Weekly Crunch Roundup
Fri., Feb. 8 - Crunch vs. Adirondack - W, 4-2
Sat., Feb. 9 - Crunch vs. Albany - L, 4-3
Sun., Feb. 10 - Crunch at Adirondack - L, 6-1
Wed., Feb. 13 - Crunch at Albany, 7:00 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 15 - Crunch at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 17 - Crunch at W-B/Scranton, 4:05 p.m.
NEED TO KNOW
- Tyler Johnson scored three goals in Week 18, and is the AHL's active leader with 23 markers this season.
- Rookie Alex Killorn was recalled by the Lightning and made his NHL debut Sunday with one assist.
- Week 19 has the Crunch in Albany, Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre, games 2-4 of five straight on the road.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Game 44: Syracuse rebounds against Adirondack
After losing six of their previous seven games, the Crunch bounced back with a 4-2 win over the Phantoms Friday. Syracuse took the lead with 5:27 left in the first period when Mike Angelidis came from behind the net and buried a shot low past Adirondack goalie Brian Boucher. It was only the second time in eight games the Crunch scored first, the only other being their win over St. John’s. They doubled their lead in the second period when Brett Connolly chipped home the rebound of an Alex Killorn shot. But the Phantoms stormed back with breakaway goals from defenseman Zack Fitzgerald (who had two fights with Eric Neilson) and former Syracuse forward David Laliberte, both scoring their first goals of the season. The Crunch took the lead for good in the third period when Richard Panik, who celebrated his 22nd birthday earlier in the week, tapped home his 21st goal (tying Richard Panik for the team lead) to put Syracuse up 3-2 with 9:15 remaining. Connolly added the insurance goal just a few minutes later on a centering feed from Philip-Michael Devos. Dustin Tokarski made 24 saves, earning his 18th win.
Game 45: Crunch falter in third period against Devils
For the first time this season, Syracuse didn’t pick up a point after entering the third period with a lead. It gave up four goals in the final frame to lose 4-3 to Albany Saturday at the War Memorial. The Crunch again got the game’s first goal when Vlad Namestnikov buried a J.T. Wyman feed 1:39 into the second period. Tyler Johnson added a goal with 12 seconds left in the frame to put the Crunch up 2-0 going into the third. Albany stole the game with goals from Joe Whitney, Scott Parse (on the power play), Matt Anderson, and Tim Sestito to take a 4-2 lead with 2:20 to go. Johnson put home a rebound late to pull the Crunch within one, but Syracuse couldn't complete the comeback. Crunch goalie Dustin Tokarski stopped 17 shots in the loss while playing for the second straight night. Devils netminder Keith Kincaid turned aside 27 of Syracuse's 30 shots. Syracuse was 0-for-3 on the power play, while holding Albany to 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Game 46: Phantoms earn first regulation win vs. Crunch in eighth meeting
Syracuse kicked off a five-game road stand with a 6-1 loss to Adirondack Sunday in Glens Falls. The Crunch kept the game close in the first period, only allowing Erik Gustafsson to beat Riku Helenius on a high-slot drive. The Finnish netminder played the first two periods and allowed four goals on 14 shots before being pulled for Dustin Tokarski. Only 90 seconds into the final frame, Phantoms’ defenseman Cullen Eddy netted a goal past Tokarski. Adirondack added one more goal in the third to go up 6-0. Only a power-play goal from Tyler Johnson with 82 seconds remaining spoiled Adirondack goalie Scott Munroe’s shutout. He stopped 42 of 43 shots in the win. Syracuse has now gone 1-for-16 on the power play in the last four games. This was the final regular season matchup between the Crunch and Phantoms and the first in which Syracuse didn’t pick up a point. It finishes the regular season 4-1-1-2 against Adirondack. Dana Tyrell made his Syracuse debut, wearing number 21.
02/10/2013 Alex Killorn (C) Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
02/10/2013 Dana Tyrell (RW) Loaned from Tampa Bay (NHL)
02/09/2013 Alex Hutchings (LW) Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)
- With three tallies in Week 18, Tyler Johnson has the most goals among active players in the AHL, 23. Only Oklahoma City's Jordan Eberle (currently with the Edmonton Oilers) has more, 25. Johnson had gone 11 games without a goal (Jan. 4 in Norfolk) when he potted two Saturday vs. Albany, his fourth two-goal effort of the season and first since Nov. 25. His Sunday marker was his eighth on the power play, the most on the team.
- Brett Connolly extended his scoring streak to five games Sunday with an assist on Tyler's Johnson's power-play goal. Connolly has six points (4g, 2a) in that span, the longest active streak on the Crunch.
- Connolly now has 40 points (19g, 21a), second only to Tyler Johnson's 41 (23g, 18a). The Crunch join Rochester and Springfield as the only AHL teams with two players at 40 or more points.
- Alex Killorn made his NHL debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday at Madison Square Garden, posting an assist, a minor penalty and two shots in 13:17 of ice time against the Rangers. The rookie from Harvard had not missed a Crunch game this season until Saturday. In 44 games, Killorn amassed 38 points (16g, 22a), the third most on the Crunch and third among AHL rookies. His 166 shots on goal are third most in the league.
- Syracuse scored its first power-play goal in four games Sunday, ending an 0-for-15 stretch when Tyler Johnson scored at 18:38 of the third in Glens Falls. The Crunch are 10th with the man advantage, 18.1%, and 15th on the penalty kill, 83.5%.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Crunch at Albany—Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
For the second time in less than a week, and fourth time this season, the Crunch battle the Albany Devils Wednesday night in Albany. The Crunch won the first two meetings: 3-2 Oct. 19 in Albany and 4-1 Nov. 24 also in Albany. The Devils won the most recent match, picking up a come-from-behind 4-3 victory on Saturday in Syracuse.
Albany has won three-in-a-row and is 5-3-0-2 in its last ten games to move to 20-16-1-8. That gives the Devils 49 points, third in the Northeast Division and tenth in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are led by right wing Matt Anderson (10g-18a-28pts), left wing Joe Whitney (12g-14a-26pts), and center Steve Zalewski (7g-17a-24pts). Anderson has goals in three straight games and has seven points (3g, 4a) over that stretch, including a goal and two assists against the Crunch Saturday. Goaltender Keith Kinkaid has 16 of the team’s 20 victories. For the Crunch, Tyler Johnson leads the way against Albany with six points (4g, 2a) including a pair on Saturday.
Crunch at Binghamton—Friday, 7:05 p.m.
The Crunch continue their five-game road trip in Binghamton on Friday; the seventh of eight meetings between the teams this season. It is the final trip to Binghamton for Syracuse. Both teams have three victories in the six games between them, and both have picked up seven of a possible 12 head-to-head points. The Crunch have won two of the three matchups in Binghamton, but the Senators won the last affair, a 1-0 shoot out win Jan. 25 in Syracuse.
The Senators have lost two straight games (0-1-0-1) and are 4-5-0-1 in their last ten games to fall to 28-13-1-4. That gives the Senators 61 points, three ahead of the Crunch for first place in the East Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference. The leading scorers on the Senators active roster are left wing Mike Hoffman (12g-12a-24pts), right wing Hugh Jessiman (9g-12a-21pts) and center Derek Grant (14g-6a-20pts). Robin Lehner continues to lead the Senators with 17 victories and a 1.87 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski has played in all six contests with Binghamton (once in relief) and has a 3-2-0-1 record with one shutout. Tyler Johnson and Brett Connolly each have five points against the Senators this season.
Crunch at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton—Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
On Sunday afternoon the Crunch play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the seventh of eight meetings between the two. It’s the first time they meet in the calendar year, with the last meeting coming on New Year’s Eve. The two teams have split the first six games, with all the games ending in regulation time. Syracuse has won two of the three road meetings this season, including the last one, a 2-1 win Dec. 31.
The Penguins have surged back into the East Division race, winning eight of their last ten games to move to 25-19-2-1. With 53 points, the Penguins are only five points behind the Crunch and are in third place in the East Division and are sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins are led by center Chad Kolarik (18g-21a-39pts), center Riley Holzapfel (16g-15a-31pts) and center Trevor Smith (14g-15a-29pts). Kolarik was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers organization and has only played in seven games so far with the Penguins. He has two goals and two assists for four points in those games. Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has won his last five starts (over six appearances), giving up only one goal in each of those starts. For the Crunch, Dustin Tokarski has started every game against the Penguins this season, giving up 12 goals with a .925 save percentage. Brett Connolly’s six points (2g, 4a) lead the way for the Crunch against the Penguins.