Syracuse beats the odds with a remarkable third period comeback.
Riku Helenius allowed 3 goals on 27 shots to get the victory.
CT Thomas, (5) (Haley, Miller), 18:49
CT Parlett, (1) (Segal), 13:53
CT Hrivik, (2) (Newbury, Kolarik), 3:03 (PP)
SYR Johnson, (14) , 6:37
SYR Panik, (10) (Devos), 12:45
SYR Panik, (11) , 13:20
SYR Barberio, (4) (Conacher), 4:13
Mark Barberio and Richard Panik (pictured) were the game's first and second stars. The Panik attack's two goals continued his scoring streak, which now stands at a dozen games. His 11 goals now break him into the top-10 in the AHL in goal scoring. Look out. Before the season Panik would've been a longshot to make the Lightning's NHL roster. He's now worked himself toward the head of the line among the young players in Syracuse for whenever the lockout finally ends, and his versatility and high ceiling will be tantalizing for Steve Yzerman and Guy Boucher when they consider how to fill out the team.
Well over 90% of the time in professional hockey, when a team builds a 3-goal lead in the third period, it's over. On the rare ocassion that a team manages to overcome that deficit, it can be a huge team-building moment for the winning team, and a crippling emotional blow for the loser. And, the effects of the game can linger for a week or two. So, for the Crunch, mark the calendar. Tonight was a big moment in 2012-2013 season.
For the moment, the team sits in first place in the Eastern Conference. They'll conclude the weekend in Binghamton tomorrow against the Senators' outstanding goaltending corps.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
When Syracuse Crunch coach Jon Cooper looked at his defense at the beginning of the season, he saw seven players and a question mark.
Dmitry Korobov, set to play his first season in North America, was up against more than smaller ice surfaces and more physical play. The Belarusian had to deal with a language barrier, and due to the ongoing lockout, NHL-level competition – not only from the opposition, but to crack the Crunch lineup.
“We didn’t know what Dmitry was, and when we’re fully healthy with the eight guys, I don’t know if you can sit here and say who’s one through eight,” Cooper said. “We have a bunch of ones in their own way.”
Crunch comeback from a flat opening 40 falls short.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 36 shots for the loss.
WBS Smith, (6) (Reese), 3:09
SYR Panik, (9) (Gudas), 18:58
WBS Bennett, (5) (Holzapfel, Peters), 8:49
WBS Dumoulin, (1) (Holzapfel, Dupuis), 17:53 (PP)
WBS Holzapfel, (5) (Bennett), 9:24 (PP)
SYR Connolly, (7) (Devos, Korobov), 10:45
SYR Devos, (2) (Barberio, Brown), 17:23 (PP)
WBS Smith, (7) (Zatkoff), 19:53 (EN)
Syracuse was outshot 30-12 through two periods before winning the shot battle in the final frame, 14-7. Flat as a pancake? I'd say so. That's got to be one of the bigger challenges for Coach Cooper. This is a deep, talented team that has already climbed the mountain. They're going to have games like this where they think they can just roll their helmets out on the ice and win, and that doesn't happen at any level of professional hockey.
Richard Panik completed his masterpiece of a November with a goal. He had a point in all 11 games in the month, finishing with 8 goals and 15 points in that span. For a guy whose biggest knock has been inconsistency, this is a huge statement, and he's even managed to raise his season totals to a point a game with 9 goals and 18 points in 18 games, despite a slow October. I'll re-ask the question: by definition is he not the AHL Player of the Month? As of this posting, the Panik attack is tied for 13th in the league in scoring with the likes of first rounders like Nino Niedereiter and Zach Boychuk. Can he extend it deep into December?
Dmitry Korobov slid into the league lead at +14, going +2 in a game where most of his teammates pulled minuses. There's a lot to like about big #44.
Syracuse will face Connecticut tomorrow, hopefully having learned their lesson that they need to be prepared to go at the drop of the puck. Don't give the opposition a two period head start.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
This week we continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
This week’s winner, as we say on Twitter, “is good at the hockey.”
The Prospect of the Week for November 26 is … Tyler Johnson, center, Syracuse (AHL – USA)
Tyler Johnson doesn’t get the most attention on the Syracuse roster, that title may go to everything-award winner Cory Conacher, top AHL defenseman Mark Barberio, or even everything-championship winner Dustin Tokarski. Such is the “first world problem” Tyler Johnson and his fans must endure with the near embarrassment of riches on the Lightning farm right now.
The Sharks get bit by one of Syracuse's star rookies.
Dustin Tokarski allowed one goal on 26 shots for the victory.
SYR Brown, (2) (Connolly, Cote), 2:14
SYR Brown, (3) (Nightingale, Devos), 5:55
SYR Johnson, (12) (Panik), 6:16
WOR Kearns, (7) (Pelech, Kennedy), 16:37
SYR Johnson, (13) (Killorn, Taormina), 13:33 (PP)
SYR Korobov, (2) (Connolly, Brown), 14:05 (PP)
SYR Brown, (4) (Connolly, Devos), 17:31
J.T. Brown (pictured), Tyler Johnson, and Brett Connolly were the game's three stars. This was inevitable. J.T. Brown has too many gifts to not have an outburst like this from time to time, especially when he's playing with guys like Connolly who are just as talented and creative.
Lost in the jet fuel fumes of Brown's game is the fact Tyler Johnson just pulled into the league lead in goals with 13 in 17 games. TJ could hit 60 goals this year. He's got one of the best shots in the league, amazing wheels, and a talented supporting cast around him. Conacher got all the awards last year, but we may well see Johnson carrying the bulk of the hardware in 2012-2013.
The Panik attack hit 10 games today with an assist on one of Johnson's goals. There's one more game left on the schedule for Syracuse in November, and here's an interesting philosophical question for the league to ponder. If a player gets a point in every single game in a month, should not said player be the Player of the Month? Am I wrong? Right now, Richard Panik has 7 goals and 13 points in 10 November contests.
Dmitry Korobov scoring his second goal of the season gives me an opportunity to dote on the young KHL transplant. At +12 he's tied for third in the AHL in +/-, and 2 goals and 5 points in his first 14 games in North America is nothing to sneeze at. The big Belarussian is going to get better as he continues to settle in, and he's already pretty darned good.
Syracuse sits in first in the Eastern Conference, and has another 3 games in 3 nights weekend starting on Friday against the Penguins.
Box score from TheAHL.com.