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AHL Game Night: 1-29-16 Bears at Crunch

Bears pull away to halt Crunch point streak.

HER-5
SYR-3

Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss.

First Period
SYR Richard, (6) (Blunden, Gourde), 1:01
SYR Erne, (8) (Blunden, Richard), 5:55 (PP)
HER Boyd, (10) (Carey, Gomez), 6:26 (PP)

Second Period
HER O'Brien, (3) , 1:01
HER Mitchell, (8) (Carrick), 5:08
SYR Gourde, (7) (Martindale, Witkowski), 8:48 (SH)
HER Gazley, (10) (Djoos, Camper), 11:10

Third Period
HER Collins, (10) , 18:55 (EN/SH)

Yanni Gourde and Tanner Richard were the game's second and third stars. Richard's multi-point night puts him at 5 goals and 13 points in 13 games for the month of January. Richard had just 1 goal and 15 points this season prior to the new year.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch's Quick Start Not Enough in Loss to Bears


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The first six minutes was all Syracuse.

The Crunch netted a pair of goals in the first 5:55 but the Bears roared back for the next three goals and emerged with the win, as Syracuse fell to Hershey, 5-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. The loss snaps the Crunch’s five-game point streak.

“We had a really good start,” said Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler. “(There was) a lull in the second half of the first period and they had some O zone time, but they didn’t have a ton of chances. I thought we had the better chances overall, and carried the play a lot through the third period and the second half of the second period. We had some unfortunate bounces … A little bit of clean-up, but overall I didn’t mind our game.”

Liiga Game Day: 1-29-16

KalPa 3 vs. JYP 2 (SO)
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 4-7-11, +9, 14 PIM

Jonne Tammela assisted on the Third Period game tying goal in KalPa's 3-2 SO win over JYP. The forward played 11:51 in the match. Tammela did not have an attempt in the penalty shot session.

KHL Game Day: 1-29-16

Chelyabinsk 3 vs. Magnitogorsk 4 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, No Decision, 7/9, 8.08 GAA, .778 sv%
Season totals: 48 GP, 21-14-9, 3 SO, 2.17 GAA, .923 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin was lifted 14:51 into the First Period of Magnitogorsk's 4-3 SO win over Chelyabinsk. Caps first rounder Ilya Samsonov allowed just 1 goal on 32 shots and stopped all 3 shooters he faced in the penalty shot session in relief. Ex-NHLer Wojtek Wolski had the Third Period goal that sent the game past regulation for Magnitka. It was Wolski's 16th of the season.

St. Petersburg 6 vs. Cherepovets 1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-3-3, +1, 4 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 29 GP, 13-20-33, +8, 10 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 52 GP, 20-27-47, +14, 14 PIM

Nikita Gusev had 2 power play helpers and an even strength helper in St. Petersburg's 6-1 win over Cherepovets. He played 20:40 in the match, which was the rare occasion he's been held without a SOG this season. Ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk had 1 goal and 3 points in the win.

Crunch Trio Ready for AHL All-Star Challenge


By Jeremy Houghtaling

While players certainly don’t look past games, there’s certainly events they look forward to.

The Syracuse Crunch’s weekend begins just like any other with a home-and-home against the Hershey Bears. But on Sunday, Syracuse welcomes representatives from all over the American Hockey League for the annual skills competition with the AHL All-Star Challenge set to follow on Monday night.

“It’s a tremendous experience,” said Crunch defenseman Matt Taormina. “I was fortunate to do it last year and experience how it was. The skills competition is an unbelievable time. You go out there, joke with the guys, have fun, and mess around. You get to know the guys a little better too, since we’re always enemies out on the ice.”

AHL Game Night: 1-27-16 Crunch at Americans

80's night in Rochester.

SYR-5
RCH-6 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 6 goals on 27 shots for the OT loss.

First Period
SYR Taormina, (9) (Gourde, DeAngelo), 0:42
RCH Donovan, (5) (Varone, Catenacci), 11:48

Second Period
SYR Blunden, (10) (Tambellini, Angelidis), 1:06
RCH Schaller, (6) (Bailey, Leduc), 8:36
SYR Blunden, (11) (Richard, Gourde), 10:01
SYR Gourde, (6) (Blunden), 10:20
RCH Varone, (11) (Rodrigues, Carrier), 10:58

Third Period
RCH Donovan, (6) (O'Reilly, Varone), 1:23 (PP)
SYR Hart, (2) (Walcott, Blujus), 4:09
RCH D'Amigo, (7) (Rodrigues, O'Reilly), 15:37 (PP)

Overtime
RCH Varone, (12) (Catenacci, Robak), 1:46

Mike Blunden was the game's third star.

Syracuse moves into a tie for third place in the North Division with the point.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-27-16 Maple Leafs at Lightning

Let loose the kittens!

TOR-0
TB-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 30 shots he faced for the shutout victory. He didn't have much work early, and was kicking some long rebounds out in the First and Second Period, but he got progressively stronger as the game wore on. He positively stood on his head in the Third Period to secure the 2 points for his team. He was much, much better positionally compared to his previous 2-3 outings.

First Period
4:38 TB Stamkos (21), (Stralman, Filppula)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Vasilevskiy and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and third stars.

The first 15 minutes of this game were an absolutely clinic by the Lightning as they outshot Toronto 16-1 and outscored them 1-0. They could've easily run the Leafs out of the barn from the word jump were it not for a really strong effort by Jonathan Bernier. Things degraded from there for the Lightning, who were less assertive shooting the puck in the Second Period and started looking timid and started short-arming passes in the Third Period because of the physical style Toronto was playing. They allowed Toronto to intimidate them a bit and they were back on their heels a lot of the final frame. Fortunately, Vasilevskiy only needed the one goal.

The Lightning have gotten 16 of a possible 18 points so far in this 10-game segment of the season with 1 more game left to go. A win will put the Lightning at even for the year in the old "12 in 10" model, which prescribes earning 12 points every 10 games to make the playoffs comfortably. Considering 9 games ago the Lightning looked like a longshot to make the postseason, it's a great spot to be in heading into the All-Star Break. The team just needs to hope that any momentum they've gained doesn't dissipate with the time off.

Jonathan Marchessault had 1 shot in 13:35.

Nikita Nesterov had 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 15:09.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Game Day: 1-27-16

Khanty-Mansiysk 4 vs. Magnitogorsk 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 18/21, 3.08 GAA, .857 sv%
Season totals: 47 GP, 21-14-9, 3 SO, 2.14 GAA, .924 sv%

Ex-Blue Jackets pick Sergei Mozyakin scored his 30th and 31st goals of the season in Magnitogorsk's 4-2 loss to Yugra.

Dinamo Minsk 3 vs. St. Petersburg 2
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 28 GP, 13-17-30, +7, 6 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 51 GP, 20-24-44, +13, 10 PIM

Nikita Gusev notched his 20th goal of the season in 21:54 of ice time in SKA's 3-2 loss to Minsk. It's Gusev's second 20-goal season of his KHL career and 1 shy of his total of 21 in 55 games a season ago. Ex-NHLer Jonathan Cheechoo had a pair of goals for Minsk in their victory.

Novgorod 7 vs. Spartak Moscow 2
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 43 GP, 13-9-22, +3, 61 PIM

Carter Ashton had even strength and power play goals in 16:36 of ice time as Novgorod plastered Spartak Moscow 7-2. Ex-Avs pick Linus Videll had 1 goal and 1 assist in the victory.

KHL Game Day: 1-25-16

Magnitogorsk 6 vs. Ekaterinburg 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 20/22, 2.01 GAA, .909 sv%
Season totals: 46 GP, 21-13-9, 3 SO, 2.11 GAA, .925 sv%

Ex-NHLer Alexander Semin had 2 goals and 3 points to pace Magnitogorsk to a 6-2 win over Ekaterinburg.

St. Petersburg 2 vs. CSKA 3
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 27 GP, 12-17-29, +6, 6 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 50 GP, 19-24-43, +12, 10 PIM

Nikita Gusev scored an even strength goal with 7 seconds left in regulation in SKA's 3-2 loss to CSKA. The young forward had 6 shots on goal, second on his team to ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk's 7 shots. He played 19:12 in the match.

Novgorod 5 vs. Jokerit 6 (SO)
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 42 GP, 11-9-20, +3, 61 PIM

Carter Ashton was held scoreless in 12:50 of ice time in Novgorod's 6-5 SO loss to Jokerit. Ex-NHLer Nikolai Zherdev had a goal in defeat for Novgorod. Jokerit got 1 goal and 1 assist from former Isles and Oilers forward Jesse Joensuu, who also notched the SO winner.

Witkowski Doing Dirty Work for Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Luke Witkowski showed little hesitation in getting his hands dirty.

During a stoppage in the final minute of the third period during a game in Binghamton Saturday, a squid -- apparently thrown from the stands -- ended up on the ice. The Syracuse Crunch defenseman and avid outdoorsman took off his glove to pick up the sea creature, gave it a quick whirl as he pondered what to do with it, and sent it flying back into the stands.

“I noticed the refs were skating away from it and no one was grabbing it, so I thought I’d chuck it back up to where it came from,” Witkowski said.

Witkowski is no stranger to doing the necessary dirty work on the ice, and is now focused on improving his game with by logging big minutes in the American Hockey League to make the next step to the National Hockey League.

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