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Crunch Come out of Holiday Break with a Pair of Victories

by Trevor von Knotsenburg / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Syracuse Crunch ended their brief two-game losing skid the day after Christmas and finished the week with a 2-0-0-1 record. They gained five out of a possible six points during their three games last week.

The Crunch got off to a hot start to begin their game on Wednesday night against the Senators in Binghamton. Mark Barberio, Cory Conacher and Radko Gudas scored the game’s first three goals to stake Syracuse out to an early three-goal lead. The Crunch only allowed two shots on goal in the first period, which is their lowest amount on the road this season.

The Senators energized their home crowd and fought back to make it a one-goal game, but that would be as close as they would get as the Crunch held on for a 5-3 win.

Alex Killorn had his six-game goal scoring streak snapped in the victory. Dustin Tokarski made 17 saves for the win and Conacher finished the game with a goal and two assists.

On Friday night the Crunch won their second consecutive game with a 4-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals. The Crunch’s power play was very effective in the game, striking three times on four opportunities.

Tyler Johnson led the way for Syracuse and was the game’s first star, recording a goal and two assists. Tokarski made his fifth straight start and made 16 saves for his 12th win of the season. Killorn also found the back of the net for his seventh time in his past eight games.

Tyler Johnson
Tyler Johnson
Center - TBL

Syracuse dominated the pace of play and never trailed in the game, also out-shooting the Admirals 32-18.

At the conclusion of the game, 45 penalty minutes were handed out, as an altercation broke out after the final whistle.

On Saturday night the Crunch fell to the St. John’s IceCaps in Syracuse, 5-4 in overtime after scoring the game’s first four goals.

Conacher, Killorn, Keith Aulie and Vladdy Namestnikov all scored to put the Crunch up 4-0 midway through the second period. Namestnikov’s goal was his first career AHL/professional goal.

The IceCaps scored twice to close out the second period and then two more times in the third. St. John’s defenseman Ben Chiarot scored the IceCaps’ fifth straight unanswered goal in overtime with 20 seconds remaining in extra time.

The Crunch power play has gone 6-of-8 over their last two games, bumping their power play up to sixth in the AHL with a 19.4% success rate.

The Crunch return to action on Monday night when they travel to W-B/Scranton to take on the Penguins at 5:05 p.m. Syracuse closes out their three-game week with a pair of games on the weekend in Norfolk against the Admirals.

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