Stephens, Mitchell

AHL Game Night: 2-11-18 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Third Period excellence allows Syracuse to pull out a winning weekend.

SYR-3
BRI-2

Eddie Pasquale allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the win.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
12:21 BRI St. Denis (11), (unassisted)(PP)
14:55 SYR Masin (7), (Stephens)
16:52 BRI Dal Colle (6), (Bernier, Burroughs)(PP)

Third Period
3:02 SYR Stephens (17), (Volkov, McNeill)
8:01 SYR Yan (9), (Cernak, Masin)

Dominik Masin, Mitchell Stephens, and Dennis Yan were the game's three stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Stephens Shining on Crunch's Scoring Lines


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx, Mitchell Stephens may have been on the fourth line, but he wasn't a fourth-liner.

With a glut of healthy forwards and Tampa Bay not calling for reinforcements early this season, Groulx had the rookie center the team's fourth line. Once the inevitable injuries happened, Stephens earned more time on the Crunch's scoring lines.

With a point in 12 of the last 15 games, Stephens has become one of Syracuse's most consistent contributors offensively.

"I remember sitting down with him at one point and telling him that we had no injuries, no call-ups, and it's not because he was playing on the fourth line that we saw him as a fourth liner. ... We had four healthy lines and those lines were made in order to have the team balance," Groulx said. "We didn't see him as a defensive player. I think he needed those 10 games to get more confident and feel the water a little bit to see what it's like to play in this league. Then he started scoring and putting up points. He hasn't stopped since then."

AHL Game Night: 1-24-18 Crunch at Rocket

Stephens continues to scorch the AHL.

SYR-3
LAV-2

Connor Ingram allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory.

First Period
19:14 LAV Scherbak (7), (Taormina, Cracknell)(PP)

Second Period
7:03 SYR Yan (7), (Stephens)
16:25 SYR Cirelli (7), (Joseph, Stephens)(PP)

Third Period
2:47 SYR Stephens (15), (Joseph, Bodie)(PP)
18:50 LAV Audette (9), (unassisted)

Mathieu Joseph and Mitchell Stephens were the game's first and second stars. Since New Year's Eve, Stephens has 9 goals and 14 points in 11 games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-19-18 Marlies at Crunch

Erne-less Crunch drop key game against division-leading Marlies.

TOR-4
SYR-1

Connor Ingram allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss.

First Period
2:25 TOR Moore (6), (Mueller, Rychel)(PP)

Second Period
4:30 TOR Smith (18), (Kapanen, Liljegren)(PP)
10:08 SYR Stephens (14), (Cirelli, Yan)(PP)
15:54 TOR Greening (9), (Marchment, Moore)

Third Period
16:41 TOR Johnsson (16), (Moore)(PP)(EN)

Mitchell Stephens was the game's second star after scoring his team-leading 14th goal of his rookie pro campaign.

Syracuse got Anthony Cirelli and Dennis Yan back in the lineup, but with Adam Erne still nicked up the Syracuse attack continued to sputter tonight against the division leaders from Toronto.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-17-18 Crunch at Senators

Crunch winning streak snapped in goaltending duel.

SYR-1
BNG-2 (OT)

Connor Ingram re-entered the nets for the Crunch after Louis Domingue's return to Tampa Bay and stopped 23 of 25 shots for the OT loss. That snapped a personal six game winning streak for Ingram.

First Period
3:22 SYR Stephens (13), (Joseph, Bodie)(PP)

Second Period[b]
18:55 BEL O'Brien (10), (McCormick, Chlapik)

[b]Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
2:13 BEL McCormick (6), (O'Brien, Burgdoerfer)

The Crunch offense may have been a little off kilter tonight with Adam Erne, Anthony Cirelli, and Dennis Yan all nicked up with injuries and out of the lineup. The club did get Mitchell Stephens' 13th goal of the season, Stephens has quickly and quietly ascended to the top of Syracuse's goalscoring list on the back of seven goals in his last eight games. His roughly three week rampage surely makes him yet another prime recall option for the Lightning's vacant roster spot, whenever they should choose to fill it.

With the point tonight, the Crunch are within three points of Rochester for second in the North Division with a game in hand on the Americans and five points back of first place Toronto with the Marlies holding a game in hand. The team's 9-1-0 run in their last ten games has put them within whisper's distance of catching the division's lead pack, which seemed nearly impossible just a couple of months ago when the team was languishing around last place.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-13-18 Americans at Crunch

Dominguenator helps Crunch run winning streak to eight.

RCH-0
SYR-4

Louis Domingue stopped all 27 shots he faced for the shutout win. That's how you work a conditioning start with style and flair.

First Period
7:20 SYR Joseph (8), (Stephens)(PP)

Second Period
2:11 SYR Erne (12), (Joseph, Peca)
14:21 SYR Stephens (11), (Joseph, Domingue)
14:59 SYR Volkov (11), (Verhaeghe, Stephens)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Domingue, Mathieu Joseph, and Mitchell Stephens were the game's three stars. With news of J.T. Brown's impending assignment to Syracuse, there's a forward spot open in Tampa and darned near every single guy you'd hope to step up and throw their resume across Yzerman's desk found the scoresheet tonight.

Tonight's big win moves Syracuse to within spitting distance of the Americans for the second spot in the North Division. They're now 4 points behind Rochester and seven points back of first place Toronto with a game in hand on each club.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 1-7-18 Crunch at Bruins

Comeback Crunch sweep the weekend.

SYR-4
PRO-3

Connor Ingram allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the victory.

First Period
0:17 SYR Bournival (10), (Erne, Thomas)
12:51 PRO Beleskey (3), (Cave, Cross)
14:31 SYR Peca (8), (Joseph, Walcott)

Second Period
4:36 PRO Cehlarik (5), (Karlsson, Cross)
12:50 PRO Bjork (2), (O'Gara, Karlsson)(PP)

Third Period
3:48 SYR Stephens (10), (Verhaeghe)
7:26 SYR Erne (10), (Lynch)

Adam Erne and Matthew Peca were the game's first and third stars. Both Erne and fellow winger Mitchell Stephens potted their 10th goals of the season. Stephens has 4 goals in the past 3 games and appears to be yet another forward throwing their resume on Steve Yzerman's desk for a second half cup of coffee with Tampa Bay.

With the win, at this hour, the Crunch have clearly separated from the pack behind them and sit on an island in third place in the North Divison 6 points up on Laval and 8 points up on Utica. They sit a full 7 points behind second place Rochester and 9 back of first place Toronto, although they hold a game in hand on the Americans and two games in hand on the Marlies.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-6-18 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Crunch hang on for tough road win.

SYR-3
HFD-2

Connor Ingram allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory including stopping all 16 shots he faced in the critical final frame including a penalty shot. With Domingue up with the big club, the Ingram era in Syracuse has started off well so far.

First Period
6:04 SYR Yan (6), (Peca, Walcott)

Second Period
2:49 HFD Whitney (8), (Kosmachuk, Gilmour)(PP)
4:20 HFD Gropp (8), (Tambellini)
16:11 SYR Condra (5), (Bodie, Lynch)
17:39 SYR Stephens (9), (Cernak, Volkov)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Mitchell Stephens and Ingram were the game's first and second stars. Don't look now, but Stephens has the sneakiest 9 goals of any rookie in the league, including 3 in his last couple of games.

We've said it before: all Dennis Yan does is score.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-9-17 Crunch at Senators

New Crunchning Death Star vaporizes Sens to run streak to nine.

SYR-6
BEL-0

Connor Ingram stopped all 18 shots he faced for the shutout victory, his first shutout as a pro.

First Period
9:01 SYR Volkov (5), (Lynch, Thomas)
14:37 SYR Stephens (4), (Volkov, Verhaeghe)

Second Period
7:35 SYR McBain (4), (Volkov, Peca)(PP)
15:05 SYR Stephens (5), (Masin)(SH)

Third Period
10:37 SYR Cirelli (6), (Erne, Joseph)(PP)
16:09 SYR Volkov (6), (Peca, Masin)

Alexander Volkov, Mitchell Stephens, and Ingram were the game's three stars.

Tonight you started to see the quality of the depth the Crunch have, prospect-wise, start to show. This isn't a team that has top scoring line NHL caliber skill on it, but everywhere you look there's a really high energy player who is a strong 200 foot player and plays a strong possession game. Cirelli and Joseph, in particular, had their way in the previous two games. Tonight was Volkov and Stephens' turn.

I'll also throw some love Dominik Masin's way tonight, as he had two assists and has been really good since joining the Crunch after some injuries nagged him in camp. He's formed a very solid pair with rookie Erik Cernak, and the mind wanders to thoughts of whether that may be a pair in the NHL in a couple of years time.

Syracuse is now 4 games over .500 and sits just 3 points back of Rochester for second in the North Division after the Americans dropped their game a shootout tonight.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-14-17 Comets at Crunch

Crunch drop another tightly fought battle.

UTI-3
SYR-2

Michael Leighton allowed 3 goals on 19 shots as the Comets overcame a 26-19 shot disparity to pull out the win.

First Period
7:57 UTI Goldobin (3), (Boucher, Holm)
19:14 SYR Conacher (2), (Bodie, Cirelli)

Second Period
12:41 UTI Holm (1), (Bancks, Goldobin)(PP)

Third Period
3:22 SYR Cernak (1), (Stephens, Walcott)
6:38 UTI Chaput (1), (McEneny, Holm)(PP)

Mitchell Stephens was the game's second star. He assisted on Erik Cernak's first professional goal in the defeat.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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