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Crunch Cruise Past Marlies in Rough Game


By Jeremy Houghtaling

In a game marred by many physical altercations, the Syracuse Crunch offense had a breakout performance.

The Crunch took a three-goal lead in the first period, and continued to cruise through multiple incidents, as they topped the Toronto Marlies, 6-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"We played a good game," said Syracuse forward Brett Connolly, who finished with four points. "I think they embarrassed themselves."

AHL Game Night: 4-12-14 Marlies at Crunch

Back to .500.

TOR-3
SYR-6

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Angelidis, (12) (Ikonen, Connolly), 1:00 (PP)
SYR Paradis, (6) (DiSalvatore, Angelidis), 12:33
SYR Gourde, (6) (DiSalvatore, Connolly), 18:38 (PP)

Second Period
TOR Carrick, (11) (Ross), 3:29
SYR Marchessault, (20) (Cote, Erne), 10:25
SYR Marchessault, (21) (Connolly, Cote), 12:38 (SH)
TOR Brennan, (23) (Ross, Carrick), 19:18

Third Period
TOR McKegg, (18) (Marshall, Kozun), 4:09
SYR Connolly, (20) (Namestnikov, Ikonen), 17:17

Jonathan Marchessault, Brett Connolly, and Mike Angelidis were the game's three stars. New Crunch forward Henri Ikonen managed his first two AHL points on helpers to bookend the scoring for Syracuse. The 4 point night for Connolly points to him potentially providing some depth options to Tampa Bay in the playoffs as well. As I said after last night's win, this team is figuring out some of its chemistry for next season, and guys like Gourde and Marchessault finding their grooves bodes well for a bounce back next year. The team is back to .500 with 4 games left in the regular season, and if they can finish with a winning record that will be a major accomplishment considering this franchise supplied 9 prospects who became full time NHLers in Tampa Bay this season.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

BP Mailbag: 4-12-14

The BP Mailbag is back after a little hiatus and there are lots of questions to get to.

Let’s get started:

@GeoFitz4:
@BoltProspects If you had the choice between Dan Boyle of Matt Niskanen to bring in during the offseason, who would you pick and why?

@GurraDahlstrand:
@BoltProspects is it just me or is Dan Boyle destined to go to Tampa? A perfect replacement for Salo as a RD playing with Hedman. But it's a short term solution.. You need a longterm partner for Victor. Do you think Sustr has the potential? ?#BPMailbag

Both Niskanen and Boyle are righty puckmovers, which the Lightning desperately need as part of their core. Gudas is a righty, but is a peoplemover more than a puckmover. As for Sustr, he has potential to be a fine 2-way defenseman. We have had some healthy discussions in the BP virtual staffroom about his offensive potential – over 30 points or under? I think under, Pete thinks over. I don’t see him as having the high end offensive IQ that other players like Hedman and Boyle have, and I think he settles in as a 4/5 in the future with limited power play time. Regardless, Sustr has a ways to go before he hits NHL maturity (250-300 games) and may or may not be an offensive catalyst as a player.

NA Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 4-11-14

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 4 @ Gatineau Olympiques 1
Mooseheads win best-of-7 second round series, 4-1

C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 1-2-3, E, 0 PIM, 1 Hit, 4 SOG, 11/30 FO
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 9-18-27, +7, 8 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM

Halifax advanced to the league semifinals with a 4-1 win Friday night in Gatineau. Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin had three more points to maintain his three-points-per-game playoff pace. The Mooseheads gave up the first goal, but had a 3-1 lead by the end of the second period. Drouin’s goal came on the power play. He extended his multi-point game streak to 12 and his point streak to 22 games. No game stars were listed. Halifax will wait to see who they play next. Only 2-seeded Halifax and top-seeded Baie-Comeau have advanced to the semifinals.

Ontario Hockey League

Barrie Colts 1 @ North Bay Battalion 4
Battalion lead best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals, 3-2

D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 12 GP, 3-1-4, +2, 12 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 10 GP: 3-2-5, +1, 13 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 11-25-36, +22, 121 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM

The home team won again in the series, this time with North Bay holding serve at home vs Barrie, 4-1. Neither Lightning prospect registered a point in the game. The Battalion can close out the series with a road win in Barrie on Sunday. This is the only series still going in the AHL; Guelph, Erie, and Oshawa have all advanced to the conference finals.

Ikonen Makes Syracuse Debut, Crunch Fall to Penguins in Shootout


By Jeremy Houghtaling

During regulation, it was all about the dueling power plays.

Both Syracuse and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored a pair of power play goals in the first two periods, but the Penguins pushed past the Crunch in a shootout, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

Although it's late for a playoff push, Syracuse has points in seven of its last eight games.

"I've been pretty happy with our game overall," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "We're finding a little more offense lately. We're getting some more pucks to the net, and we've got some more finishers on our team now too, which is a good thing."

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