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AHL Game Day: 2-28-18 Crunch at Marlies

Crunch clip division leading Marlies to keep the streak hot.

SYR-4
TOR-3 (OT)

Eddie Pasquale allowed 3 goals on 47 shots for the victory.

First Period
15:55 TOR Smith (22), (Johnsson, Timashov)

Second Period
0:23 SYR Cirelli (13), (Joseph, Dumont)
5:19 SYR Cirelli (14), (Thomas, Dumont)

Third Period
2:35 SYR Yan (10), (Dumont, Bodie)
9:27 TOR Borgman (2), (Smith, Liljegren)
19:27 TOR Mueller (14), (Smith, Johnsson)(PP)

Overtime
0:43 SYR Joseph (10), (Pasquale)

Anthony Cirelli and Gabriel Dumont were the game's first and second stars. Mathieu Joseph had the end to end rush for the GWG, as well.

Syracuse escaped the deadline with no subtractions while also gaining the services of Gabriel Dumont off re-entry waivers just before the deadline. They now have a five point lead on third place in the North Division and are seven points back of the Marlies for the top spot.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-26-18 Maple Leafs at Lightning

Before the new acquisitions come, Tampa Bay plays a wild one for the fun of it.

TOR-3
TB-4 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 30 shots before stopping all 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win. Stopped a Third Period penalty shot. Stopped an OT breakaway. Was a one man kill on a Second Period 5-on-3 PK. No complaints here.

First Period
1:41 TB Kunitz (11), (Sustr, Stamkos)
8:49 TOR Van Riemsdyk (26), (Hainsey, Rielly)
9:52 TOR Marner (17), (Gardiner, Zaitsev)

Second Period
3:52 TB Johnson (18), (Gourde)
15:18 TB Erne (2), (unassisted)

Third Period
5:27 TOR Bozak (10), (Marner, Rielly)(PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TOR- NONE
TB- Point

Yanni Gourde and Adam Erne were the game's first and third stars.

Fun game. Wild game. The Lightning entered the game without the services of the departed Vlad Namestnikov with new acquisitions McDonagh and Miller still en route. Toronto was without the services of Austen Matthews, which was quickly balanced by the departure of Nikita Kucherov with an upper body injury. So, the script got thrown out early and this just ended up being a fast, physical, intense hockey game. Lots of goalmouth thrills. Lots of near misses. Some intrigue when Tyler Johnson left the game taking a refs skate to his leg, dropping Tampa Bay to just 9 forwards at one point. Crazy. Ultimately Vasilevskiy was the difference, with an assist to the all-powerful Espo Rule.

Brayden Point is pure filth in the shootout.

By my math, the Lightning need just about 7 points more to punch their ticket for the postseason.

Now we move into the final 19 games of the year with the Lightning coaching staff having the considerable challenge of integrating McDonagh and Miller into the squad. The Lightning came into the trade deadline needing a faceoff man, a right handed D, and some PK help. You could argue they've addressed all three to varying degrees, but it's going to fall on Bowness, in particular, to make some oddly fitting pieces all work. I think, most obviously, the Lightning PK will be way better following these deals and soon they'll get Ondrej Palat too, which will also help. That's the most obvious hole that got filled today. The RHD spot is a little more iffy. The Lightning have a very solid #1 and #2 LHD situation, and I suspect with Hedman as the clear top pair guy, McDonagh can get his time trimmed down from the 23-24 minutes he was playing in New York to more reasonable levels in the regular season that'll keep him fresher and healthier. Problem is, the only RHD they have you can absolutely trust is Stralman. The coaching staff will surely also tell you Girardi, as a well-seasoned vet, is dependable, but I would tell you only on well-managed levels of ice time. So I'll just throw this out there: time to move Sergachev to RHD and have him play his off hand. It's not an odd thing for European players, and particularly Russians, to do. It makes for better passing and shooting angles for an offensive-minded d-man. I think it's worth an experiment. Whatever the Lightning choose to do, with Hedman and McDonagh in the fold they now can be assured of having a #1 caliber d-man on the rink 45-50 minutes out of every 60 minute game. That doesn't stink. Last, faceoffs. Welp, here's where the fix is probably the shakiest. Miller is 54% on draws this year, which is nice, but he's just 49% for his career. It might be an addition by subtraction situation, though, because Namestnikov might well have been the worst faceoff man the Lightning had.

The loss of Howden and Hajek in the deal isn't insignificant, but it's also not a death knell for the Lightning prospect system. They have excellent centermen like Mitchell Stephens and Anthony Cirelli performing well in Syracuse and with Dominik Masin quietly having a whale of a season for the Crunch, the situation at LHD still looks good, too.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 shots in 7:49.

Erne had a goal and was +2 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 14:57. He played a heck of a game on a strong forechecking line with Gourde and Johnson. Very strong on the puck and on the cycle.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Bolts Acquire Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers in exchange for Lightning forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Brett Howden, defenseman Libor Hajek, a 2018 first-round draft pick and a conditional 2019 second-round draft pick, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

McDonagh, 28, has skated in 49 games with the Rangers this season, posting two goals and 26 points to go along with 20 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound defenseman leads the team for average time on ice (23:55) and became team captain of the Rangers after Ryan Callahan was traded to Tampa Bay. McDonagh paces all Rangers defensemen for assists (24) and points. The St. Paul, Minnesota native has appeared in 516 career NHL games, all with New York over the past eight seasons, recording 51 goals and 238 points.

McDonagh was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the first-round, 12th overall, at the 2007 NHL Draft.

Miller, 24, has played in 63 games with the Rangers this season, collecting 13 goals and 40 points to go along with 28 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound forward ranks second on New York for assists (27) and points. Six of Miller’s 13 goals have come on the man-advantage which ranks second on the Rangers in that category. The East Palestine, Ohio native paces the Rangers with four game-winning goals. Miller has appeared in 341 career NHL games, all with New York over the last six seasons, notching 72 goals and 172 points.

Miller was originally drafted by the Rangers in the first-round, 15th overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft.

Juniors Game Night: 2-25-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Drummondville Voltigeurs 7 @ Halifax Mooseheads 1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 1-0-1, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 10/21 FO
Season Totals: 52 GP, 28-51-79, +35, 22 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi scored the lone goal for Halifax in Drummondville’s rout of the Mooseheads, putting a touchdown up on the scoreboard. Somppi scored the rare unassisted power play marker late in the 1st to knot the score 1-1 going into the first intermission. But it all Voltigeurs after that, with defenseman Jarrett Baker (undrafted) pacing Drummondville with two goals.

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6 @ London Knights 2

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 50 GP, 39-36-75, +44, 24 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals (SSM): 19 GP, 15-14-29, +15, 10 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 49 GP, 30-43-73, +25, 26 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Raddysh assisted on the game opening goal by Jack Kopacka (ANA, 2016 4th rounder) and then scored one of his own later in the 3rd. Katchouk managed an assist on one of Morgan Frost’s (PHI, 2017 1st round pick) two goals, as the Soo broke open a 2-2 tied game in the 2nd with four unanswered.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ Saskatoon Blades 2

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 7/16 FO
Season Totals: 38 GP, 22-36-58, +25, 36 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-17-24, +38, 56 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Brayden Burke (undrafted) scored twice in the 2nd period and the Warriors pulled away from the Blades for the win.

Juniors Game Night: 2-24-18

From Saturday Night...

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Gatineau Olympiques 1 @ Halifax Mooseheads 4

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 2-1-3, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 14/27 FO, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 51 GP, 27-51-78, +37, 22 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi earns Second Star for scoring twice and notching an assist on an empty netter at the end of the game. For those of you keeping score, that’s two 1st Stars and a 2nd Star in his last three games. Alexis Gravel (2018 draft eligible) made 29 saves for the Mooseheads.

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 @ Windsor Spitfires 2

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 3-0-3, +3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, *First Star*
Season Totals: 49 GP, 39-35-74, +43, 24 PIM
’16-’17 Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, SSM: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 3/8 FO
Season Totals (SSM): 18 GP, 14-13-27, +13, 10 PIM
Season Totals (ER): 30 GP, 15-29-44, +10, 16 PIM
Season Totals: 48 GP, 29-42-71, +23, 26 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 42-67-109, +67, 37 PIM

Katchouk potted a hat trick against the Spitfires, earning First Star honors, include the game-winner and empty netter to seal the win. Igor Larionov (undrafted), son of the legendary Soviet and Red Wings forward, paced Windsor with a goal and an assist.

Sudbury Wolves 3 @ Hamilton Bulldogs 5

W Alexey Lipanov, SBY: Did not play
Season Totals (SBY): 13 GP, 2-2-4, -10, 6 PIM
Season Totals (BAR): 35 GP, 11-19-30, +9, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 48 GP, 13-21-34, -1, 16 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Lipanov missed his third consecutive game as Sudbury let a 3-2 lead in the 2nd period slip away. Blake Murray (2019 draft eligible) scored twice for the Wolves in the losing effort.

Peterborough Petes 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 4

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 14/24 FO
Season Totals: 53 G, 15-11-26, -36, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Pavel Gogolev (2018 draft eligible) scored twice for the Petes to knot the score at 2-2, but the Attack punched back behind two goals from Kevin Hancock (2018 draft eligible) and a goal and two assists from Nick Suzuki (VGK, 2017 1st round pick).

Western Hockey League

Kamloops Blazers 5 @ Kelowna Rockets 6

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-1-1, +1, 14 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 52 GP, 16-43-59, +22, 54 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Leif Mattson (undrafted) notched a hat trick and Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) scored twice to pace the Rockets over the Blazers. Foote assisted on Dube’s game-opening goal midway through the 1st and then was assessed a double minor for roughing and a game misconduct after the match in which a total of 120 minutes of penalties were handed out to both teams.

Regina Pats 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 3

D Libor Hajek, REG: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals (REG): 19 GP, 3-7-10, +3, 2 PIM
Season Totals (SAS): 33 GP, 8-17-25, -10, 26 PIM
Season Totals: 52 GP, 11-24-35, -7, 28 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 65 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 81 PIM

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 11/18 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 37 GP, 22-36-58, +25, 36 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 58 GP, 7-17-24, +36, 56 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Howden earned Third Star honors in Moose Jaws defeat of Hajek and the Pats. Howden and Sosunov combined to assist on Jayden Halbgewachs (SJS, FA ELC) game winner. Howden fired a game-high 5 shots and was 61% on faceoffs.

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.

Omaha Lancers 4 @ Youngstown Phantoms 1

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +16, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

After yielding the first goal to the Phantoms, the Lancers scored four unanswered goals to commandeer the win..

Minnesota State High School League

St. Louis Park Orioles 1 @ Edina Hornets 6

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 3-1-4, 2 PIM
Season Totals (HS): 27 GP, 32-32-64, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Walker led the Hornets to a semi-final win over the Orioles, notching a hat trick and adding an assist on Lewis Crosby’s (uncommitted) power play marker. Edina advances to the Minnesota State 6AA high school championship game Wednesday night at Mariucci Arena, home of the Minnesota Gophers men’s college hockey team, in Minneapolis against the Wayzata Trojans. Edina has defeated the Trojans twice during regular season play. It seems fitting that Walker’s last game for the Edina Hornets will be on the ice surface for the team he’ll be playing next fall as a Golden Gopher.

NHL Game Night: 2-24-18 Lightning at Canadiens

Lightning grind out one more road win before the trade deadline.

TB-4
MTL-3 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals 32 shots before blanking all three shooters in the penalty shot session including a rolling, behind the back arm save on the finale to secure the SO win.

First Period
8:52 MTL Froese (2), (Benn, Carr)
12:07 TB Point (25), (Killorn)

Second Period
7:32 TB Kucherov (33), (Hedman, Johnson)(PP)
8:50 MTL Morrow (5), (Hudon, Pacioretty)
16:29 MTL Pacioretty (17), (Petry, Drouin)(PP)

Third Period
2:11 TB Callahan (4), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- Point
MTL- NONE

Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and second stars.

What we might consider the dog days of the season just came to an end with the Lightning, unofficially, just a scant nine points away from the minimum number of points we might reasonably assume they need to make the postseason. It's a great spot to be in as the Lightning now prepare for a critical ~48 hours heading into the trade deadline trying to find the couple of pieces that might put this team over the top. After a blistering start the Lightning have maintained a solid but unspectacular points pace of around .600 over the past 20-25 games. Understandable, given the grind of an 82 game season. But, once Steve Yzerman completes the final tune up to the roster, these last 20 games of the regular season will represent a considerable raising of the stakes as the players and coaching staff will prepare for the gauntlet of the postseason with expectations running high and the chance for immortal glory on the line.

Adam Erne was -2 with 3 hits in 5:38.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-24-18 Penguins at Crunch

Streaking Crunch now await outcome of NHL trade deadline.

WBS-1
SYR-3

Connor Ingram allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for an impressive win. He hit a little rocky patch for a while, but he now has a sub-2.50 GAA and his save percentage is up to .906 for the campaign.

First Period
4:42 WBS Tiffels (2), (Quinney)

Second Period
1:35 SYR Dumont (1), (Bournival)(SH)

Third Period
6:02 SYR Volkov (16), (Walcott, Peca)
8:46 SYR Cirelli (12), (Joseph, Dumont)(PP)

Gabriel Dumont, Alexander Volkov, and Daniel Walcott were the game's three stars. That's right folks, Gabriel Dumont's triumphant return to the scoresheet for Syracuse has happened.

Syracuse opens up a little three point lead for second place in the North Division and are eight points back of first place Toronto. However, things get a little interesting now with the NHL trade deadline coming up on Monday. The prospect rich Lightning are in on some potentially big deals to improve the big club that would more likely subtract from Syracuse than add to its roster.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Beat Penguins, Extend Win Streak to Four Games


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Crunch had a feeling they would break through.

Despite outshooting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 17-4 in the first period, the Syracuse went into the intermission with a one goal deficit. The Crunch scored three unanswered goals to beat the Penguins, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday to extend their win streak to four games.

“We were going. I thought we played really good in the first,” Syracuse forward Gabriel Dumont said. “I think it was pretty much a question of time for when things would turn for us.”

Juniors Game Night: 2-23-18

Ontario Hockey League

Sudbury Wolves 2 @ Kitchener Rangers 3 (OT)

W Alexey Lipanov, SBY: Did not play
Season Totals (SBY): 13 GP, 2-2-4, -10, 6 PIM
Season Totals (BAR): 35 GP, 11-19-30, +9, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 48 GP, 13-21-34, -1, 16 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Almost carbon copy of the 3-2 OT road loss in North Bay a couple of nights ago, but this time the Wolves letting a 2-1 lead early in the 3rd slip away. Like the North Bay match, Lipanov didn’t dress against the Rangers. Connor Bunnaman (PHI, 2016 4th round pick) tallied his 22nd of the season in the 3rd to knot the score and force overtime, and then the Ranger captain assisted on Joseph Garreffa’s (undrafted) OT game winner just 38 seconds into the extra frame. Kole Sherwood (CLB, FA ELC) also had a goal and an assist for Kitchener. Sudbury’s newest winless streak now sits at six games.

Western Hockey League

Seattle Thunderbirds 4 @ Kelowna Rockets 5

D Cal Foote, KEL: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 51 GP, 16-42-58, +21, 40 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

After falling behind 2-0 at the 1st intermission, Foote opens the Rockets scoring just 19 seconds into the 2nd period and sparks a four-goal rally by Kelowna. But the visiting T-birds would push back, knotting the score at 4-4 with two goals of their own before the Kole Lind (VAN, 2017 2nd round pick) potted the game-winner for the Rockets with just 80 seconds remaining in regulation. Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) paced Kelowna with a goal and an assist.

Regina Pats 7 @ Saskatoon Blades 5

D Libor Hajek, REG: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (REG): 18 GP, 3-7-10, +4, 2 PIM
Season Totals (SAS): 33 GP, 8-17-25, -10, 26 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 11-24-35, -6, 28 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 65 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 81 PIM

The Pats and Blades combined for 12 goals in a barn burner SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. The Blade jumped out to a 4-0 lead in front of almost 4,000 faithful, but Cameron Hebig (undrafted) and former Canadiens prospect Matt Bradley would lead a four-goal rally by the Pats to tie the score at 4-4 early in the 3rd. After a go-ahead goal by Saskatoon, Regina goals by Sam Steel (ANA, 2016 1st round pick) and Jared Leglen (undrafted) would pull the Pats back ahead, and Hebig and Bradley would combine for an empty netter to seal the Regina win.

Pasquale Wins Duel Against Tokarski, Crunch Edge Phantoms


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Eddie Pasquale and Dustin Tokarski certainly have a history.

When a brawl broke out in 2013, Pasquale and Tokarski — then with the Crunch — met at center ice and began hurling punches at each other.

Two seasons later, the two became teammates on the St. John’s IceCaps.

In their first time meeting again as competitors, Pasquale and Tokarski kept the game scoreless for nearly 50 minutes. Michael Bournival broke through for a pair of goals late in the third period, as Pasquale and the Syracuse Crunch edged Tokarski and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“He’s probably excited. He played here for a long time and did really well here,” Pasquale said. “He’s a goalie that if you don’t bring your A game, you’re not going to win. He’s been around a long time and had a lot of success. We had a good duel tonight, and it’s good to get the win.”

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