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Defense Leads Crunch Past Americans


By Jeremy Houghtaling

While the forwards got off to a hot start, the Syracuse Crunch defense proved to be the difference.

Syracuse opened the scoring 69 seconds into the game and Rochester answered with a pair of goals in the next 1:24, but three Crunch defensemen registered their second goal of the season in a 6-4 win over the Americans in the first game after the all-star break at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"Bottom line is we've been working on in practice to get our D more involved in the offense, just get them up in the rush so they're in there for shots, more people at the net and D being more active," said Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler. "They were tonight."

ECHL Game Night: 1-31-15

1/30 Greenville Road Warriors 0 at Florida Everblades 1
1/31 Greenville Road Warriors 1 at Florida Everblades 2

D Artem Sergeev, FLA: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 31 GP, 6-11-17, +10, 17 PIM, 44 SOG

Other Notables
G Allen York, FLA, W, 60:00 MIN, 0 GA, 33 SH, 33 SV, 1 SO, *First Star*
Season totals: 24 GP, 16-4-0-3, 2.64 GAA, 0.903 SV%, 4 SO

F Jeff Costello, FLA: DNP
Season totals (ECHL): 26 GP, 8-7-15, E, 26 PIM, 65 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 32 GP, 7-10-17, +1, 30 PIM, 58 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

The Everblades got a pair of home wins against Greenville on Friday and Saturday nights behind the return of some excellent goaltending by the Florida netminders. On Friday night, Allen York returned to the nets and pitched a 33-save shutout. It was York's 4th shutout of the season and it earned him First Star honors in Friday night's match. The 'Blades seemed to have righted the ship on their mini-slump and have now posted 4-straight wins. Florida now heads off on a 4-game road trip with stops in Elmira and Reading.

1/30 Quad City Mallards 3 at Wichita Thunder 1
1/31 Wichita Thunder 0 at Missouri Mavericks 4

F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 43 GP, 17-20-37, -3, 39 PIM, 130 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-0-0, -1, 7 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 41 GP, 0-11-11, -6, 96 PIM, 37 SOG

The Thunder dropped a pair of games this weekend against Quad City and Missouri mustering only 1 goal in the two matches. Friday night's home game against Quad City was penalty filled affair with 90 total minutes and 6 fighting majors handed out between the two teams. Lighting defensive prospect Daniel Milan fought Mike Monfredo after 2nd intermission horn. The Thunder was shutout Saturday night on the road against the Mavericks. Wichita hits the road again next weekend with a pair of games against Quad City.

Juniors Game Night: 1-31-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ Gatineau Olympiques 1

C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM, 2 SOG, 12/21 FO, 0 Hits
With Sherbrooke: 19 GP, 13-15-28, -2, 20 PIM
With Cape Breton: 19 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 38 GP, 14-28-42, -8, 34 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM

Darcy was held scoreless but Sherbrooke was able to eke out a road win against the club at the bottom of the West Division thanks to netminder Evan Fitzpatrick, who stopped 34 of 35 shots in the match.

Victoriaville Tigres 4 @ Quebec Remparts 9

W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-2-2, +1, 7 PIM, 4 SOG, 3/5 FO, 0 Hit
Season totals: 44 GP, 28-35-63, +16, 74 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Quebec followed up Friday night's win with a solid thumping of visiting Victoriaville. Erne was in on the action with a couple helpers wrapped around a bout with defenseman Phil Pietroniro.

Ontario Hockey League

North Bay Battalion 3 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 (SO)

D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 1-0-1, +3, 7 PIM
With SSM: 9 GP, 3-12-15, +6, 17 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 38 GP, 13-40-53, +7, 81 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

DeAngelo's point streak hit eight games with a first period marker that put the powerhouse that his club is up by three and he engaged in a round of fisticuffs that might very well have made some of the denizens of his hometown proud. It bears repeating that the Soo still hasn’t lost since DeAngelo (and others) were acquired at the OHL trade deadline.

Windsor Spitfires 2 @ Plymouth Whalers 3 (SO)

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM
Season totals: 42 GP, 15-17-32, -7, 83 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

Windsor erased two deficits to push the game on into extra time only to fall in the skills competition. Scoreless in Windsor's last game, DiGiacinto provided a secondary dish that made for his fourth point in his last four games.

Ottawa 67's 4 @ Peterborough Petes 2

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 37 GP, 7-13-20, -19, 57 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM

Masin's seven-game point streak and Peterborough's brief run came to a grinding halt against the 67's.

Western Hockey League

Brandon Wheat Kings 6 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 0

C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 5 PIM
Season totals: 39 GP, 21-33-54, +9, 32 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM

Point was reduced to denting the score sheet being credited with a fight -- his second of the season -- and that about tells you all you need to know for how things were going for Moose Jaw on the ice Saturday night.

Edmonton Oil Kings 0 @ Calgary Hitmen 5

D Ben Thomas, CAL: Did not play
Season totals: 39 GP, 5-16-21, +6, 18 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Thomas sat this one out but Calgary rolled anyway en route its sixth straight victory. In the past three games, the Hitmen have put up an eye-popping 23 goals while allowing just a single goal against.

NHL Game Night: 1-31-15 Blue Jackets at Lightning

Bishop saves the day.

CBJ-1
TB-3

Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 35 shots for the victory. With the Lightning playing flat as a pancake in front of him, Bishop made a handful of key stops to give his club the time to pull away in the Third Period. Make no mistake, though, Bishop was the margin in this one and the game was closer than the scoreboard indicates.

First Period
19:36 TB Connolly (9), (Morrow, Garrison)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:02 TB Paquette (10), (Drouin, Killorn)
11:43 TB Filppula (10), (unassisted)
16:34 CBJ Johansen (19), (Savard, Murray)

Bishop, Jason Garrison, and Ryan Callahan were the game's three stars.

I can't help but be a little alarmed at how flat the Lightning have played recently going into games against lower-tier opponents like Carolina, Columbus, etc. There's some bad habits and a little bit of laziness/lack of focus (particularly on their continually awful PP) that crops up in these games that you don't see as much of against the big boys like Detroit. The mark of the really elite clubs is that they play their game regardless of who they're lining it up against, but that hasn't been the case lately for the Lightning. They'll need to get over that if they want to progress to the next level on their way to becoming a championship caliber team. Finding some sort of identity/concept on the PP would be a nice addition, too.

Cedric Paquette had a goal (GWG), 3 shots, and 1 hit in 13:53. He was also 67% on draws. That's 5 goals in the last 3 games. Tonight was Cedric's 41st game of the season, which graduates him from prospect status here on the website. We've been online (officially) since the '05-'06 season, and in 9.5 seasons of hockey I can't recall a prospect hitting their graduation threshold with this kind of flair. You can't help but feel wonderful for the young man who was an overage 4th rounder who got passed over completely in his first draft year and had to work so hard to improve his skating to make it to the league, where he's now flourishing.

Jonathan Drouin had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 13:29. It's lost in the meteoric rise of Cedric Paquette, but Drouin's got 4 helpers and is +4 in the last 3 games, as well. He's got 1 more game to go to graduate from prospect status on the website, too, and he's showing signs of finally starting to settle into the league now.

Luke Witkowski was +2 with 1 shot in 12:33. Not noticable = very good for a rookie defenseman.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NCAA Game Night: 1-31-15

No. 1 North Dakota 4 @ No. 5 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 3 (SO)

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 10-5-15, +9, 25 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM

North Dakota was looking to avenge an overtime loss the previous night and got it Saturday night after O'Donnell delivered some overtime heroics, notching his 10th goal of the season in the process.

No. 18 Quinnipiac Bobcats 2 @ Brown Bears 2 (OT)

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 5-21-26, +1, 21 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 40 GP, 12-26-38, +4, 16 PIM

Peca followed his very productive Friday night with a helper on a third period tally that gave Quinnipiac the lead but Brown was able to respond soon after to force a stalemate.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 4 vs Wisconsin Badgers 4 (OT)

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 21 saves on 25 shots
Season totals: 24 GP, 12-8-3, 2.68 GAA, .901 sv%, 3 SO
2013-2014 totals: 38 GP, 26-6-6, 1.97 GAA, .932 sv%, 4 SO

Seth Ambroz (2011 5th rounder - CBJ) scored in the final seconds of regulation to cap a wild third period that saw both teams combine for five goals. After a scoreless overtime period, Wisconsin technically won the ensuing shootout.

*USCHO poll used

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