Syracuse Crunch

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

Crunch squash Hamilton.

HAM-1
SYR-5

Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 20 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Palat, (3) (Barberio, Johnson), 0:26
SYR Connolly, (8) (Killorn, Johnson), 7:08 (PP)
SYR Taormina, (3) (Conacher, Brown), 13:42 (PP)
HAM Palushaj, (7) (Beaulieu, Leblanc), 19:42

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Killorn, (4) (Palat, Barberio), 6:28
SYR Labrie, (4) (Connolly, Korobov), 11:08

Brett Connolly, Ondrej Palat, and Alex Killorn were the three stars of the game.

Don't look now, but Palat has snuck past teammate Dmitri Korobov into the top spot in the league in +/- at +17. Tyler Johnson, who still leads the league in goal scoring, is lingering in a tie for third in the league at +14.Richard Panik and Radko Gudas are also in the top-20 in the league in the statistic.

Syracuse gave some rough treatment to former Lightning farmhand Cedrick Desjardins, running up a 42-20 shot advantage en route to pinning 5 goals on him. When you score 26 seconds into a game and swarm to a 3-0 lead within the first 14 minutes, it's safe to say you were ready to go at puck drop.

Keith Aulie (pictured) was back in the lineup for Syracuse for the first time since late October. The big d-man was +2 with 3 shots on goal.

Syracuse will move on to face Adirondack tomorrow night.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-2-12 Crunch at Senators

Crunch end tough weekend. Ben Bishop ends the Panik attack.

SYR-2
BNG-5

Dustin Tokarski allowed five goals on 38 shots for the loss.

First Period
BNG Da Costa, (1) (Prince), 10:23
SYR Johnson, (15) (Palat), 15:06 (SH)

Second Period
BNG Da Costa, (2) (Schneider), 3:35
BNG Silfverberg, (5) (Cannone, Borowiecki), 8:44
SYR Gauthier, (2) (Taormina), 18:19

Third Period
BNG Wiercioch, (5) (Prince, Da Costa), 11:27
BNG Da Costa, (3) (Prince, Benoit), 12:04

Richard Panik had his scoring streak snapped at a dozen games. Time to start a new one.

Syracuse was outshot 19-3 in the final frame, which might be indicative of fatigue setting in with the team playing 3 in 3 nights for the 3rd straight weekend. They'll do it again starting Friday, too, which I find interesting considering the complaint made about the Norfolk affiliation was regarding long, fatiguing road trips costing practice time. How about long, fatiguing weekends and constantly playing 3 in 3 night sets? The good news is that there are only 3 more of those sets after this coming weekend, and the next one is in February, so things will at least begin to settle down into more 3 in 4 night scenarios.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-1-12 Crunch at Whale

Syracuse beats the odds with a remarkable third period comeback.

SYR-4
CT-3 (OT)

Riku Helenius allowed 3 goals on 27 shots to get the victory.

First Period
CT Thomas, (5) (Haley, Miller), 18:49

Second Period
CT Parlett, (1) (Segal), 13:53

Third Period
CT Hrivik, (2) (Newbury, Kolarik), 3:03 (PP)
SYR Johnson, (14) , 6:37
SYR Panik, (10) (Devos), 12:45
SYR Panik, (11) , 13:20

Overtime
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.

Korobov a Pleasant Surprise for Cooper, Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

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.”

AHL Game Night: 11-30-12 Crunch at Penguins

Crunch comeback from a flat opening 40 falls short.

SYR-3
WBS-5

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 36 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Smith, (6) (Reese), 3:09
SYR Panik, (9) (Gudas), 18:58

Second Period
WBS Bennett, (5) (Holzapfel, Peters), 8:49
WBS Dumoulin, (1) (Holzapfel, Dupuis), 17:53 (PP)

Third Period
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.

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