Prospect round-up: Griffins sweep 2-game series vs. Wild; Walleye lose to Brampton; Rasmussen 2G+2A, Cholowski 2G in WHL playoffs

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins were able to sweep their 2-game set against the Iowa Wild, winning 3-2 in a shootout. Axel Holmstrom and Filip Hronek had shootout markers, and Holmstrom and Matt Puempel scored in regulation.

The Griffins’ website posted a recap:



March 24, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – Filip Hronek finished off a back-and-forth game on Saturday night with a shootout goal to send the crowd at Wells Fargo Arena home disappointed with a 3-2 defeat to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Iowa Wild took an early 1-0 lead in the first period thanks to a goal from Sam Anas. Two second period goals from Axel Holmstrom and Matt Puempel propelled the Griffins to a 2-1 advantage. However, the Wild struck back with a late goal from Kyle Rau to force overtime.

Two Griffin shootout goals by Hronek and Holmstrom outnumbered the Wild’s lone tally from Cal O’Reilly.

The Griffins (36-24-1-6) are back in action tomorrow night against the Chicago Wolves (36-21-7-2) in another Central division tilt. The puck drops from Allstate Arena at 6:00 p.m. EDT.

Anas scored his 22nd goal of the season on a backhanded shot from the slot at the 4:25 mark. A rebound from a Brennan Menell shot caused a skirmish in front of the crease. With Tom McCollum distracted, Anas slipped the puck between his legs for the 1-0 lead. Despite outshooting the Wild, 12-9, in the opening period the Griffins couldn’t light the lamp.

Holmstrom tied the game with his own goal from the slot at 10:31 of the second period. A shot from Dan Renouf above the left circle bounced off of Steve Michalek’s right pad leaving the net wide open for the Swedish native to tie the game.

Puempel gave Grand Rapids the lead on a slap shot from the left point with 3:59 remaining in the middle frame. The power play tally sailed over Michalek’s left glove after it flew by two defenders that screened the Iowa goaltender.

Rau evened the game with 7:23 left in regulation off of a rebound in front of the net. A turnover in the neutral zone led to the Iowa rush, led by Gerry Fitzgerald who took the first shot. McCollum made the initial stop, but he couldn’t control the puck.

The Griffins nearly doubled the Wild in shots for the extra session, 8-5. 12 seconds before overtime ended, Puempel missed the net after a cross-ice pass from Dominic Turgeon who led a quick 2-2 rush.

Holmstrom scored over Michalek’s right blocker, O’Reilly’s shot lasered over McCollum’s glove, and Hronek tucked the puck in between Michalek’s legs for the shootout victory.

McCollum made 29 saves to push his record to 15-13-3, while Michalek pushed aside 39 shots in a losing effort.

Three Stars: 1. GR Hronek (game-winning SO goal, assist); 2. IA Rau (game-tying goal); 3. IA Anas (goal)

The Griffins’ website also posted a photo gallery and downloadable highlight clip; the Wild’s website posted a recap and photo gallery.

In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye rallied from a 2-0 deficit on goals by Colin Jacobs and Mike Borkowski, tying the Brampton Beast 2-2 in the 3rd period, but the Beast scored with only 4:16 remaining in regulation, ultimately winning 3-2 over the Walleye.

This was a weird game as Toledo’s coach, Dan Watson, was ejected from the game 2:22 into the 3rd period.

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

Walleye stopped by Beast

(Toledo, OH) – The Walleye fell to the Beast 3-2 on Saturday night in Toledo. Pat Nagle stopped 26 of 29 shots and is now 33-5-3-1 on the season. The Walleye are 46-16-3-2 on the season and 26-6-1-0 at home. Tonight’s crowd of 8,000 is good for our 25th sellout of the season, continuing our growing record.

Though Toledo would dominate in the first period, outshooting Brampton 20-8, the Beast took a 1-0 lead at 15:19 with a slap shot from the blue line that beat Nagle.

While both teams had excellent chances in the second period, Brampton would outshoot Toledo 11-9.

The Beast would extend their lead to 2-0 at 3:50 of the third period on the power play. Colin Jacobs would pull the Walleye within a goal at 12:01 of the frame. At 14:42, Mike Borkowski would tie the game 2-2 with a power play goal. The Beast would regain the lead at 15:44 to give the final score of 3-2.

Fish Tales:

  • The Walleye are home on Sunday for a 5:15 p.m. puck drop against Kalamazoo.
  • Nagle stopped 26 of 29 shots and is now 33-5-3-1 on the season. His unbeaten streak of 17 straight ends.
  • The 8,000 in attendance marked our 25th sellout of the season.
  • The Walleye are 25-5-2 all-time vs. Brampton.

The Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe spoke with coach Watson regarding the game and his ejection:

Watson was ejected with 17 minutes left in the contest after referee Andrea Barone issued him a game misconduct and removed him. Toledo twice was called for two-minute bench minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. Barone ejected Walleye equipment manager Dave Aleo after the pair exchanged words in the second.

“I’m still confused. I’d love to know what happened,” Watson said. “His communication is obviously deplorable. I don’t know why he wanted Dave Aleo off the bench. I don’t why he kicked me out. I just had a question and he wouldn’t communicate with me. I’ll wait for the league to figure out why.

“No one yelled anything. I have no idea. It’s Game 67. I’m very disappointed in the way he handled the game. It’s all about communication. I wasn’t fired up and I wasn’t yelling and hollering. It was an off night for him, apparently.”

Elsewhere, in the Swedish Allsvenskan playoffs, Mattias Elfstrom had an assist and played on the 2nd line in Vasterviks IK’s 3-2 loss to Huddinge IK;

In the NCAA Division I hockey playoffs, Kasper Kotkansalo finished even with 1 shot as his Boston University Terriers won 3-1 over Cornell at the NCAA Northeast Regional in Worchester, MA.

Boston University will play the University of Michigan in the Northeast Regional semifinal at 4 PM EDT on Sunday, and the game will air on ESPN2;

In the WHL playoffs, Dennis Cholowski scored 2 goals, finishing at +1 with 5 shots in the Portland Winterhawks’ 4-3 OT loss to the Spokane Chiefs.

Cholowski was named the game’s 2nd star, and Portland now trails the first-round series 1 game to 0;

Lane Zablocki returned from a suspension to finish at +1 with 3 shots, winning 2 of 3 faceoffs as his Victoria Royals won 5-4 over the Vancouver Giants, tying the teams’ first-round series 1-1;

Michael Rasmussen had 2 goals and 2 assists, finishing at +1 on 5 shots, winning 3 of 5 faceoffs as his Tri-City Americans won 9-7 over the Kelowna Rockets.

Rasmussen was named the game’s second star, and Tri-City now leads the teams’ first-round series 2-0;

And in the USHL, Filip Larsson did not play in the Tri-City Storm’s 4-3 loss to Sioux Falls.


Published by

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.

30 thoughts on “Prospect round-up: Griffins sweep 2-game series vs. Wild; Walleye lose to Brampton; Rasmussen 2G+2A, Cholowski 2G in WHL playoffs”

  1. Speaking of prospects, what is going on with David Pope?

    His college career is over, but there is no word lately of him signing and joining the Griffins.

  2. Hi. It’s me. Just checking back in. I see lots of optimism about Rasmussen. I like him. I hope he becomes a superstar. But his WHL season hasn’t blown me away. Given his huge size advantage (something that will diminish when he graduates to the NHL), I expected much more. Some hard facts…

    -he’s averaged just 1.25 points per game. League leaders were around 2 points per game. That’s a huge gap. Last year Barzal was at 1.9 points per game. Two years ago Braden Point was 1.8. Same league. A big man like Draisaitl might be a good comparison. He was at 1.65 point per game. So Rasmussen has significantly lagged.

    -Rasmussen has done most of his scoring on the PP. 17 PP goals but just 14 at even-strength. This is a major red flag. Given his age, his huge size, this is a major disappointment. It was a red flag when we drafted him…last year at even-strength he had just 17 goals and 9 assists over 50 games. This year he’s at 14 goals and 21 assists in 47 games. So more assists, but still very concerning numbers.

    To me, he doesn’t look like a 1C or a 2C at the NHL level. Probably a 3C that can play on the PP. Maybe like a Keith Primeau. I fear at even-strength he’s going to look like a Riley Sheahan,while on the PP he might bang in goals like a JVR. Maybe the injury ruined his year and he would have had much better numbers. We can only hope. But I’d tone down the excitement when his production is put into proper context…

    1. He was drafted for his solid character, which is hard to quantify. Sounds like he will have use an above average share of it. Playoff GWG would imply character. Rack em up Mr. Rasmussen!

      1. Right! I am excited for this guy. Getting further from wrist surgery, got a strong look in the preseason last year, and the stronger he looks in these playoffs, he can be a big part of our future.

        Kenny could look very good setting us up with Larkin-Razz 1-2 down the middle.

        1. Larkin-Razz might be a nice 2C-3C someday. Just need a 1C now.

          And a 1D, 2D, 3D, 1W, 1G, coach, etc…

          Or just hope everyone gets 2% better…

          1. “Larkin-Razz might be a nice 2C-3C someday. Just need a 1C now.
            And a 1D, 2D, 3D, 1W, 1G, coach, etc…”

            I don’t know, the coach might get better if you address all these issues, haha

  3. Had a chance to watch the NCAA Hockey. Katkansalo looks solid, decent skater, good positionally, no power play time. He did make one really good play in that he twisted to get the puck and in one motion continued to pass the puck to a teammate across the ice 50 feet away. Quinn Hughes from Michigan, who is slated to go maybe 6th in the draft, at times looks like Barry Sanders with his jukes, twists and movement. He is just 18 and was the youngest player for the US at the WJC. He looks to have a big upside. Lastly concerning Rasmussen. He was hurt and had surgery on his wrist(?). Considering how many games he has lost to injury this season, he still has put up numbers. He is ours, he can skate for a big man, and I am not ready to judge him for a few years.

    1. I agree on Hughes and Razz.

      Hughes skates VERY well. And he holds onto the puck well. Escapability. How well does that transfer?

      And yes on not judging Razz! Players turn it around – good or bad. But its all positive and up and up right now.

    2. Isn’t Pope kind of old for a prospect, is he doing well because he is just older than most other players?

  4. Coming up clutch is the playoffs? Hmmmm yes!

    I think because of age Ras isnt eligible for the AHL next year? Anyway, he was close to making the team this year. I have good confidence that he will next year. The departure of Tatar helps that. Larkin played plenty of wing year 1, and Ras may well do that also.

    Go Ras!

    1. Over-ripe in Tri-City would be far worse than under-used in Detroit.

      Make more room at the draft table for him Mr.Holland!

    2. Detroit or bust for Ras next year. He has eligibility left for Juniors as per agreement with the NHL/CHL. He can stay 9 games and not burn a year off his contract.

  5. It’s hard to say with +/- but scoring 4 points and only being a +1 could say something about his total game.

  6. I think Ras has a bright future with the Wings. I don’t pay too much attention to point totals when evaluating a player. It’s impressive that he came back from surgery and continued business as usual.

  7. Looks like George is down again. All the best George. Take your time coming back.

      1. Really appreciate what you do for us George. I am self employed because some days you must count yourself first, and the rest must wait. Patience and peace….. and then off faster than a Frk slapper!

  8. Is anyone else seeing how far were dropping? Current trend continued says were on the path to 30th! Embarrassingly exciting!

    I think they will get at least 3 wins and end up in the 4th lottery spot.Which odds statistically says 6th pick i think, not worth all the losing lately.

    1. Wings have the LEAST amount of ROW in the league.

      Well hey, at least they continued their great record in the shootout! Only lost once in the past two years!!!

      1. Would 3 point games adjust this standings imbalance? Seems fishy and rigged that some are only worth 2 for winning the right way.

        Hicketts In! Im going to guess coach gives him 7 minutes total and 0 in the 3rd.

        1. Only columbus, toronto, and tampa bay have more shootout wins than the Wings, who are tied with a few others.

          If we took out the shootout and made all of those games end in ties, the Wings would be 30th out of 31 teams, just one point better than the Sabres.

          1. Ouch…that puts it in perspective. Its actually WORSE than I thought. We have fallen for Dahlin and i cant get up.Would that 30th were true at this point. Deserved.

            I guess that we have successfully accumulated skill and cool character players. It does not add up to wins Mr. Martin! Whats the desired tool in the toolbox for this draft? Luck?

            Hoping its a lot of large snarly types. Enough of country club nice guys! Sorry nice guys, you finished last this time.

  9. George, peace to you. As you can see we can keep this going without you for now. The Athletic had a piece on Svech. They stated that he should be playing on the 1st two lines. Make sense to me for now. Give the kid a chance and not 8 minutes worth. What have the Wings got to lose….the 8th pick vs. the 2nd pick? Play the heck out of all the kids and give them much needed experience.

    1. Makes sense to everyone(?)!…. Except the one guy that makes the call.
      Question is that is he in lockstep with managers? Can Mr. Holland tell him directly to play along? Normally taboo territory.

    1. Sickening rumour. But totally expected. Kenny is a first ballot hall-of-famer so he deserves a chance to rebuild. I mean, c’mon, he’s sold at the last two deadlines so that shows he can do it. And Blashill is a serial winner. He just needs more talent on the roster, and maybe a couple more cancers to be removed.

      So we’ll draft a bunch of “character” guys this summer, bring back 90% of this pathetic roster, and then Kenny will lecture us about how rebuilds take 8, 10, 15 years so don’t get your hopes up.

      Stop supporting this franchise. Hit Illitch in the wallet. Maybe then we’ll see change.

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