AHL Game Night: 2-10-18 Rocket at Crunch

Archambault's individual play helps Crunch finish off Laval.

LAV-2
SYR-3

Eddie Pasquale allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the victory.

First Period
10:13 SYR Volkov (15), (Cirelli, McBain)(SH)
17:15 SYR Cirelli (10), (Joseph, McBain)

Second Period
9:57 LAV Broll (2), (Leblanc, Lernout)(PP)

Third Period
9:06 LAV Cracknell (19), (Parisi, Baun)
10:47 SYR Archambault (5), (unassisted)

Olivier Archambault and Pasquale were the game's first and second stars. Archambault's play beating a Rocket defender 1-on-1 off the rush allowed the Crunch to pull this one out of the fire after squandering an early 2-0 lead.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Answer Quickly in Win Over Rocket


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Less than two minutes after the Rocket evened the score, the Crunch responded.

Olivier Archambault scored a highlight reel goal and Syracuse held off Laval for the final 9:13, as the Crunch edged the Rocket, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. The win snaps Syracuse’s four-game skid.

“Great play by (Archambault). Second effort and a great goal,” Crunch head coach Groulx said. “It’s always huge when you bounce back and respond with a goal like that.”

Juniors Game Night: 2-9-18

Friday night results...

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 3 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 6

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 10/18 FO
Season Totals: 46 GP, 19-47-66, +33, 20 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi scored the Mooseheads’ first goal early in the 2nd period to knot the score at 1-1, but Ostap Safin (EDM, 2017 4th round pick) and Robbie Burt (undrafted) both scored twice and added an assist to pace the Sea Dogs to a big win at home over Halifax.

Ontario Hockey League

Flint Firebirds 3 @ Sudbury Wolves 6

W Alexey Lipanov, SBY: Did not play
Season Totals (SBY): 11 GP, 2-2-4, -9, 4 PIM
Season Totals (BAR): 35 GP, 11-19-30, +9, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 46 GP, 13-21-34, E, 14 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov didn’t dress for Sudbury’s big win against the Firebirds, as David Levin (2018 draft eligible) led the Wolves with a hat trick. Levin opened the scoring, and then scored back-to-back goals just a minute apart after Flint drew within one to blow the game open for Sudbury.

Western Hockey League

Kelowna Rockets 1 @ Victoria Royals 6

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-0-0, -1, 5 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 44 GP, 13-35-48, +19, 38 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Foote and Sharks 2016 4th rounder Noah Gregor tangled in the 3rd period with both getting a fighting major in garbage time with the Royals up 5-1. Gregor was traded at the CHL deadline from Moose Jaw. The Royals were paced by two goals from Matthew Phillips (CGY, 2016 6th round pick) and a goal and four points from Tyler Soy (ANA, 2016 7th round pick). Those were Phillips’ 40th and 41st goals of the season, and he’s Top 5 in the WHL in both goals and points.

Kootenay Ice 4 @ Regina Pats 2
D Libor Hajek, REG: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (REG): 11 GP, 2-3-5, -1, 2 PIM
Season Totals (SAS): 33 GP, 8-17-25, -10, 26 PIM
Season Totals: 43 GP, 11-20-30, -11, 28 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 65 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 81 PIM

The Ice scored three times in the 2nd period to put the tied 1-1 game out of reach of the Pats. Ducks 2016 1st rounder Sam Steel assisted on both Regina goals.

Lethbridge Hurricanes 0 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 2

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 9/17 FO
Season Totals: 30 GP, 18-28-46, +19, 30 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 52 GP, 7-14-21, +32, 52 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Brody Willms (undrafted) pitched a 20-save shutout as the Warriors got 1st period goals from Vince Loschiavo (undrafted) and Brayden Burke (undrafted).

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

Dubuque Fighting Saints 2 @ Omaha Lancers 3

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 33 GP, 1-15-16, +18, 14 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Omaha gets goals from three players as the Lancers clipped Dubuque at home.

Crunch's Rally Falls Short in Shootout Loss to Wolf Pack


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx believed his team deserved a better result.

The Crunch overcame a slow start and tied the score in the third after trailing by two, but the Hartford Wolf Pack prevailed in the shootout, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“The first period we weren’t doing many things right. I don’t think we had our legs and it seemed we were sluggish a little bit. Second, like I mentioned, you take two goals like that and it’s tough to recover right away. I thought we did that in the third,” Groulx said. “We had a very good third period, good overtime and we ended up losing in a shootout.”

AHL Game Night: 2-9-18 Wolf Pack at Crunch

Crunch comeback nets a point.

HFD-4
SYR-3 (SO)

Connor Ingram allowed 3 goals on 15 shots before being lifted for veteran Eddie Pasquale. Pasquale stopped all 6 shots he faced before allowing two of three to convert in the penalty shot session.

First Period
10:23 HFD Tambellini (10), (unassisted)

Second Period
1:04 SYR Volkov (14), (Archambault, Cirelli)
1:14 HFD Chytil (9), (Schneider)
7:03 HFD Gropp (10), (Chytil, Sproul)
19:43 SYR Stephens (17), (Verhaeghe, Joseph)(PP)

Third Period
8:00 SYR Joseph (9), (Verhaeghe, Thomas)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
HFD- Tambellini, Gropp
SYR- Verhaeghe

Carter Verhaeghe was the game's third star.

This was Pasquale's second appearance for Syracuse after making a brief 12 second appearance against Utica.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 2-8-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Chicoutimi Saguenéens 4 @ Halifax Mooseheads 3 (OT)

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 14/21 FO
Season Totals: 45 GP, 18-47-65, +34, 20 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Top ranked goaltending prospect Alexis Gravel (2018 draft eligible) allowed 4 Chicoutimi goals on just 17 shots as the Saguenéens mounted a 3rd period rally to overcome a 3-1 deficit at the 2nd intermission. Somppi assisted on Filip Zadina’s (2018 draft eligible) goal just 40 seconds into the 2nd period to give the Mooseheads the 3-1 lead, but Chicoutimi scored twice in the 3rd to force the extra session before Kevin Klima (undrafted) potted the overtime game-winner, his 27th of the season, for the Saguenéens just 22 seconds into the extra frame. Liam Stevens (undrafted) scored twice for Chicoutimi and Zachary Bouthillier (2018 draft eligible) turn aside 43 of 46 Halifax shots for the victory.

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 @ Niagara IceDogs 3

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-2-3, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *First Star*
Season Totals: 43 GP, 34-31-65, +39, 20 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 1/1 FO
Season Totals (SSM): 12 GP, 10-9-19, +9, 4 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 42 GP, 25-38-63, +19, 20 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Katchouk (pictured) scored on a 2nd period penalty shot and added two power play assists en route to earning First Star honors in the Greyhounds 7th straight win. OHL point and assist leader Morgan Frost (PHI, 2017 1st round pick) scored twice as the Soo built up a 4-0 lead early in the 3rd. Kirill Maksimov (EDM, 2017 5th round pick) had a goal and an assist in Niagara’s 3rd period three-goal rally that fell short. Katchouk eclipsed his point and assist totals from last season in 23 fewer games. Frost and Katchouk are #1 and #2 in the OHL in plus-minus.

Owen Sound Attack 6 @ Peterborough Petes 5

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-1-1, -4, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 17/25 FO
Season Totals: 47 G, 14-8-22, -30, 14 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Paquette assisted on a 2nd period Nick Robertson (2020 draft eligible) goal to give the Petes a 4-2 lead as the 2nd intermission. Win a period, win a hockey game, right? But like so many other times this season, Peteborough gave up 4 straight 3rd period Owen Sound goals in yet another collapse as the Petes winless streak hits 10 games. Aidan Dudas (2018 draft eligible) netted a hat trick and and two assists to pace the Attack, and Ethan Szypula (undrafted) scored twice and added two assists of his own.

Western Hockey League

Vancouver Giants 1 @ Kelowna Rockets 4 (Wednesday)

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 43 GP, 13-35-48, +20, 33 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Carsen Twarynski (PHI, 2016 3rd round pick) and Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) both scored 3rd period goals to ice a 2-1 Rockets lead after the 2nd intermission. Twarynski and Cal Foote both assisted on Dube’s tally. Kole Lind (VAN, 2017 2nd round pick) opened the scoring for Kelowna with his 28th of the season, and added an assist on Twarynski’s 3rd period marker. Kyle Topping (2018 draft eligible) added a pair of assists for the Rockets.

NHL Game Night: 2-8-18 Canucks at Lightning

Lightning return home and smoke the Canucks yet again.

VAN-2
TB-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory.

First Period
14:36 TB Kucherov (28), (Killorn, Hedman)

Second Period
1:38 TB Gourde (20), (Johnson, Sergachev)(PP)
13:40 TB Erne (1), (Sustr, Namestnikov)
17:14 TB Stamkos (20), (Johnson, Gourde)

Third Period
6:28 VAN Boeser (26), (Edler, H. Sedin)(PP)
10:55 VAN Baertschi (12), (Horvat, Edler)
16:21 TB Hedman (8), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)

Yanni Gourde, Nikita Kucherov, and Adam Erne were the game's three stars.

The old saying from the boxing world is "Styles make the fight." Sometimes, though, styles create a mismatch and a horribly lopsided fight and that's been the case between Tampa Bay and Vancouver over the past week. The Lightning have disposed of the Canucks pretty effortlessly building 3-0 leads and 4-0 leads, respectively, in the opening 40 minutes of the two games before embarking into the glory of garbage time. Simply put, I don't think Vancouver's team speed, overall, is good enough to handle what the Lightning bring to the table.

Matthew Peca was -1 with 1 shot in 12:02. He also put up an ugly 17% on 12 draws in the circles tonight. He definitely suffered from having Gourde taken off his line.

Erne had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 11:11. Showed good hands finishing off the goal on the one-timer. It's a good start to his callup and he needs to play well and flash early and often with so many other worthy candidates sitting in Syracuse also waiting for their shot.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 2-6-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 6 @ Charlottetown Islanders 2

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-2-2, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 13/25 FO
Season Totals: 44 GP, 18-46-64, +36, 20 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi notched the primary assist on two of Filip Zadina’s (2018 draft eligible) four goals, as the Mooseheads put up 6 on the road against the Islanders. Derek Gentile (2018 draft eligible) factored on both Charlottetown goals.

Western Hockey League

Regina Pats 5 @ Brandon Wheat Kings 2
D Libor Hajek, REG: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals (REG): 10 GP, 2-3-5, -2, 2 PIM
Season Totals (SAS): 33 GP, 8-17-25, -10, 26 PIM
Season Totals: 43 GP, 10-20-30, -12, 28 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 65 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 81 PIM

Bruins prospect Jesse Gabrielle (BOS, 2015 4th round pick) and Cameron Hebig (undrafted) led the Pats in an impressive road win over the Wheat Kings. Gabrielle ignited Regina with two goals in a three-goal run to take a 3-1 lead into the 2nd intermission, and then Hebig added two 3rd period markers. Sam Steel (ANA, 2016 1st round pick) notched three assists, as the Pats pelted Brandon goalie Logan Thompson (undrafted) with 51 shots.

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."

NHL Game Night: 2-5-18 Lightning at Oilers

Long road stretch ends with a thud.

TB-2
EDM-6

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 26 shots for the loss before giving way to Louis Domingue who allowed 2 on 9 shots the rest of the way.

First Period
1:48 EDM McDavid (18), (Strome, Klefbom)(PP)
9:42 TB Killorn (8), (Gourde)
17:24 EDM Draisaitl (13), (Strome, McDavid)(PP)

Second Period
2:33 EDM McDavid (19), (Draisaitl, Benning)
12:59 EDM Pakarinen (1), (Slepyshev, Letestu)

Third Period
1:54 TB Gourde (19), (Johnson)(PP)
6:55 EDM McDavid (20), (unassisted)
13:49 EDM McDavid (21), (Draisaitl, Cammalleri)

If you want to look at this glass half full, you might be able to explain this one away as a bit of a schedule loss. The Lightning were concluding an 8 game road trip and a stretch of 13 out of 16 on the road against a team that poses some unique athletic problems with their speed. That's especially true with young Mr. McDavid with the pace he brings to the game. With all that said, it's inescapable that the Lightning really have been pretty inconsistent over the past month or so and they've had bad habits creep into their game. When you're on the road so much sometimes practice time is scarce and the grind of constant travel leads to lack of focus. The good news is typically the Lightning get a more home-heavy schedule down the stretch of the year, traditionally, and that will allow them to get their game better tuned up for the ride into the postseason. That's good, because their game right now isn't good enough. Too many shots given up, too many chances, and too many odd man rushes surrendered. Improvement is needed for sure.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot and 4 hits in 13:19.

Matthew Peca was -1 with 3 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 20:03. He was also 62% on 21 draws. He's been above water on faceoffs, by my count, in all but one of his games in this callup thus far. Hence the ice time keeps increasing, because they need him out there.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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