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AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-6-17 Marlies at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star snowmans unsuspecting Marlies.

TOR-5
SYR-8

Syracuse Leads the Series 2-0

Mike McKenna allowed 5 goals on 19 shots for the victory. Maybe not a banner night for McKenna, but he got that sweet nectar known as goal support.

First Period
3:27 SYR Conacher (2), (Froese, Thomas)(SH)
4:48 SYR Bournival (1), (Conacher, Gourde)
9:30 SYR Peca (1), (Bournival, Erne)
15:15 TOR Johnsson (3), (Holl)
19:39 SYR McGinn (3), (Froese, Taormina)(PP)

Second Period
2:29 SYR Vermin (2), (Walcott, Lynch)
4:00 SYR Peca (2), (Condra, McGinn)
8:15 TOR O'Reilly (1), (Grundstrom, Griffith)(PP)
12:00 TOR Kapanen (1), (Dermott)(PP)

Third Period
10:46 TOR Grundstrom (1), (Nielsen, Griffith)(PP)
11:58 SYR Conacher (3), (Gourde)(SH)
16:18 SYR Vermin (3), (Masin, Gourde)(EN)
18:56 TOR Griffith (1), (Greening)

Cory Conacher, Matthew Peca, and Michael Bournival were the game's three stars. There's little doubt this has been a veteran-heavy effort in the playoffs thus far, but it's good to see Matthew Peca having a good playoff run too, and he's now up to a point a game so far.

Syracuse did an excellent job to hold serve at home in Game One and Two, making sure that Toronto suffered properly for stubbing their toe in their regular season finale on the way to losing the North Division crown. That said, the old adage is still true: it's not a series until someone loses a game at home. Syracuse's challenge now is to win at least one game in the Marlies' barn with a view toward winning this series as quickly as possible in preparation for the colossal challenge that awaits if they can make it to the conference final.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Froese Haunts Former Team, Crunch Take Game 1 Against Marlies


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dealt at the deadline, Byron Froese had a chance to show what he could do against his former team.

Froese finished with a goal and an assist to lift the Syracuse Crunch over the Toronto Marlies, 3-1, in Game 1 of the North Division Finals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. Game 2 is set for Saturday in Syracuse.

“It’s not personal, but you always want to play well against a team that traded you away, right?” Froese said. “I don’t think I left on bad trms at all, but it’s an exciting series and it’s a big series for us.”

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 5-5-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 3 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 6
QMJHL Finals
Saint John leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 7-6-13, +15, 20 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-2-3, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 12-13-25, +16, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Mathieu Joseph scored with 15 seconds left in the second period to extend Saint John’s lead to 5-3, and the Dogs held the Armada off the scoresheet in the third period until they got an empty-netter to seal the win. Saint John takes a 1-0 lead the Q Finals, with Game 2 set for Saturday.

Ontario Hockey League

Mississauga Steelheads 1 @ Erie Otters 2 (Thursday)
OHL Finals
Erie leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 1-7-8, +15, 6 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 4/21 FO
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 13-11-24, +17, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 9-17-26, +13, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie took Game 1 in the OHL Finals against Mississauga, who was coming off a sweep of Peterborough. Anthony Cirelli didn’t have a great night in the faceoff circle (4/21), but managed an assist on the game-opening goal. Erie had a 2-0 lead through two periods before the Steelheads cut it to 2-1 with just over two minutes remaining. The Otters limited Mississauga to just 14 shots for the game and only five in the third period. Game 2 is Sunday.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-5-17 Marlies at Crunch

Crunch win Game Uno on Cinco de Mayo.

TOR-1
SYR-3

Syracuse Leads the Series 1-0

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 25 shots for the victory.

First Period
1:39 TOR Johnsson (2), (Nielsen, Moore)
14:40 SYR Condra (3), (Froese, Taormina)(PP)

Second Period
16:15 SYR Froese (2), (Erne, Walcott)

Third Period
18:43 SYR Gourde (1), (Conacher, Condra)(EN)

Byron Froese, McKenna, and Erik Condra were the game's three stars. Froese, the ex-Marlie, with a first taste of vengeance against his ex-organization.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-30-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 6 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 5
QMJHL Semifinals
Saint John wins best-of-7 series, 4-2

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 7-6-13, +15, 20 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 14 GP, 11-11-22, +17, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Down 5-3 early in the third period, Saint John mounted a comeback to tie the game, then win it on Boko Imama’s seventh goal of the playoffs with just over five minutes remaining. Joseph had the primary assist on the game-winner. The win by the Sea Dogs puts them in the QMJHL Finals against fifth-seeded Blainville-Boisbriand, who beat Charlottetown, 4-1, in the other semifinal. Cedric Paquette and Daniel Walcott both played for the Armada. Saint John is the top seed.

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 7 @ Owen Sound Attack 2
Western Conference Finals
Erie wins best-of-7 series, 4-2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 1-7-8, +14, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 3-1-4, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 6/15 FO, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 13-10-23, +16, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 17 GP, 9-17-26, +14, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie won its third in a row after being down 2-1 in the series, eliminating the Attack in six games. Anthony Cirelli had a hat trick and four points in the series-clincher, including one shorthanded goal and one on the power play. He’s second in the OHL in playoff goals, one behind the Steelheads’ Spencer Watson (Kings). Dylan Strome (Coyotes) scored twice Sunday for the Otters, who will face Mississauga for the OHL championship and right to go to the Memorial Cup in Windsor.

Crunch Top IceCaps in OT, Advance to North Division Finals


By Jeremy Houghtaling

A former member of the IceCaps came back to haunt the team.

Gabriel Dumont scored 2:18 into overtime to lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 overtime win over St. John’s in Game 4 of the North Division Semifinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

The Crunch take the series 3-1 and advance to the North Division Finals, while the IceCaps’ franchise is set to move to Laval next season.

“There was two guys in front, so I didn’t really see it go in. I just heard the puck hit the middle post and the goal light go on,” Dumont said. “I was pretty excited and I didn’t know what to do.”

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-28-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

@ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 0 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 4
QMJHL Semifinals
Saint John leads best-of-7 series, 3-2

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 3 Hits
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 6-5-11, +14, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff Totals: 13 GP, 11-9-20, +15, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Callum Booth (Hurricanes) stopped 23 shots as Saint John rebounded from a Game 4 loss to take a pivotal Game 5, 4-0. Joseph had at least a point in every playoff game until Friday. The Sea Dogs can advance to the finals with a Game 6 win Sunday.

Ontario Hockey League

Owen Sound Attack 2 @ Erie Otters 4
Western Conference Finals
Erie leads best-of-7 series, 3-2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 1-7-8, +14, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 10/20 FO
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 10-9-19, +15, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Playoff Totals: 16 GP, 9-17-26, +13, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie won its second in a row against the Attack, going up 3-2 in the series with a 4-2 Game 5 win at home Friday. Anthony Cirelli had two assists, Taylor Raddysh had an empty net goal, and Erik Cernak got his first point of the series. Owen Sound was up 2-1 in the game before Erie’s two second period goals. Erie can advance to the finals against Mississauga with a win Sunday.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-28-17 IceCaps at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star moves on to its next target.

STJ-1
SYR-2 (OT)

Syracuse Wins the Series 3-1

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory. After an uneven close to his regular season after the trade deadline, McKenna's upped his game for the postseason.

First Period
16:41 SYR Condra (2), (McGinn, Peca)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
14:27 STJ Matteau (3), (Audette, de la Rose)(PP)

Overtime
2:18 SYR Dumont (1), (Froese, Erne)

McKenna, Gabriel Dumont, and Erik Condra were the game's three stars as the veterans continue to drive the bus for the Crunch.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-26-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 3 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4
QMJHL Semifinals
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 4 Hits
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 6-5-11, +14, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 11-9-20, +15, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Joseph’s second goal of the game – a shorthanded marker – tied the game at 3 in the third period, but Joey Ratelle (undrafted) scored with 14 seconds remaining in regulation to steal the win for the Sags. Boko Imama scored his third goal of the series. Game 5 is back in Saint John Friday.

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 0 @ Mississauga Steelheads 7
Eastern Conference Finals
Mississauga wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 1/2 FO
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 3-3-6, +5, 15 PIM
Season Totals: 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 12 GP, 1-6-7, +9, 6 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-22-29, +9, 58 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

Matthew Mancina (undrafted) stopped all 24 shots he faced as the Steelheads secured a berth in the OHL Finals with a 7-0 drubbing of the top-seeded Petes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Peterborough’s season ends as its most successful in years, though they probably wish the made things a little more difficult on Mississauga. For the Lightning prospects, Chris Paquette was scoreless and minus-2 in the Steelheads series. He will return to Peterborough next year after coming over from Niagara at the trade deadline. He had a breakout year for the IceDogs and Petes. Matt Spencer had seven points in eight games in the first two rounds, leading the league in plus/minus, but went scoreless against Mississauga, finishing minus-7 in the series. He was signed last year by the Lightning and will start his professional career next season. The former No. 3 overall pick in the OHL could join AHL Syracuse’s Black Aces shortly.

Erie Otters 4 @ Owen Sound Attack 3
Western Conference Finals
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 1-6-7, +13, 4 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 6/16 FO, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 10-7-17, +14, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 15 GP, 8-17-25, +13, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie evened its series with Owen Sound after blowing a 3-1 lead. Warren Foegele, who scored in overtime of Game 7 against London, scored shorthanded midway through the third period to lift the Otters to a 4-3 Game 4 win. Anthony Cirelli was first star, scoring once and being credited with another before a scoring change. Game 5 is back in Pennsylvania Friday.

Crunch Win Game 3, Push IceCaps to Brink of Elimination


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite letting an early two-goal lead slip away, the Syracuse Crunch found a way to pull out a win.

Byron Froese scored with 3:55 left in the second period and the Crunch held the IceCaps off the board the rest of the way, as Syracuse beat St. Johns, 3-2, in the North Division Semifinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday. Syracuse leads the series 2-1 and hosts Game 4 of the best-of-five series on Friday.

Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx knew the series would be a physical back-and-forth battle.

“It’s been like that since day one and we don’t expect anything different Friday,” he said. “It’s a hard-fought battle and we found a way to win, so it’s good.”

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