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Crunch spectacular again in three-game weekend

by Turner Batten / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Syracuse Crunch earned six out of a possible six points in their three-game set this weekend, outscoring their opponents, 16-6.

The Crunch hosted the Hershey Bears Friday night to kick off their three-game weekend set and they started fast.

Tyler Johnson took a pass from Philip-Michael Devos and found the back of the net only 59 seconds into the game and the Crunch never looked back.

After peppering Bears goalie Braden Holtby with 18 shots in the first stanza compared to the two shots Crunch keeper Dustin Tokarski saw, the Crunch headed into the locker room with a 2-0 lead thanks to an all-around team effort.

That proved to be all they needed as the Bears were only able to muster up a lone goal late in the second period, giving the Crunch a 6-1 win.

Saturday night seemed to be the same script, just a different opponent in the Adirondack Phantoms.

The Crunch were able to build a 5-0 lead midway through the second period, setting the stage for their 5-2 win.

Riku Helenius was sharp in net for the Crunch, allowing only two Phantom goals on 26 shots, while the penalty kill successfully stymied eight out of nine power-play opportunities for Adirondack.

The Crunch carried their momentum from Friday and Saturday into their Sunday afternoon rematch as they traveled to Hershey to battle the Bears for the second time in three days.

Scoring first for the third time over the weekend, the Crunch took a 2-1 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes of play.

The Bears would even up the score at two midway through the second stanza after Hershey forward T.J. Syner found the back of the net for the first time this season.

The tie would be short-lived as Richard Panik beat Holtby less than two minutes later as the Crunch would go on to score the next three goals to solidify the 5-3 win and secure the weekend sweep.

Ten different Crunch skaters registered at least a goal this weekend, adding another impressive stat coming out of the three-game sweep.

The Crunch have yet to lose in regulation on the road with a mark of 7-0-0-1 and improved their overall record to 10-2-1-1.

Riku Helenius earned his third win on Saturday, making 24 saves.

With 22 points, the Crunch are currently tied for first with the Springfield Falcons in the Eastern Conference after their stellar weekend.

As one of the premier teams in the AHL this season, the Crunch players find themselves at the top of the league rankings in a few different categories.

With two goals over the weekend, Tyler Johnson has now amassed 10 goals this season, good enough for a four-way tie for the top spot in the AHL.

Cory Conacher had a four-point weekend with a goal and three assists that puts him into a five-way tie for third with 17 points on the year.

Dustin Tokarski registered his sixth and seventh win on Friday and Sunday and is now tied for third in the league with two other goaltenders.

After killing off 14 of 16 opponent power-plays this past weekend, the Crunch claim the fourth-best penalty kill in the AHL.

After the Thanksgiving holiday, the Crunch will have another back-to-back-to-back set this coming weekend as they take on Binghamton at home Friday night before hitting the road to face off against the Albany Devils and Worcester Sharks.

This will be the third time the Crunch have played three games in three days. This bodes well for Syracuse as they are undefeated in games tied into a back-to-back-to-back.

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