Syracuse Crunch

AHL Game Night: 11-7-12 Crunch at Bulldogs

Finland representing.

SYR-3
HAM-0

Riku Helenius (pictured) stopped all 23 shots he faced to post his second career AHL shutout.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Korobov, (1) (Taormina), 6:01
SYR Wyman, (2) (Killorn, Gudas), 15:40

Third Period
SYR Panik, (3) (Palat), 18:14 (EN)

Helenius and Dmitry Korobov were the game's first and second stars, respectively. Korobov's goal was his first career AHL goal. It was originally awarded to forward J.T. Brown who was back in the lineup tonight after missing a couple of weeks of action. He was +2 with 3 shots on goal. Wait til the rust falls off.

Panik attack, y'all. Empty net style.

The real story is Helenius getting off the canvas, though, with his first AHL shutout since he was a rookie about four years ago. His season GAA and save percentage are still the dog's breakfast, but readers of this site last season know what Helenius did early in the season in the SM-liiga last year when he turned one shutout into bunches of shutouts. It's a good omen for the Crunch.

Syracuse wraps up the two game set against Hamilton on Friday in Montreal.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

JT Brown Anxious to Resume Pro Career

By Jeremy Houghtaling

JT Brown was just getting his feet wet in the National Hockey League.

In the final game of the 2011-12 regular season – his fifth game since the free agent collegian chose the Tampa Bay Lightning – the highly sought-after prospect registered an assist for his first professional point.

But more importantly, the short time in Tampa gave Brown a taste of the NHL lifestyle, the speed of the game, and the coaching systems.

AHL Game Night: 11-2-12 Crunch at Phantoms

Impressive thumping of a team with a lot of NHL talent on it.

SYR-4
ADK-1

Dustin Tokarski (pictured) picked up his 4th win of the season by stopping 23 of the 24 shots he faced. His numbers so far look like a carbon copy of last season's, right down to the .913 save percentage.

First Period
SYR Conacher, (6) , 10:03
ADK Zolnierczyk, (3) (Eddy, Couturier), 17:37

Second Period
SYR Panik, (2) , 5:41
SYR Johnson, (6) (Taormina, Cote), 7:16

Third Period
SYR Taormina, (1) , 19:22 (EN/SH)

Tokarski and Cory Conacher were the game's first and second stars.

Panik attack, y'all! Off the milk carton and onto the scoresheet.

This was a really odd game when you think that Syracuse actually got held down to 18 shots. As I said, there's a lot of NHL talent on Adirondack. On paper, they're one of the real threats in the conference, so to whip them 4-1 in their barn is good for the soul.

Syracuse is off until Wednesday when they'll start a 2 game set against Hamilton.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Killorn Concentrating on Consistency


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Alex Killorn certainly doesn’t seem like a rookie.

With nearly as many playoff games as regular season, the 6-foot-1, 201-pounder is quietly piling up points like a veteran.

Registering six points over his first seven games in his first full professional season with the Syracuse Crunch, Killorn is improving on the impressive pace he set during his first taste of pro hockey last spring.

“When he came in, the game slowed down for him right away, within a couple of games,” Crunch head coach Jon Cooper said. “You look at some of our other rookies…It took those guys a little bit more time."

Phantoms stun Crunch with 4-3 overtime win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The game turned quickly.

Having shut down eight previous Adirondack Phantom power plays, the Syracuse Crunch clung to a 3-2 lead with less than two minutes remaining.

Brayden Schenn capitalized on a 6-on-3 with 1:02 left in regulation with Cal Heeter pulled from the Phantoms' net to tie the game and Brandon Manning found the back of the net on a 5-on-3 14 seconds into overtime as Adirondack stunned Syracuse with a 4-3 win at the Onondaga County War Memorial Sunday afternoon.

AHL Game Day: 10-28-12 Phantoms at Crunch

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

ADK-4
SYR-3 (OT)

Riku Helenius allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the overtime loss. He's struggled in his past couple of starts and currently checks in with a horrific .824 save percentage. Ouch.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (3) (Conacher), 8:21 (PP)

Second Period
ADK McGinn, (2) (Syvret, Schenn), 1:07
ADK McGinn, (3) (Schenn, Mangene), 8:45
SYR Killorn, (1) (Palat), 13:31
SYR Killorn, (2) (Taormina), 14:01 (PP)

Third Period
ADK Schenn, (4) (Couturier, Gustafsson), 18:58 (PP)

Overtime
ADK Manning, (2) (Schenn, Couturier), 0:14 (PP)

Alex Killorn (pictured) was named the game's second star. I got a question on the message boards about Alex Killorn's quiet start. Two goals and six points in his first seven games is nothing to sneeze at. On the list of things that concern me about the start of this season, J.T. Brown getting nicked up and Richard Panik having his photograph on the side of a milk carton rate quite a bit higher.

Syracuse came within 1:02 if taking a win against an Adirondack team that, on paper, looks to be one of the better teams in the conference. I liked the start, with Brett Connolly cashing a check he wrote in his interview after yesterday's game, and I liked Killorn bringing the team back after surrendering the lead in the first half of the second period. But, they got back on their heels a bit in the third period and didn't quite get that one more big save they needed. Welcome to the lockout version of the AHL, boys. You're going to have to up your game when protecting a lead when 1/4 of Adirondack's roster was playing in Flyers jerseys last year.

The rematch goes down Friday night in Adirondack.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch fall to Penguins, 4-1


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It took all of 38 seconds for the Syracuse Crunch to find the back of the net Saturday, but it was all downhill from there.

Seeing Brett Connolly and Alex Killorn crashing the net, Cory Conacher threw the puck on goal. After banking off one of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins defenders' skates, it slid past goalie Jeff Zatkoff.

"That was one good bounce we had all game," Conacher said.

AHL Game Day: 10-27-12 Penguins at Crunch

The Lightning's AHL affiliate suffers its first regulation regular season loss since the day of the Super Bowl.

WBS-4
SYR-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for his first regulation loss of the year. Your serve, Riku.

First Period
SYR Conacher, (5) (Killorn, Connolly), 0:38
WBS Tangradi, (3) (Grant), 14:10

Second Period
WBS Holzapfel, (2) (Gibbons, Reese), 5:35
WBS Bennett, (1) (Smith, Ferriero), 7:57 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Tangradi, (4) , 18:06 (EN)

Cory Conacher was the game's second star.

Coincidentally, the Norfolk Admirals also lost their first game of the season tonight, finally snapping that franchise's regular season win streak. Quite the run for both these players in Syracuse and that franchise down in The Commonwealth.

Syracuse gets Adirondack tomorrow afternoon, presumably with the big Finn Helenius between the pipes.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Prospect of the Week: October 23, 2012

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 is no stranger to winning.

The Prospect of the Week for October 23 is … Dustin Tokarski, goaltender, Syracuse Crunch (AHL - USA)

Spoon!

Despite winning a Calder Cup last season, Lightning goaltending prospect Dustin “Tic” Tokarski wasn’t guaranteed anything when he moved with Tampa Bay’s affiliation from Norfolk to Syracuse. Even with a Calder Cup, World Juniors gold medal, Memorial Cup, Ed Chynoweth Cup (WHL), and Telus Cup (Canadian Midget-level hockey) on his resume, the Saskatchewan native had to outplay former Lightning first rounder and Finnish import Riku Helenius for the right to start the Crunch’s season-opening game.

Barberio Wants More Wins


By Jeremy Houghtaling

As far as Mark Barberio is concerned, this season started with a clean slate.

Four months ago the 22-year-old, in his second professional season, hoisted the Calder Cup with the Norfolk Admirals and was named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the American Hockey League's top defenseman – and he's the first to point out those accomplishments are in the past tense.

"It was one season, and I'm not going to sit on that season and say 'Yeah, I had a good year,'" Barberio said. "That's all great, but there's a new season now and it's time to get back at it and win hockey games again."

Last season, Barberio notched 61 points in 74 regular season games and followed with nine points in 18 playoff contests. Now the Syracuse Crunch power play quarterback, it took Barberio a little more than five minutes to find the back of the net in the season opener in Rochester.

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