AHL Game Night: 4-15-17 Comets at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star wins North Division crown on final night of regular season.

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Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the victory.

First Period
5:24 SYR Ikonen (6), (Racine, Froese)
5:34 SYR Howden (3), (Vermin, Brodeur)

Second Period
3:31 SYR Kurtz (5), (Ikonen, Richard)
4:07 UTI Goldobin (18), (Robak)
10:04 SYR Vermin (13), (Froese, Blujus)(PP)
18:46 UTI Goldobin (19), (Virtanen, Sautner)

Third Period
17:28 SYR Erne (14), (Froese, Richard)(EN)

Gudlevskis, Henri Ikonen, and Joel Vermin were the game's three stars. Scary thing is, this wasn't the full Crunchning Death Star lineup with Gourde and Conacher out, and they still rolled a Utica club that was desperate to make it into the postseason.

Things get interesting now. I don't entirely know what to make of this team because it's a brand new, incredibly deep roster, that's only been together the final 4 or so games of the regular season. The North Division was obviously the weak stepsister of the Eastern Conference, so on the face of it the division title isn't super-impressive when you hold the Crunch up against clubs like Pens, Phantoms, Bears, and Bruins. BUT, the Crunch team that played the bulk of those games was often playing defensemen at forward or short of players because of injuries up top. The Crunchning Death Star absolutely has the depth and quality to compete with those teams, but they'll need to develop chemistry on the fly in the postseason in order to do so.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

ECHL Playoff Game Night: 4-14-17

Kalamazoo Wings 3 at Toledo 4
Toledo leads series 1-0

F Brian Hart, KAL, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMS, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMS, 3 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 33 GP, 6-5-11, -7, 6 PIMs, 71 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs, 50 SOG

F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIMS, 3 SOG, *THIRD STAR*
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIMS, 3 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 20 GP, 5-20-25, +11, 10 PIMs, 51 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs, 40 SOG

Other Notables
G Nic Riopel, KAL, L, 59:30 MINS, 18/22
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-1-0-0, 4.03 GAA, 0.818 SV%
Season Totals (ECHL): 32 GP, 18-12-0-1, 3.13 GAA, 0.899 SV%, 1 SO

The K-Wings comeback bid fell short Friday night in their opening game of the Kelly Cup playoffs against the Brabham Cup winning Toledo Walleye. Kalamazoo opened the scoring less than 4 minutes in with early pressure, but the Walleye pushed back and scored the next 4 goals on K-Wings netminder Nic Riopel. Just past the midpoint of the 2nd period, the momentum shifted as the K-Wings mounted a push of their own. Bolt Prospect forward Cam Darcy got the next goal less than 6 minutes left in the 2nd to cut the deficit to 4-2 when he tapped in the rebound of a Kyle Bushbee point shot. Kalamazoo kept the pressure on in the 3rd, holding Toledo to just 3 shots and closing the gap to a single goal. Darcy burst into the zone and dropped a pass to a trailing Charlie Vasaturo who fired a shot past Walleye goalie Jake Peterson. The K-Wings amassed a 22-10 shot differential in the 2nd and 3rd periods, but could never get the equalizer. Darcy was named 3rd Star in a playoff road loss, signaling the kind of effort he displayed. These two teams square off for Game #2 Saturday night, again at the Huntington Center in Toledo, before heading back to Kalamazoo for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-14-17

Ontario Hockey League

Owen Sound Attack 4 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3
Western Conference Semifinals
Owen Sound leads best-of-7 series, 3-2

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 5 SOG, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 10 GP, 8-5-13, +6, 12 PIM
Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

Owen Sound won their third in a row in the series, taking a pivotal Game 5 on the road, 4-3. Katchouk extended his playoff scoring streak to 10 games when he scored his eighth goal. The Soo was down 3-0 after the first period before cutting the lead to 3-2 on Katchouk’s goal in the first minute of the third period. The Attack went back up by 2 with 2:26 remaining. The Hounds got within one with a minute and a half left in regulation, but couldn’t get it tied. Owen Sound can close out the series at home Sunday.

Groulx Likes Result But Not Effort in Crunch's Win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx liked the result, but not the effort.

The Crunch picked up a 4-1 win over the Binghamton Senators at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday, but Groulx believed they could have played better.

Syracuse remains one point behind Toronto for first place in the North Division with one game remaining in the regular season.

“Very average,” Groulx said of his team’s performance. “I thought we were a one effort hockey club tonight.”

“We’ve got to be a second effort hockey club in the three zones,” Groulx added. “That was not the case tonight.”

AHL Game Night: 4-14-17 Senators at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star destroys Bingo.

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SYR-4

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory.

First Period
19:08 SYR Bournival (9), (Peca, Thomas)

Second Period
9:26 SYR Condra (15), (Conacher, Taormina)(PP)
11:09 SYR Peca (12), (Taormina, Condra)(PP)
13:01 BNG Gagne (2), (McCormick, Flanagan)(PP)

Third Period
18:17 SYR Howden (2), (McGinn, Vermin)(EN)

Matthew Peca, Erik Condra, and Slater Koekkoek were the game's three stars.

With 1 game to go on each team's schedule, Syracuse remains 1 point back of Toronto for the North Division crown. Toronto holds the ROW tiebreaker, so Toronto will have to lose their final contest in regulation for the Crunch to pull out the title. Syracuse closes out tomorrow night at home against Utica. Toronto is in St. John's to play the IceCaps tomorrow night. Interesting to note the IceCaps and Comets are both battling for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 4-14-17

KHL Gagarin Cup Final
St. Petersburg 3 vs. Magnitogorsk 2
St. Petersburg Leads the Series 3-1
Nikita Gusev, 0-3-3, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff totals: 17 GP, 6-15-21, +2, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM

Nikita Gusev assisted on all three of SKA's goals in a 3-2 come from behind Game Four triumph over Metallurg Magnitogorsk. One of Gusev's helpers came on the power play, and he played 15:20 in the match. Ex-Lightning pick Vasily Koshechkin was again valiant in defeat stopping 47 of 50 shots in the loss as his club was outpaced on the shot board 50-24. SKA now sits on the precipice of winning the Gagarin Cup and will have their first crack at clinching the title on Sunday.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-13-17

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 6 @ Kingston Frontenacs 2
Eastern Conference Semifinals
Peterborough wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 10/17 FO
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 3-3-6, +7, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, +3, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 1-6-7, +16, 6 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-22-29, +9, 58 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

The Petes improved to 8-0 in the playoffs, sweeping the Fronts out of the postseason in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Paquette scored his third goal of the playoffs and Matt Spencer was plus-3, raising his league-leading rating to plus-16. Peterborough goalie Dylan Wells (Oilers) scored the sixth Petes goal, into an empty-net. Then he did the bench drive-by like a forward. You know things are going well for the Petes when that happens. The Petes will face the winner of Mississauga and Oshawa. The second-seeded Steelheads lead 3-1 after winning in overtime Thursday in Game 4.

Erie Otters 2 @ London Knights 4
Western Conference Semifinals
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 7/12 FO
Playoff Totals: 11 GP, 4-1-5, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 22-32-54, +19, 26 PIM

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 1-4-5, +6, 2 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 8/22 FO
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 6-3-9, +5, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 4-10-14, +5, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie had a 2-0 lead entering the third period, looking to go up 3-1 in the series heading back to the States, but London scored four times in the third period to even things up, 2-2. Cirelli scored on the power play for Erie, giving them a 2-0 lead late in the first period. Stephens assisted on the game-tying goal midway through the third period. He played more center than usual in Game 4; he’s been on the wing much of the last two months. Taylor Raddysh was on the ice for all four London goals. Game 5 is Saturday in Erie.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-12-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 7 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 1
QMJHL Playoffs, Round 2
Saint John wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 3-4-7, +10, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-1-1, E, 4 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 7-8-15, +9, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Saint John improved to 8-0 in the post-season with a 7-1 shellacking of Val-d’Or in Game 4 Wednesday, eliminating the Foreurs from the playoffs. Etienne Montpetit was again first star for the Foreurs. The undrafted free agent goalie stopped 38 of 45 shots. That may have been a little hometown reward for an outstanding playoff for him. The Sea Dogs advance to the league semifinals where they will face the lowest remaining seed. The other three series are still going on.

AHL Game Night: 4-12-17 Crunch at Comets

"Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!"

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UTI-2

Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the victory. Sweet, sweet goal support. Let it wash all over you.

First Period
1:20 SYR Condra (14), (McGinn, Peca)
14:30 UTI Carcone (4), (Rendulic, Billins)

Second Period
8:31 SYR Taormina (15), (Gourde, Conacher)
16:33 UTI Cassels (6), (Hamilton, Pedan)

Third Period
2:03 SYR McGinn (10), (Peca, Howden)(PP)
6:22 SYR Bournival (8), (Vermin, Brodeur)
9:07 SYR Conacher (17), (Erne, Gourde)
15:36 SYR Erne (13), (Conacher)(EN)
18:25 SYR Dotchin (4), (Taormina, McKenna)(PP)

Tye McGinn, Cory Conacher, and Yanni Gourde were the game's three stars.

Syracuse scored 5 unanswered goals in the Third Period, keyed in part by the return to Syracuse of several players who finished the regular season with Tampa Bay. They contributed 4 goals and 6 assists, by my count, to Syracuse's winning effort tonight.

Syracuse pulls back to within 1 point of Toronto for the North Division title with both teams having just 2 regular season games left to go.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 4-12-17

KHL Gagarin Cup Final
St. Petersburg 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 1 (OT)
St. Petersburg Leads the Series 2-1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
Playoff totals: 16 GP, 6-12-18, +1, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM

Nikita Gusev had a secondary assist on Evgeny Dadonov's Double OT winning goal in SKA's 2-1 Game Three triumph over Magnitka. Ex-Lightning pick Denis Kazionov had Magnitogorsk's lone goal while fellow ex-Lightning pick Vasily Koshechkin was heroic in defeat, stopping 58 shots as his club was outshot an absolutely staggering 60-28 in the match.

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