Talk Lightning hockey with fans and staff at the BP Message Boards and follow us on Twitter!

Kucherov Scores Hat Trick, Crunch Power Past Americans, 5-1


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse scored four times with the man-advantage and Nikita Kucherov registered a hat trick, leading the Crunch past the Rochester Americans, 5-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"He was special tonight," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler of Kucherov. "He made some really heady plays, just a smart player. He thinks the game and he's got skill. He makes plays happen."

The Crunch scored three power play goals in the second period of their home opener, and added another 24 seconds into the third.

NA Juniors Game Night: 10-12-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 0 @ Halifax Mooseheads 3

W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: Did not play
Season totals: 4 GP, 2-3-5, -1, 4 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM

Halifax backup ‘tender Kevin Darveau stopped all 21 shots he faced to lead the Moose to the win. Jonathan Drouin missed the game with a groin injury, and is considered day-to-day. He tweaked his groin in practice on Thursday.

Ontario Hockey League

Mississauga Steelheads 2 @ Barrie Colts 1

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 8 GP, 1-2-3, +2, 14 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM

Barrie is now winless in five games after losing 2-1 to Mississauga. All three of Barrie’s recent losses have been by 2-1 scores. They sit in last in the East Division.

Windsor Spitfires 0 @ Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 5

D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-0-0, -2, 4 PIM
Season totals: 8 GP, 3-4-7, +5, 8 PIM
2012-13 totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM

Slater Koekkoek had his point streak stopped at five games as the Spits were shut out in the Soo, 5-0. Koekkoek is minus-4 this weekend.

AHL Game Night: 10-12-13 Americans at Crunch

Syracuse's home opener takes on a distinctly Russian (and Belarusian) flavor.

RCH-1
SYR-5

Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 18 shots for the victory. Life is good when your team gives you 5 goals of support and only allows a paltry 8 shots the first 40 minutes of the game.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Brown, (1) (Nesterov, Namestnikov), 4:31 (PP)
SYR Sergeev, (1) (Connolly), 6:18 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (1) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 16:48 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Kucherov, (2) (Nesterov, Taormina), 0:24 (PP)
RCH Tardif, (1) (Varone, McNabb), 5:30 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (3) (Nesterov, Brown), 12:56

Nikita Nesterov, J.T. Brown, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars. Bold choice by the Syracuse media not giving a nod to Nikita Kucherov, who introduced himself to the home fans with a hat trick.

For their part, the Russian/Belarussian trio of Nesterov, Sergeev, and Korobov (AKA the mythical 70's R&B cover band known as Eastern European Soul) got huge marks in the game. Nesterov had assists in triplicate and was +1 while Artem Sergeev scored his first professional goal, and Dmitry Korobov got himself involved in one of the big physical dust ups late in the game and earned the third star selection. That's a heck of a positive sign for the Crunch as these guys need to step up this year for Syracuse to continue the momentum they had last season as an elite level AHL club.

Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett got 16 penalty minutes in the game, including a roughing call, diving call, and unsportsmanlike call (all minors) in three separate incidents in the Second Period that he chased down with a 10 Misconduct and a Game Misconduct late in the Third Period. You don't often see an unglued mess like that between the pipes. Treasure the memory, Crunch fans.

Syracuse gets Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow at home.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-12-13 Penguins at Lightning

Disappointing, as the Lightning leave at least 1 point on the ice against a quality opponent.

PIT-5
TB-4

Anders Lindback allowed 5 goals on 26 shots for the loss. Maybe there were no softies tonight, but the same critique of Lindback applies. Playing a team as good as Pittsburgh, you need your goaltender to be more than, "not the reason you lost." He needs to make key saves at key times and be "one of the reasons you won."

First Period
13:25 TB Filppula (4), (Killorn, Panik)

Second Period
2:14 PIT Crosby (3), (Jokinen, Kunitz)(PP)
5:11 TB Stamkos (4), (St Louis, Hedman)
7:01 PIT Orpik (1), (Dupuis, Kunitz)
15:42 TB Purcell (3), (Salo, St Louis)(PP)

Third Period
0:25 PIT Crosby (4), (Scuderi, Niskanen)
10:26 PIT Crosby (5), (Jokinen, Malkin)(PP)
16:58 TB Killorn (2), (Panik, Johnson)(PP)
19:41 PIT Niskanen (1), (Malkin, Crosby)(PP)

What a horrific ending to a night that showed so much promise. The Lightning, on balance, played really well for 40 minutes in this game. The team really looked like they were skating well, playing crisp hockey, and looked like they could compete with an elite team like Pittsburgh. And then they came out flat as a pancake in the Third Period. The did manage to fight back to get a late goal to potentially salvage a point, but squandered that with a bad late penalty. It's a tough result for a young team like this to take after doing a lot of good things in this game.

Radko Gudas was -2 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 24:13. I think the minutes he received was more reflective of his play than the minus rating he ended up with.

Tyler Johnson had a helper, 2 shots, 1 hit, and he was 44% on draws in 14:04.

Alex Killorn had 1 goal and 1 assist, 4 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 21:17. Arguably, he was the Lightning's best player tonight.

Ondrej Palat had 3 hits in 11:52.

Andrej Sustr had 1 shot and 1 hit in 12:19 as the Lightning coaching staff were careful to protect their rookie d-man from the likes of Crosby and Malkin. He played well in the minutes he had, but there was no reason to throw Andrej to the wolves.

Richard Panik had 2 assists, but was also -1 with 2 really bad penalty minutes to go along with 2 hits in 20:46. He's such a frustrating mixed bag. There were some ridiculous neutral zone turnovers, and then he turns around and makes a great hustle play to make up for it. He makes a great pass on the power play to Killorn to make a game tying goal and then takes a lazy, selfish tripping call that allows Pittsburgh to take the win. I'm absolutely torn with Panik, and I suspect the coaching staff is, too. He gets 20+ minutes of ice time and gets to play on the second line and on the PP because he has a wide-ranging skill set that allows him to affect the outcome of a game in numerous ways. Unfortunately, as we saw tonight, his game hasn't ripened yet and some of the ways he can affect a game aren't necessarily positive.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 2 hits in 4:05. This was probably the least effective game of the year for the 4th line.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Syndicate content