Crunchning Death Star wins North Division crown on final night of regular season.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the victory.
5:24 SYR Ikonen (6), (Racine, Froese)
5:34 SYR Howden (3), (Vermin, Brodeur)
3:31 SYR Kurtz (5), (Ikonen, Richard)
4:07 UTI Goldobin (18), (Robak)
10:04 SYR Vermin (13), (Froese, Blujus)(PP)
18:46 UTI Goldobin (19), (Virtanen, Sautner)
17:28 SYR Erne (14), (Froese, Richard)(EN)
Gudlevskis, Henri Ikonen, and Joel Vermin were the game's three stars. Scary thing is, this wasn't the full Crunchning Death Star lineup with Gourde and Conacher out, and they still rolled a Utica club that was desperate to make it into the postseason.
Things get interesting now. I don't entirely know what to make of this team because it's a brand new, incredibly deep roster, that's only been together the final 4 or so games of the regular season. The North Division was obviously the weak stepsister of the Eastern Conference, so on the face of it the division title isn't super-impressive when you hold the Crunch up against clubs like Pens, Phantoms, Bears, and Bruins. BUT, the Crunch team that played the bulk of those games was often playing defensemen at forward or short of players because of injuries up top. The Crunchning Death Star absolutely has the depth and quality to compete with those teams, but they'll need to develop chemistry on the fly in the postseason in order to do so.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Crunch make good on the previous night's defeat.
Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the victory. I think that might be his first quality start in a Crunch uniform.
10:27 UTI Zalewski (5), (Billins, Pelletier)
11:56 SYR Conacher (15), (Bournival, Peca)
12:30 SYR Ikonen (4), (Comrie, Thomas)(PP)
4:57 SYR Kurtz (3), (Peca, Condra)
8:44 SYR Froese (27), (Taormina, Conacher)(PP)
13:26 SYR Conacher (16), (McGinn)
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Crunch hold of a furious rally... barely.
Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the victory.
14:37 SYR Conacher (7), (Vermin, Gourde)
11:27 SYR Brodeur (2), (Morin, Ikonen)
5:43 SYR Ikonen (2), (Conacher, Koekkoek)
11:21 SYR Gourde (15), (unassisted)(SH)
13:53 SPR Hawryluk (3), (Acolatse, Sutter)(PP)
15:08 SPR Rau (5), (Weegar, Berra)(PP)
18:28 SPR Sutter (4), (Acolatse, Rau)
When you have a 4-0 lead in the Third Period, you really shouldn't allow the opposition to get as close as the old false hope goal. Fortunately, with the win, Syracuse maintained position 1 point back of Albany for the division lead with a game in hand on the Devils.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Crunch clip their rivals.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 34 shots before stopping 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win.
7:45 UTI Pelletier (1), (Kunyk, Subban)(PP)
13:20 SYR Ikonen (1), (Bournival, Gourde)
5:03 UTI Virtanen (4), (Billins, Robak)(PP)
7:01 SYR Thomas (1), (Richard, Hart)
0:12 SYR Taormina (8), (Dotchin, Peca)(SH)
15:21 UTI Cassels (3), (Kunyk, Grenier)
SYR- Conacher, Richard
Syracuse, for the moment, moves 6 points clear of second place atop the North Division. They're starting to make up some ground on Lehigh Valley for tops in the conference if they can stay on track.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Lightning miss a second straight preseason shutout by an eyelash.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 28 shots for the OT win. The lone blemish was a goal surrendered in a 6-on-4 situation with 1:05 left in regulation. If the performances of the past two nights by Gudlevskis and Vasilevskiy are any indication, Yzerman might have the flexibility he needs if he does choose to move Ben Bishop for cap reasons.
5:21 TB Johnson (1), (Palat, Nesterov)[/b]
18:55 CAR Skinner (2), (DiGiuseppe, Rask)
1:38 TB Palat (1), (unassisted)
Very interesting lineup tonight from the Lightning and a pleasantly surprising performance. Tonight's group mixed in more NHL forwards, at least on the wings, but they pretty much went with Syracuse's defensive corps plus Nikita Nesterov, who may be a bubble player in this camp. It helps when you have Vasilevskiy behind you, but to almost get a shutout with that group is not too shabby.
Brayden Point had 4 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 16:09. He was also 33% on 9 draws. Sorry, son, you don't get to score a goal every game.
Cam Darcy had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 11:31 and was 30% on 10 draws. PLEASE, Jeff Halpern, teach these kids to win faceoffs.
Joel Vermin had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 18:44.
Gabriel Dumont had 1 shot, 4 hits, and 4 blocked shots in 14:02. For a guy who didn't score, his stat line still looks quite active, I have to say.
Henri Ikonen had 1 blocked shot in 14:15. The window is closing on the young Finn.
Brian Hart had 4 hits in 10:14. He then hit someone with an aluminum chair and put them in the Sharpshooter.
Luke Witkowski was +1 with 4 hits and 2 blocked shots in 21:10. He's not giving any quarter in camp to anybody.
Dominik Masin had 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 hits in 19:55.
Matt Taormina had 1 shot in 19:46.
Dylan Blujus had 3 blocked shots in 19:29.
Jake Dotchin had 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 19:10.
Martindale comes alive.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the victory. It was Kristers' first win since February 19th... exactly one month.
STJ Dumont, (18) (Lernout, Didier), 6:31
SYR Martindale, (1) (Taormina, Ikonen), 8:32
SYR Martindale, (2) (DeAngelo, Tambellini), 8:51
SYR Tambellini, (23) (Gourde, Martindale), 13:06
STJ McNally, (5) (Scherbak, Johnston), 7:58
Henri Ikonen broke a streak of 15 games without a point.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Drouinsanity weekend ends with Syracuse collecting 4 of 6 points.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed just 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory, and was likely the margin in the contest today. He left the game Friday after feeling ill, but evidently got enough Vitamin C in the time between then and tonight.
SYR Tambellini, (16) (Peca), 1:31
SYR Ikonen, (2) (Peca, Taormina), 2:27
RCH Akeson, (7) (Leduc, Pysyk), 9:44 (PP)
It was a quiet night for Drouin as Syracuse, in general, struggled a bit offensively. They were outshot 29-22 on the night, but still pulled out the win.
The win allowed Syracuse to move up into 4th in the North Division, leapfrogging over both Rochester and the Utica Comets.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Dec 3: Cincinnati Cyclones 3 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits 4
Dec 4: Cincinnati Cyclones 7 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits 6 OT
Dec 5: Norfolk Admirals 3 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits 0
F Brian Hart, GRN: 3gp, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 18 GP, 6-1-7, -3, 2 PIM, 34 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
F Henri Ikonen, GRN: 3gp, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 17 GP, 1-3-4, -3, 4 PIM, 14 SOG
G Allen York, GRN, injured reserve
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-4-0-0, 4.98 GAA, 0.858 SV%, 0 SO
D Charlie Dodero, GRN: 3gp, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 7 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 16 GP, 0-3-3, -6, 22 PIM, 16 SOG
With top Lighting forward prospect Adam Erne returning from injury to the Syracuse Crunch lineup, Henri Ikonen was the low man on the pole and drew the reassignment to Greenville along with Brian Hart. Ikonen immediately made his presence felt in the Swamp Rabbits 4-3 win over the Cyclones Thursday night, scoring what would be the game winner with 5 minutes left in the 3rd on rebound put-in from the post. Neither Ikonen nor Hart would figure into the scoring for Friday night's wild 7-6 OT loss to the Cyclones or the 3-0 shutout loss to the Admirals on Saturday. Ikonen was recalled to Syracuse on Sunday, making his temporary assignment looking more like just an opportunity for him to get some quality ice time. Greenville has another 3-in-3 starting on Thursday with back-to-back games at home against Orlando and a Saturday night cross state trek to Charleston to play the Stingrays.
Emery opens the door in the Third Period. Will Gudlevskis step through it.
Ray Emery allowed 6 goals on 26 shots for the loss in his first full game of action in the preseason. The stat line is ugly, especially in the Third Period where he allowed 3 goals on 9 shots. My theory remains the same: I think the Lightning would be thrilled for Kristers Gudlevskis to take the backup job in October and November until Vasilevskiy returns, but they're not going to hand it to him. He has to win it from Emery and right now Emery opened the door to Kristers.
0:42 TB Namestnikov (1), (Nesterov, Drouin)(PP)
4:17 DAL Lindell (1), (Honka, Shore)(PP)
11:09 DAL Seguin (1), (Klingberg, Sharp)
13:24 TB Drouin (1), (Blujus, Marchessault)(PP)
18:21 DAL Sharp (1), (Seguin, Smith)
2:01 TB Koekkoek (1), (Gourde, McGinn)
4:59 DAL Ully (1), (Smith, Goligoski)
6:47 DAL Seguin (2), (Ranford, Johns)
7:18 DAL Ranford (1), (Shore, Lindell)
The result tonight wasn't terribly surprising. This was another case of Dallas playing most of their NHLers against a depleted Lightning lineup that was sitting out its top two lines and best defensemen. Still, it's disappointing to have a game tied 3-3 early in the Third Period and then surrender 3 goals in less that 2 and a half minutes to spoil it. You'll no doubt see cuts en masse now as Syracuse Crunch camp is about to start overseas.
Matt Taormina was -1 with 2 blocked shots in 21:34. He'll likely be packing for Crunch camp now. I don't anticipate a lot of danger that he'll be plucked off waivers.
Slater Koekkoek had a goal and was -1 with 2 shots in 18:37. He's played well. I wouldn't be shocked to see him get an extended look, but I'd guess the nature of Syracuse's overseas camp probably makes it harder to keep him with Tampa Bay.
Brayden Point was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 15:19. He was also 23% on 13 draws. He's just a puppy, age-wise, and I'd expect the Lightning to pull the trigger here soon to send him back for his final season of junior hockey.
Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 13:55. He was also 36% on 11 draws. Suspect he'll have some family and friends make the trip over from Switzerland to watch him during Crunch camp.
Jonathan Marchessault had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:30. Maybe a slight chance he'll get plucked off of waivers if the Lightning do indeed choose to make the move right now.
Philippe Paradis was -1 with 5 hits in 11:41. Crunch camp, no doubt.
Luke Witkowski was -1 with 3 blocked shots in 17:16. I believe he's waiver eligible, too, but suspect he'll make it through.
Henri Ikonen was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 13:54. Another likely Crunch camper.
Yanni Gourde had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 16:09. Another likely Crunch camper.
Dylan Blujus had a helper and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 20:21. Third on the team in ice time tonight. I've been pretty pleased how he and Dotchin have played along side the more obvious suspects like Koekkoek and DeAngelo. He's another likely Crunch camper, but the Lightning should feel a lot better about their future at that position than they did at this time even a year ago.
Nikita Nesterov had a helper and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 21:19. Just 1 shot on goal? Does Nikki have a cold?
Strong 55 minutes of hockey marred by late game collapse.
Ray Emery stopped all 10 shots he faced before giving way to Adam Wilcox midway through regulation. Wilcox played well for 25 minutes before eventually allowing 3 goals for the OT loss. He stopped 14 of 17 overall on the night. Emery's performance lays down a strong initial claim to the role of Bishop's backup heading into the regular season with Vasilevskiy shelved the first couple of months of the campaign.
2:58 TB Condra (1), (Angelidis, DeAngelo)
1:01 TB Drouin (1), (Killorn, Hedman)
15:18 NSH Bass (1), (Bourque, Jones)
17:28 NSH Arvidsson (1), (Fiala)
3:50 NSH Ekholm (1), (Forsberg, Ellis)(PP)
Brayden Point was the game's second star.
Unfortunately, the last 9 minutes or so of hockey kind of overshadowed 55 minutes of hockey where the Lightning accomplished most of what they set out to do tonight. They got good performances from the backup goaltenders. They got Drouin on track early in preseason. They got some good performances from the young players, especially the young defensemen. I think the staff will be happy with the night, on balance, but you want to finish it off and get the result, of course.
Anthony DeAngelo had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 21:03. They let their young thoroughbreds out for a good long run tonight.
Mike Angelidis had a helper and was +1 with 1 hit and 3 blocked shots in 11:37. He was also 67% on draws. Productive in his ice time, but that IT was limited because the Lightning know what they have there and the role he's going to be put into. Not a lot of mystery with Angelidis.
Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 hit and 5 blocked shots in 18:17.
Point was -1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 16:03. He was also a very nice 71% on draws. The guy has just gotten universal praise by everyone who has seen him in the last half a year or so.
Joel Vermin had 1 blocked shot in 13:55.
Henri Ikonen had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 11:35.
Mitchell Stephens was -1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 14:11. It says a lot that they gave him a touch more IT than some of the more established prospects who were in Syracuse last season. They obviously have high hopes for Stephens.
Dylan Blujus had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 19:30. Also hit a crossbar. Nice, well-rounded stat line. Good to see, with a nice chunk of minutes.
Adam Erne was -1 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 14:40. Activity is good. Syracuse fans should be excited to get DeAngelo and Erne into the program this season.