Of prospect-related note in regular season action:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins clinched a playoff spot via a 4-1 victory over the Tuscon Roadrunners. Grand Rapids received a pair of 1st period goals from Eric Tangradi (his 30th and 31st of the season), 2nd-period markers from Turner Elson and Dan Renouf and a 22-save performance from Tom McCollum.
Edit/update: Here’s the Griffins website’s recap:
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Tucson Roadrunners 1
April 7, 2018
TUCSON, Ariz. – Two first period goals from Eric Tangradi set the tone early for the Grand Rapids Griffins as they defeated the Tucson Roadrunners, 4-1, on Saturday night at Tucson Convention Center Arena.
Tonight’s result combined with Milwaukee’s 5-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves clinched a 2018 Calder Cup Playoff berth for the Griffins.
Grand Rapids (40-25-1-7) is back in action on Wednesday against the Texas Stars at 8:30 p.m. EDT from the H-E-B Center. Tucson (39-20-5-1) leads the Pacific Division by 38 percentage points.
Tangradi put the Griffins on the board first with a backdoor goal at the 4:05 mark of the first period. Ben Street made the slick feed from the left boards to an open Tangradi who put it past a helpless Hunter Miska for his 30th goal and the 1-0 lead.
More than five minutes later, at 9:39, Tangradi added his second goal of the game. Matthew Ford made the quick pass to Tangradi from the left circle to the left side of the crease. The Griffins’ leading scorer swiftly slipped the puck past Miska and a defender for the power play tally and two-goal cushion.
With 6:53 left in the first period, Lawson Crouse scored from the slot for his 12th goal of the year. Carter Camper forced a turnover in the Grand Rapids zone and found a wide open Crouse in front of the net to cut the lead to one goal.
Just 52 seconds into the second frame, Turner Elson tallied his ninth goal of the season. The fifth-year pro made a big play on the forecheck after crashing into his man, taking the puck, and snapping a quick shot into the upper left corner of the net.
At the 10:00 mark of the second stanza, Dan Renouf potted his first goal of the 2017-18 campaign. He took the shot near the top of the left circle after a cross-ice pass from Joe Hicketts near the right ring prompting a goaltender change by the Roadrunners.
Adin Hill finished the game in net for Tucson, making five saves on five shots. Tom McCollum finished with 22 saves for his seventh win in his last eight starts.
The Griffins finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Tucson went 0-for-2.
Three Stars: 1. GR Tangradi (two goals); 2. GR McCollum (W, 22 saves); 3. GR Renouf (goal)
The Griffins’ website also posted a photo gallery.
In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye rallied from a 2-0 deficit en route to a 5-4 OT win over the Indy Fuel. A.J. Jenks scored 2 goals, Patrick McCarron scored the OT winner, and Pat Nagle stopped 34 shots for Toledo. The Walleye’s website posted a recap:
Walleye defeat Fuel in overtime in final game of regular season
(Indianapolis, IN) – The Walleye defeated the Fuel 5-4 in overtime on Saturday night in Indy. AJ Jenks picked up three points and Pat Nagle stopped 34 of 38 shots and is now 37-6-3-1 on the season. The Walleye finish the regular season with a 50-17-3-2 record and a 22-10-2-2 road record.
Indy would strike first when former Walleye forward, Josh Shalla, found the back of the net just 1:35 into the first period to make it 1-0.
The Fuel would extend their lead to 2-0 just 1:05 into the second period with a shot that beat Nagle. Patrick McCarron sent a pass to AJ Jenks, who found the back of the net at 14:22 to cut the Fuel’s lead to 2-1. Dylan Sadowy buried his shot in the corner of the net at 17:29 and tied the game 2-2.
Colin Jacobs sent a pass up to Charlie O’Connor, who passed the puck over to Connor Crisp, who tipped his shot into the back of the net at 2:41 of the third period to make it 3-2 Walleye. Shalla scored his second of the game at 10:24 to tie the game 3-3. Shalla completed his hat trick at 17:43 to give Indy a 4-3 lead. Jenks scored his second of the game at 19:45 to tie the game 4-4.
Patrick McCarron scored just 1:31 into overtime to give the Walleye the 5-4 victory.
- The Walleye are home Friday night for the playoffs with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against TBD.
- Nagle stopped 34 of 38 shots and is now 37-6-3-1 on the season.
- Shane Berschbach has nine points (4G, 5A) in his past seven games.
- Kyle Bonis leads the Walleye against the Fuel with 11 points (4G, 7A) in eight games vs. the Fuel this season.
- Toledo is 23-2-1 all-time vs. Indy.
Finally, in the USHL, Filip Larsson didn’t dress in the Tri-City Storm’s 2-0 loss to the Lincoln Stars. At this point it appears that Tri-City won’t make the playoffs, and losing Larsson to a groin injury played a large role in the Storm’s struggles.