In the AHL, Matthew Ford and Matt Lorito scored goals and Tom McCollum stopped 22 of 23 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins won 2-1 over the Iowa Wild.
The Griffins’ website posted a recap:
Iowa Wild 1 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2
Feb. 24, 2018
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Tom McCollum made 22 saves and came within three seconds of a shutout as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 2-1 on Saturday in a clash of Central Division powers at Van Andel Arena.
Matthew Ford and Matt Lorito scored power play goals 4:26 apart during the second period to give Grand Rapids all the offense it would need. Coupled with Chicago’s 2-0 loss at Manitoba earlier today, the Griffins have leapfrogged both the Wolves and Wild into second place in the division with a mark of 29-19-1-6 (.591).
Grand Rapids, which improved to 10-1-0-2 (.846) in its last 13 contests and 19-4-0-3 (.788) in its last 26, will host a rematch with the Wild at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Griffins’ Jake Engel Memorial Bring Your Dog Game.
The Griffins dominated the opening period to the tune of a 16-6 advantage in shots, but Iowa netminder Niklas Svedberg was up to the task to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes.
Grand Rapids finally broke through on its 20th shot during a power play 12:06 into the second period. After keeping the puck in the Wild’s zone along the right boards, Joe Hicketts skated to the point and slid a pass across to Vili Saarijarvi for a one-timer from the left circle that glanced off the stick of Ford as he screened Svedberg on the doorstep. Ford’s 20th goal of the season marked the fifth time in his AHL career that he’s reached that milestone.
Afforded another man-advantage three-and-a-half minutes later thanks to a tripping call on Svedberg, the Griffins quickly capitalized to build a two-goal lead, with Lorito crashing the crease to bang home a loose puck at 16:32.
McCollum ensured that Grand Rapids would take that 2-0 cushion into the second intermission by making several saves in the frantic final seconds of the frame, diving back toward his right post to deny a rebound try by Justin Kloos before turning away Alex Grant’s slap shot through traffic just before the buzzer.
The score remained unchanged deep into the third period, when the Wild pulled Svedberg for an extra attacker with 3:30 left. As time wound down it looked as though McCollum would register his first shutout of the season, but Kurtis Gabriel launched a desperation one-timer from the left circle that ticked off McCollum and trickled into the back of the net at 19:57.
Svedberg was a busy man between the Wild’s pipes in the loss, stopping 31 of 33 shots.
Notes: The Griffins went 2-for-3 on the power play while killing off all three Iowa opportunities…The crowd of 10,221 marked the Griffins’ fifth straight weekend home game with an attendance in excess of 10,000. Van Andel Arena’s capacity is 10,834.
Three Stars: 1. GR McCollum (W, 22 saves); 2. GR Ford (power play goal); 3. IA Svedberg (L, 31 saves)
The Griffins’ website also posted a photo gallery, a highlight clip and an interview clip:
In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye received a goal and an assist from Erik Bradford, goals from Ryan Obuchowski and Dylan Sadowy and a 29-save performance from Pat Nagle en route to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators. The Walleye’s website posted a recap, highlight clip and several interviews:
Walleye tie record for most sellouts in a single regular season with win over Gladiators
(Toledo, OH) – The Walleye defeated the Gladiators 3-2 on Saturday night in Toledo in front of a sold-out crowd. Saturday’s sellout of 8,300 ties the record for 20 sellouts in a single regular season set last year on the final game of the season, against Indy. The Walleye won that contest 10-0. Pat Nagle stopped 29 of 31 shots and is now 25-4-2-1 on the season. The Walleye are 36-14-2-2 on the season and 22-4-0-0 at home.
Atlanta took an early 1-0 lead when Darby Llewellyn’s slap shot beat Pat Nagle at 6:33 of the first period. Erik Bradford tipped in Austen Brassard’s shot at 15:09 of the first to tie the game 1-1.
The Gladiators took a 2-1 lead at 2:05 of the second period. Ryan Obuchowski barreled his way to the front of the net to sneak his shot past Gladiators goaltender, Sean Bonar at 13:11 of the second to tie the game 2-2. Dylan Sadowy sniped his shot top-shelf to give the Walleye a 3-2 lead at 14:19 of the second. “We were down a couple guys, but we came together in the third period and got the win. That’s all that matters,” said Sadowy.
Coach Watson was happy with the way the team battled and competed tonight. “It was great to see our PK stand tall and come up big in the end,” Watson said.
- The Walleye are home on Sunday for a 5:15 p.m. puck drop against Greenville.
- Pat Nagle stopped 29 of 31 shots and is now 25-4-2-1 on the season.
- Dylan Sadowy has at least one point in each of his past six games.
- Tonight’s 20th sellout of the season ties the record for most sellouts in a single regular season.
- We raised $7200 in the jersey raffle last night. The proceeds benefit Walleye Wishing Well, The Epilepsy Center of NW Ohio, Girl Scouts of America, and City Mission of Findlay.
Here’s the Walleye’s highlight clip…
Elsewhere, in the SHL, Christoffer Ehn scored a goal on 3 shots, finishing at +1 and winning 52% of his faceoffs in 14:50 of ice time as the Frolunda Indians won 6-4 over Orebro. You can watch highlights of the game here;
In the Swedish J20 league, Alfons Malmstrom played on the 3rd defensive pairing as HV71 Jonkoping won 2-1 over Farjestads BK;
In the OHL, Kaden Fulcher served as the back-up in the Hamilton Bulldogs’ 5-3 win over Sudbury;
Jordan Sambrook finished at +2 with 1 shot in the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds’ 4-2 win over Windsor;
Cole Fraser finished even in his return to the Peterborough Petes’ lineup and Zach Gallant had an assist, finishing even on 3 shots and winning 10 of 17 faceoffs in the Peterborough Petes’ 4-3 loss to Owen Sound;
In the WHL, Michael Rasmussen had an assist and finished at +2 on 2 shots, winning 3 of 8 faceoffs in the Tri-City Americans’ 6-1 win over Prince George;
Dennis Cholowski had 3 assists, finishing at +1 with 1 shot in the Portland Winterhawks’ 3-1 win over the Victoria Royals. Lane Zablocki had a shot and went 2-for-6 on faceoffs for Victoria;
In the USHL, Filip Larsson stopped 1 of 2 shots in only 6:26 played as the Tri-City Storm won 4-2 over Des Moines;
In NCAA hockey, Chase Pearson finished even with one shot and went 15-for-26 on faceoffs, and Patrick Holway finished at -1 with 1 shot in the University of Maine Black Bears’ 2-1 loss to Boston College.
The regular season is over in most NCAA hockey conferences, and Maine will play New Hampshire in a best-of-3 series starting next Friday;
Chase Perry stopped 2 of 3 shots in 6:11 played as the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers lost 5-2 to Colgate.
Rensselaer will play Colgate in a best-of-3 playoff series starting next Friday;
Jack Adams didn’t play in the Union College Dutchmen’s 4-3 win over Cornell.
Union will begin their playoff run on March 9th as they have a first-round bye in the ECAC conference;
Kasper Kotkansalo had an assist and finished at +1 with 1 shot in the Boston University Terriers’ 1-1 tie with Vermont.
Boston University will play UConn on March 9th, and again, the series is a best-of-three;
Keith Petruzzelli served as the back-up in the Quinnipiac Bobcats’ 4-2 loss to Clarkson.
Quinnipiac will play Yale in the playoffs starting on Thursday, March 2nd;
David Pope was held out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s 2-2 tie with Denver due to precautionary reasons.
In the WCHA, the regular season isn’t over, so UNO still has a series to play against Minnesota-Duluth next weekend.