Syracuse's home opener takes on a distinctly Russian (and Belarusian) flavor.
Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 18 shots for the victory. Life is good when your team gives you 5 goals of support and only allows a paltry 8 shots the first 40 minutes of the game.
SYR Brown, (1) (Nesterov, Namestnikov), 4:31 (PP)
SYR Sergeev, (1) (Connolly), 6:18 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (1) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 16:48 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (2) (Nesterov, Taormina), 0:24 (PP)
RCH Tardif, (1) (Varone, McNabb), 5:30 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (3) (Nesterov, Brown), 12:56
Nikita Nesterov, J.T. Brown, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars. Bold choice by the Syracuse media not giving a nod to Nikita Kucherov, who introduced himself to the home fans with a hat trick.
For their part, the Russian/Belarussian trio of Nesterov, Sergeev, and Korobov (AKA the mythical 70's R&B cover band known as Eastern European Soul) got huge marks in the game. Nesterov had assists in triplicate and was +1 while Artem Sergeev scored his first professional goal, and Dmitry Korobov got himself involved in one of the big physical dust ups late in the game and earned the third star selection. That's a heck of a positive sign for the Crunch as these guys need to step up this year for Syracuse to continue the momentum they had last season as an elite level AHL club.
Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett got 16 penalty minutes in the game, including a roughing call, diving call, and unsportsmanlike call (all minors) in three separate incidents in the Second Period that he chased down with a 10 Misconduct and a Game Misconduct late in the Third Period. You don't often see an unglued mess like that between the pipes. Treasure the memory, Crunch fans.
Syracuse gets Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow at home.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Ten questions for this year's Lightning prospect season...
Syracuse finishes the preseason up.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the loss, but was also named the game's third star in defeat.
Syracuse will get an influx of 8 players from Tampa Bay, including veteran Dana Tyrell and ex-first rounder Brett Connolly. They'll have a week of practice before opening their season Saturday in Binghamton against the Senators.
Game recap from Stjohnsicecaps.com.
Apologies for the delayed observations but personal circumstances have necessitated a combined summary of impressions from several days I attended.
The bulk of the following observations stem from last Wednesday's 3-on-3 tournament action (I was unable to make it Tuesday) although some does come from the on-ice sessions last Sunday and Monday. Here are some thoughts on a limited number of camp participants, from those I went out of my way to watch and those my eyes kept being drawn to:
KHL Playoffs (Russia):
Gagarin Cup Finals:
Dynamo Moscow 3 vs. Chelyabinsk 4
Dynamo Moscow Leads the Series 3-2
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals: 18 GP, 0-4-4, -3, 6 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 35 GP, 0-1-1, +6, 14 PIM
Regular season totals (MHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Ex-NHLer Andrei Kostitsyn's goal with 4:58 left in regulation lifted Traktor Chelyabinsk to a 4-3, Game Five win over Dynamo Moscow. The series is extended to Game Six. Lightning prospect Nikita Nesterov again showed his flexibility by playing some forward. He played 11:21 in the match, going 17% on 7 draws and assisting on a First Period, even strength goal. Ex-Lightning draft pick Marek Kvapil continued his strong Finals by posting 1 goal and 1 assist in defeat for Dynamo. Despite previous indications he might leave Traktor to join Team Russia for the upcoming U18 World Junior Championships, potential top-10 pick Valery Nichushkin did suit up and was scoreless in 16:45 in the game. Game Six is Wednesday.