Tokarski, Dustin

Crunch Come Back, But Come Up Short in Shootout


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch came out flat Friday, and the Adirondack Phantoms took full advantage.

The Phantoms tallied goals on the first two shots of the game, and led 3-0 before the first intermission. The Crunch spent the rest of the game playing catch-up, and despite tying the game in the third, fell short in the shootout, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

"It was a good comeback, the guys battled hard," Syracuse forward Tyler Johnson said. "But at the same time, we shouldn't put ourselves in that position. We shot ourselves in the foot."

AHL Game Night: 12-21-12 Phantoms at Admirals

Syracuse stumbles out of the gate, but salvages a point.

ADK-4
SYR-3 (SO)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 23 shots and 4 of 7 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. His December numbers are positively shambolic compared to his strong November run.

First Period
ADK Zolnierczyk, (8) (Roe, Rinaldo), 1:11
ADK Akeson, (1) (Schenn, Couturier), 2:30 (PP)
ADK Akeson, (2) (Schenn, Lauridsen), 15:33

Second Period
SYR Panik, (13) (Palat, Johnson), 5:48 (PP)
SYR Killorn, (9) (Taormina, Connolly), 14:09

Third Period
SYR Johnson, (17) (Barberio, Connolly), 8:24 (PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
ADK- Roe, Schenn, Akeson, Svyret
SYR- Taormina, Palat, Panik

Tyler Johnson was the game's second star. Alex Killorn has now scored goals in 5 straight games and 6 of his last 7. Richard Panik now has a 3 game point streak after missing the scoresheet for 5 games at the conclusion of his massive 12 game scoring streak that spanned the entire month of November.

Syracuse draws Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow before a brief Christmas break.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Tokarski Records First Shutout of the Season, Crunch Top Pens 4-0


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Plenty of numbers stuck out after the Syracuse Crunch topped the Wikes-Barre Scranton Penguins 4-0 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

The night began with 1,286 teddy bears thrown on the ice after Brett Connolly opened the scoring, the Crunch's power play followed by converting for two goals, and Syracuse goalie Dustin Tokarski finished with 29 saves for his first shutout of the season.

AHL Game Night: 12-15-12 Penguins at Crunch

The weekend marks a return to Jon Cooper hockey...

WBS-0
SYR-4

Dustin Tokarski pitched a 29 save shutout to match the 0'fer Riku Helenius posted last night. Tokarski now has a 2 game winning streak after going an ugly 1-3-1 in his previous 5 starts.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (12) (Wyman, Killorn), 14:35

Second Period
SYR Killorn, (8) (Devos, Brown), 11:21 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Labrie, (6) (Johnson), 5:07
SYR Johnson, (16) (Panik, Palat), 16:37 (PP)

Tic, Alex Killorn, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars. Killorn now has goals in 5 of his last 6 games. He's officially more on fire than a 1978 Ford Pinto after a rear end collision.

This weekend's two game set was a return to what makes Jon Cooper hockey so special. It's not just that the team will score a ton of goals. It's not just that they're tough as nails. At the heart of it all, what made last year's team in Norfolk so special was that they also played suffocating defense, too. They beat you like you stole large sums of money from them in every single phase of the game, and often made you look like a pee wee team in the process. And it didn't matter if it was Tic or Janus between the pipes, either. Back-to-back shutout annihilations should send a chilling message to the rest of the Eastern Conference. After two weekends of looking mortal, the next generation of the Lightning has returned to the style Jon Cooper preaches, and may God have mercy on the rest of the AHL's souls if they keep it up.

Syracuse is off until Friday when they'll try to continue their team shutout streak against last night's victim, Adirondack.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Connolly Scores Twice, Crunch Hang On To Beat Senators 4-3


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It has been stressed to Brett Connolly that he needs to drive to the net.

The 20-year-old Syracuse Crunch forward followed through against the Binghamton Senators Wednesday at the Onondaga County War Memorial, potting a pair of goals in the Crunch's 4-3 win.

"Coach has been all over me to do that," Connolly said. "That's where I've been scoring all my goals."

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