to continue, it won’t we’ll continue to get a bad rap.”

A scrum ensued, then Machovsky charged out of his net to faceoff with McDonald in a rare fight between goalkeepers.

“I’ve never been part of something like that,” Machovsky said. “It was just crazy. I had to defend my teammates. That’s what I did. It was quick sprint. I was tired when I got there, so it wasn’t a really big fight. I think I held my ground. It’s something you’re not going to [experience] very often in life. So you have to enjoy the moment and get the crowd going.”

Monroe continues, and you can watch an embedded highlight clip of the fights;


Elsewhere, in the Finnish Liiga, Libor Sulak played 23:11 as his Lahti Pelicans lost 2-0 to Tappara;

In the SHL, Christoffer Ehn finished at -1 with 3 shots and a 33% faceoff win percentage in 16:48 played as his Frolunda Indians won 4-3 over Rogle BK;

In the Swedish Allsvenskan, Malte Setkov did not play in IK Pantern’s 3-2 OT win over Vasterviks IK. Mattias Elfstrom centered VIK’s 4th line;

Gustav Lindstrom registered an assist in Almtuna IS’s 4-3 OT win over IK Oskarshamn;

In the Swedish J20 league, Alfons Malmstrom had an assist in HV71 Jonkoping’s 4-1 loss to Brynas IF;

In the OHL, Kaden Fulcher stopped 20 of 24 shots as his Hamilton Bulldogs lost 4-3 to the Kitchener Rangers. Givani Smith had an assist and 3 shots, finishing at -1 for Kitchener;

Jordan Sambrook had 2 shots in the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds’ 6-2 win over Erie;

Zach Gallant finished at -1 with 3 shots and a 15-for-21 faceoff record in the Peterborough Petes’ 4-3 shootout win over North Bay;

Reilly Webb finished even in the Saginaw Spirit’s 3-2 OT loss to Windsor;

In the WHL, Dennis Cholowski had an assist, finishing at +2 with 2 shots in the Portland Winterhawks’ 4-1 win over Seattle;

Michael Rasmussen scored a goal but finished at -3 on 4 shots, winning 6 of 11 faceoffs in the Tri-City Americans’ 6-3 loss to Spokane;

Lane Zablocki went 4-for-10 on faceoffs in the Victoria Royals’ 4-3 OT win over Kelowna;

In the USHL, Filip Larsson stopped 9 of 10 shots in mop-up duty as his Tri-City Storm lost 6-3 to the Fargo Force;

In NCAA hockey, Keith Petruzzelli served as the back-up in the Quinnipiac Bobcats’ 3-0 win over Brown;

And Jack Adams finished even with 1 shot in the Union College Dutchmen’s 2-1 win over Dartmouth.



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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.

17 thoughts on “Prospect round-up: Griffins lose in a shootout; Walleye win a fight-filled affair; Cholowski registers a helper”

  1. I have a question, what exactly is Cholowski missing to be considered to have top pairing talent? He seems to be showing the entire package on the ice, but most reports seem to say he doesn’t have number one potential. I’m just wondering why.

    1. Cholowski is still developing physically, mostly. I think that he’s starting to show that he’s got the all-round game to develop into a top-four defender, but until this season there were question marks due to his lack of playing time at St. Cloud State.

      1. That’s great to hear opinions are changing. He seems like a smart and dedicated kid, hopefully he’ll justify that number one pick.

        I was starting to think it was mostly sour grapes by people wishing the Wings had taken Chychrun instead. Imagine if the Wings had taken him, they probably would have had him in the minors longer, and then Holland probably would have thought the Wing’s defense wasn’t so bad and pushed even harder for the playoffs setting back the inevitable rebuild even farther. Hopefully the combination of Cholowski and Hronek in the future will be far greater value than Chychrun.

        1. I can understand why people are still upset about the Chychrun situation, but as you note, the Wings snagged Hronek and Cholowski with their draft picks, and…Time will tell.

          1. George, can we stop perpetuating this myth that the Datsyuk trade delivered Hronek. We know for 100% certainty that we could have drafted Chychrun, sat back, and then went and drafted Hronek. No trade was needed for that to happen. Not hindsight. No speculation. Cold hard fact. We had the #46 pick and Hronek was available for us. But we decided to draft Givani Smith in that spot. And then selected Hronek with the extra 2nd rounder from the Datsyuk trade.

            So the real question is…would you survive in a world in whcih we had never drafted Givani Smith to begin with? I would. He’s nothing special. Another bottom 6 winger. Dime-a-dozen. So draft Chychrun. Then draft Hronek. So let’s stop perpetuating this myth that we would have never been able to draft Hronek without that Datsyuk trade. That’s fake news.

          2. We have no idea whether the Wings would have drafted Chychrun. That’s the truth of the matter–Chychrun was ranked in the 20’s and if the Wings wanted him badly enough, they would have ate Datsyuk’s salary and not gone for Stamkos with the cap space that they ultimately spent on Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek.

            The trade ultimately produced the draft picks that the Wings used to draft Cholowski, Hronek and Kasper Kotkansalo. That’s not “fake news”–that’s what the Wings did. If the Wings hadn’t made the trade, I’m not sure whether they would have drafted Hronek or Smith, and you are right about Givani, right now he is a bottom-six winger and the Wings have a lot of those players.

            Please don’t use the “fake news” line to state that you disagree with a comment or narrative–say that you disagree. That term makes me very upset because it perpetuates a myth in itself.

          3. OK. Who cares whether they drafted Chychrun or not. My point is, we didn’t need the Datsyuk trade to draft Hronek. Plain and simple. We know for a fact that Hronek was on the board at pick #46. We could have just selected him right then and there. The price for that…no Givani Smith, aka, no big deal.

            I feel like fans are trying to justify the trade. We can see Chychrun is already contributing in the NHL while Cholowski is still a question mark. So to feel better, we go on about how the trade netted Hronek too, when the truth remains that we could have easily just drafted Hronek at #46.

          4. I see and respect your point of view here. You are correct that the Red Wings could have simply drafted Hronek instead, and yes, fans are trying to justify the trade, but I’m OK with that as well. Both “truths” aren’t inaccurate–in my opinion, they’re two interpretations of a trade that will be controversial for years to come.

          5. Thanks George. I can respect that. What bugs me is this oversimplification that we got Cholowski AND Hronek, therefore it was a great deal. Sorry. We could have just drafted Chychrun (or Fabbro or whoever) and then still drafted Hronek at #46.

            Frankly, for an organization desperate to draft and develop top 4 d-men, I don’t quite understand why they even drafted Givani Smith at #46. That was a bonehead move. Fine. You take Cholowski. At #46 you take another d-man. Kale Clague was the highest ranked d-man still on the board at #46. Take him. He’s developed even better than Cholowski and would undoubtedly be our top prospect right now. Sam Girard was also on the board at #46 (he’s already in the NHL by the way). So you take one of them. Then Hronek at #53.

            Cholowski…Clague/Girard…Hronek. Boom. Instead we waste a pick on Givani Smith. Because we needed another Abby or Glendening?

          6. My understanding is that at the time, the Wings thought Givani Smith would be a top-six winger, not a bottom-six grinder. They hoped he’d be another Tyler Bertuzzi, and he’s not that player right now.

          7. Well then Detroit’s scouts are even worse than we think. Nothing in Givani’s past suggests he had top 6 potential. Top 6 would mean, he’s a bonafide 2nd line winger as a minimum, and potentially a top line player. Sorry. He was coming off a 23-goal season at Guelph. Hardly anything to be that excited about. I wouldn’t even call him middle 6 potential. He was a bottom 6 winger that had lots of character and compete, which was all the rage for our organization. It was a wasted pick. You can find guys like that every single summer in free agency. For peanuts. Stop wasting high picks drafting them. D-men and centers. Over and over and over.

  2. GM – what are your thoughts on Petruzzelli? I know a lot of fans think he’s the goalie of the future. I’m a little skeptical, especially given that he’s only the backup for a college team. If he’s supposed to be the next big thing, I’m a little surprised he’s not starting. I realize these are 18 year old kids, so their development doesn’t always go in a steady progression.

    Also, what do you think the upside is for Lindstrom? Does he have the skills to make the NHL? Second pairing guy? Third pairing?

    1. Petruzzelli may still be the goaltender of the future, but he’s had a rough Freshman year with Quinnipiac. They’re going with Andrew Shortridge as their starter after Keith had a bumpy start, and Shortridge has taken over. At 18, I’m not too worried, but you want to see Petruzzelli start much more during the sophomore season.

      Lindstrom could still be a top-four guy, but he’s got to develop physically. Second-pairing, smart, but like Petruzzelli, he’s got to push for a bigger role on his Allsvenskan team.

  3. What worries me is, will there be roster space for the prospects that can make the jump to GR and then the Wings. With hopefully higher draft say in the top 6 the over ripening should stop.

    I know some contracts perish in 3-4 yrs but some are longer.

    If KH is still hanging around, there might be a chance for these bad contracts to be resignings or more bad contracts from UFAs. I know this is far fetched but I knew the start of this rebuild would be bad but not this bad

    1. There may be a defensive logjam sooner than later…thankfully, that’s why the Walleye are the secondary affiliate. They may not need to sign anyone to fill in defensively come next season.

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