Riku Helenius gave up the game winning goal with 3 minutes remaining as the Gwinnett Gladiators defeated the Mississippi Sea Wolves 3-2 at the Gulf Coast Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Helenius stopped 31 shots in his second straight start for the Wolves.
Gwinnett 3 @ Mississippi 2
G Riku Helenius: 3 GA; 59:33 MIN; 34 SH; 31 SV
Riku Helenius made 49 saves in his debut with the Mississippi backstopping the Sea Wolves to a 4-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators and earning Second Star honors. Helenius joined the team on Wednesday after being assigned by Tampa after former Bolt goaltending prospect Ryan Munce was recalled to Syracuse.
Mississippi 4 @ Gwinnett 2
G Riku Helenius: 2 GA; 60:00 MIN; 51 SH; 49 SV; *SECOND STAR*
The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced the assignment of veteran center Chris Gratton to Norfolk of the AHL. Gratton cleared waivers today after being put on the wire to make roster room to allow the Lightning to retain recent callups like Paul Szczechura and Radek Smolenak and to make room for veteran center Jeff Halpern, who is set to return from IR soon.
In addition, the Lightning have assigned goaltending prospect Riku Helenius to Mississippi of the ECHL. Helenius was recalled to Norfolk after the Augusta Lynx ECHL franchise folded earlier this month. Mississippi was the Lightning's ECHL affliate last season. There is no word as yet if additional players will be headed to Biloxi as well.
Norfolk's press release on Helenius' reassignment after the jump:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned goaltender Riku Helenius to the Admirals from their ECHL affiliate, the Augusta Lynx, Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced on Sunday.
Helenius, a 6-foot-3, 202-pound goaltender from Palkane, Finland, appeared in two preseason games for the Admirals, going 1-1-0 with a 4.00 goals-against average and .840 save percentage. He did not play in a regular season game with Norfolk prior to being reassigned to Augusta on October 16.
The 20-year-old went 3-4-1 in his first eight games of North American professional hockey with the Lynx this season, posting a 4.41 goals-against average and .874 save percentage. He recorded his first pro win in his pro debut, stopping 44 of 46 shots on October 21 at Gwinnett.
Helenius was originally drafted in the first round (15th overall) by Tampa Bay in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
In a home game marred by reports of financial trouble by the 10-year old Augusta franchise, the visiting Charlotte Checkers were merciless defeating the Lynx 6-2 behind a 4 goal 2nd period. Chris Lawrence assisted on the Lynx third period goal. Riku Helenius backed up Mike Brodeur before being recalled to the Norfolk Admirals. This was 2nd straight game that the Lynx lost by a score of 6-2.
Charlotte 6 @ Augusta 2
G Riku Helenius: did not play
D Kevin Quick: 0-0-0; -1; 0 PIM; 5 SOG
F Chris Lawrence: 0-1-1; +1; 0 PIM; 0 SOG
Augusta falls to 5-10-1-1, and complete the home-and-home series with the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday.