Weekly Syracuse Crunch Roundup

Monday, 01.21.2013 / 2:52 PM Syracuse Crunch

Last Week

Fri., Jan. 18 - Crunch at Rochester - L, 4-1

Sat. Jan 19 - Crunch vs. Lake Erie - L, 4-2

This Week

Fri., Jan. 25- Crunch vs. Binghamton, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan 26 - Crunch vs. St. John's, 7:30 p.m.

Need to Know

- Despite a three-game losing streak, Syracuse is tied for the third most points in the AHL (53).

- Among active AHL players, Tyler Johnson has the most goals (20) and third most points (37).

- Syracuse has two home games in Week 16, hosting Binghamton Friday and St. John's Saturday.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Game 38: Amerks hand Crunch second straight loss

Facing the Rochester Americans for the third time in four games, Syracuse spotted the Amerks a 3-0 lead and lost 4-1 Friday at Blue Cross Arena. Rochester goals from Mark Mancari (11) in the first and Brian Flynn (13) and Evan Rankin (9) in the second supported goalie David Leggio who finished the contest with 26 saves, less stresful than the 41 saves he made against Syracuse in the prior meeting. The only goal allowed by Leggio came late in the second on a scrum around the net when Jared Nightingale nudged the puck barely across the goal line for his first in a Crunch uniform, with Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat assisting. The Amerks sealed the win on Phil Varone's fourth of the season in the third. The game had only six penalty minutes (four for Syracuse, two for Rochester), the smallest combined total for a Syracuse-Rochester matchup since 2010. Dustin Tokarski made 23 saves but suffered the loss, snapping his seven-game win streak. Kyle Wilson made his Crunch debut and was minus-1.

Game 39: Lake Erie survives Syracuse comeback

The Crunch fell behind 2-0 for the fourth straight game and lost 4-2 to Lake Erie, the first of two meetings with the Monsters this season. After a scoreless first, Paul Carey (7) and Thomas Pock (5) scored before the halfway mark of the second. Ondrej Palat answered for Syracuse, scoring his fifth of the year 25 seconds after the Monsters took a 2-0 lead. Brett Connolly and Radko Gudas earned helpers at 9:20. Six minutes later Palat tied the game for Syracuse on a shorthanded breakaway with Tyler Johnson. The 2-2 score remained into the final stages of the third period despite a five-minute power play for the Crunch following a major boarding penalty to Cameron Guance. Shortly thereafter, Bill Thomas converted on a Monsters power-play and Joel Chouinard potted an empty netter as time expired. Riku Helenius made 19 saves on 22 Lake Erie shots while Calvin Pickard made 29 stops on 31 Syracuse shots.

Transactions

1/15/2013 Alex Hutchings (LW) DEL Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) to Florida (ECHL)

1/15/2013 Charles Landry (D) DEL Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) to Florida (ECHL)

1/16/2013 Alex Hutchings (LW) ADD Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)

1/17/2013 Mark Barberio (D) ADD Returned on loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/17/2013 Radko Gudas (D) ADD Returned on loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/17/2013 Tyler Johnson (C) ADD Returned on loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/18/2013 J.T. Wyman (RW) ADD Returned on loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/18/2013 Mike Angelidis (C) ADD Returned on loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/18/2013 Kyle Wilson (C) ADD Loaned from Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/21/2013 J.F. Jacques (LW) ADD Loaned from Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/21/2013 Charles Landry (D) ADD Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)

1/21/2013 Alex Hutchings (LW) DEL Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) to Florida (ECHL)

Notes

- After having their best winning streak of the season (five games, Dec. 31-Jan. 11) the Crunch have suffered their worst losing streak (three games, Jan. 12-19). Syracuse's 4-1 loss in Rochester Friday broke a string of 85 consecutive games (regular- and post-season) without back-to-back losses for a Tampa Bay Lighting AHL affiliate. The organization last dopped consecutive AHL games when Norfolk lost Jan. 28 and Feb. 3, 2012.

- Ondrej Palat posted his first two-goal effort of the year Saturday vs. Lake Erie. It was Palat's sixth multi-point game of the season and first since Dec. 28 vs. Norfolk (1g, 1a). Palat has four points (2g, 2a) in a three-game scoring streak. The second of Palat's two goals Saturday was his first shorthanded marker of the season, the team's fifth.

- Defenseman Jared Nightingale scored his first goal of the season Friday in Rochester, the 12th of his AHL career and 16th as a pro. Nightingale's shootout game-winning goal Friday vs. Norfolk was the first shootout attempt of his career, having played over 400 regular-season games in the ECHL and AHL.

- Syracuse leads the AHL in goals-per game, 3.44, but has not scored three goals in a game during it's three-game losing streak. The Crunch are 13th in goals-against average, 2.77, but have surrendered four goals in each of the last three games. Syracuse continues to limit opponents's shots better than any AHL team, 25.03 per game, while registering 33 shots of their own, the third highest average in the league.

- The Crunch power play has one goal in the last six games, 1-for-21 or 4.8%. The team's overall power play is 13th in the AHL at 17.9% (34-for-190). Nine teams have had more power-play chances than Syracuse.

- In the same six-game span, the Crunch penalty kill has allowed eight power-play goals in 27 chances, a 70.1% penalty-kill percentage. Overall, Syracuse is 11th in penalty killing at 84.2% (170-for-202). Only the Rockford IceHogs have given opponents more power-play chances (212).

THE WEEK AHEAD

Crunch vs. Binghamton—Friday, 7:30 p.m.

For the sixth time this season, and the first time since late December, the Syracuse Crunch face division rival the Binghamton Senators. Including Friday night, these two teams meet three more times this season, with two of those match ups taking place at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse. The Crunch have won three of the first five meetings this season: a 6-5 win in overtime Oct. 20, a 4-3 victory Dec. 12, and a 5-3 win Dec. 26. The Senators won 2-1 Nov. 23 and 5-2 Dec. 2. They split the first two meetings in Syracuse.

Binghamton has gone 7-2-0-1 in its last ten games to leapfrog the Crunch in the Eastern Division. The Senators record stand at 25-9-1-3, good for 54 points, first place in the Eastern Division, first place in the Eastern Conference, and second overall in the AHL. The two leading scorers for the Senators, Jakob Silfverberg (13g-16a-29pts) and Andre Benoit (9g-16a-25pts) are now both on the Ottawa Senators roster. The active leading scorers for Binghamton are left wing Mike Hoffman (11g-12a-23pts), center Stephane De Costa (9g-13a-22pts), and right wing Hugh Jessiman (7g-11a-18pts). The two top goalies for the Sens have also been sent to Ottawa, and the two remaining goalies on the Binghamton roster have played in a combined five games. Nathan Lawson is 3-1 with a 3.08 goals against average while Marc Cheverie made his season debut in a 4-2 loss on Saturday night.

Dustin Tokarski has played in all five games in goal against the Senators, including once in relief of Riku Helanius, who played only once against the Sens. Tokarski is 3-2 with a 2.88 goals against average and a .886 save percentage. Tyler Johnson and Brett Connolly each have five points against Binghamton, leading the way for the Crunch.

Crunch vs. St. John's—Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

For the second time this year, the Syracuse Crunch will face the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday. It’s the second of four meetings this year, with the last two coming on back-to-back nights in Newfoundland. The IceCaps won the first meeting of the year, coming back from a 4-0 deficit to secure a 5-4 overtime win in Syracuse on Dec. 29.

The IceCaps is 3-5-1-1 in their last ten games, dropping to 17-20-1-2 on the season. That places St. John’s in fifth place in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference with 37 points. The leading scorers for the IceCaps are left wing Jason Jaffray (6g-16a-22pts), right wing Spencer Machacek (9g-10a-19pts), and right wing Raymond Sawada (8g-10a-18pts). In goal, the IceCaps are led by Eddie Pasquale and his 10-14-2-3 record along with a 2.55 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Riku Helanius got the start in goal for the Crunch in the only previous meeting, allowing all five goals in the overtime loss. Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist in that meeting to lead the Crunch.

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