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Crunch complete three-game preseason sweep of St. John’s IceCaps

by Turner Batten / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Syracuse Crunch, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, completed their AHL preseason schedule with a 3-0-0 record by sweeping the St. John’s IceCaps this past week in Newfoundland, outscoring them by a combined score of 13-8.

The first meeting of the three-game series featured four goals from four different Crunch players.

Cory Conacher, Philip-Michael Devos, Richard Panik and Alex Killorn all scored in the 4-1 Crunch victory on Thursday, October 4. Mark Barberio tallied an assist on the Conacher goal and Alex Hutchings assisted on Devos shorthanded marker. Dustin Tokarski and Riku Helenius split time in net for the Crunch. Tokarski gave up the lone St. John’s goal on a power-play while Crunch defenseman Evan Oberg was in the box for elbowing.

The second game was won 3-2 in shootout fashion, highlighted by Helenius stone-walling three out of four St. Johns shooters in the shootout. The Crunch overcame a two-goal deficit thanks to goals from Brett Connolly and Matt Taormina. Connolly also contributed in the shootout by scoring the game-clinching tally. Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat also converted in the shootout for the Crunch on Friday night.

The Crunch needed overtime on Sunday to secure a 6-5 victory and preseason sweep of the IceCaps. Ondrej Palat buried a pass from Barberio with 1:28 to play in the extra period to seal the deal for the Crunch. Alex Killorn notched a hat trick and also added an assist in a four-point effort leading the Crunch to victory. Killorn’s five preseason points led the team. Panik added a goal and an assist while Barberio tallied two assists. Conacher also found the back of the net for the second time during the preseason, while J.T. Brown and Keith Aulie also got into the scoring mix with an assist each.

The Crunch look to carry their preseason momentum into the regular season as they travel to Rochester this Friday, October 12, to take on the Rochester Americans to open up the AHL regular season. The Crunch will also host the Hershey Bears Saturday night to kick off their home slate. To keep up with the Crunch all season, please visit

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