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Weekly Crunch Recap

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Last Week

Fri., Jan. 25- Crunch vs. Binghamton - SOL, 1-0

Sat., Jan 26 - Crunch vs. St. John's - W, 6-3

This Week

Fri., Feb. 1 - Crunch at Springfield, 7:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 2 - Crunch vs. Rochester, 7:30 p.m.

Need to Know

- Syracuse earned three points in Week 16 and has the AHL's second best points percentage (0.683).

- Among active AHL players, Tyler Johnson has the most goals (20) and third most points (39).

- Syracuse meets the Falcons in Springfield Friday and plays Rochester for the sixth time Saturday at home.


Game 40: Goaltending spectacle ends in Crunch shootout loss, 1-0

The Crunch were shut out for the first time this season and lost 1-0 in a shootout to the division rival Senators. Syracuse pounded Binghamton goalie Robin Lehner with 40 shots in regulation and overtime combined. For the Crunch, goalie Dustin Tokarski picked up his third shutout of the season after stopping 27 shots, including a sprawling blocker save late in overtime to extend the game. In the shootout, Binghamton’s Stephane Da Costa was the only player to score.

Game 41: Goalie fight sparks Crunch comeback in 6-3 barnburner

Syracuse snapped its longest losing streak of the season (four games) with a 6-3 win Saturday over St. John’s. In the first period, Syracuse did all the scoring. Alex Killorn scored a power-play goal and J.T. Wyman added a shorthanded tally. In the second, the IceCaps stormed back with three straight goals before fireworks blew up. At the 5:36 mark, J.F. Jacques and Raymond Sawada began fighting. All the other players on the ice joined the altercation, which was capped off by goalies Dustin Tokarski and Eddie Pasquale brawling at center ice. From that point on, Syracuse held Saint John’s scoreless and got goals from Kyle Wilson, Killorn, J.P. Cote, and an empty-netter from Richard Panik to close out the game. Riku Helenius earned the win in relief, stopping all 15 shots he faced.


01/21/2013 Alex Hutchings (LW) Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) to Florida (ECHL)

01/21/2013 Charles Landry (D) Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)

01/21/2013 Jean-Francois Jacques (LW) Loaned from Tampa Bay (NHL)


- Riku Helenius earned his eighth win of the season Saturday, playing nearly 35 minutes in relief of Dustin Tokarski. Helenius allowed zero goals on 15 shots to pick up his first win since Dec. 14 at Adirondack and snap a three-game individual losing streak. It was the first time Helenius relieved Tokarski, while the inverse has occurred twice: Oct. 20 in Binghamton after a goalie fight and Dec. 9 in Bridgeport.

- Though he suffered his fourth shootout loss of the season Friday (tied for most in the AHL), Dustin Tokarski picked up his third shutout of the year, holding Binghamton scoreless through regulation and overtime Saturday and making 27 saves. Tokarski had a 4-1-1 record in January, appearing in seven of Syracuse's nine games with a 2.27 goals-against average, a 0.912 save percentage and two shutouts.

- Ten players recorded at least one point in Saturday's 6-3 win vs. St. John's, and four players had multi-point efforts. With three points each were Alex Killorn (2g, 1a) and Richard Panik (1g, 2a). Mark Barberio and Tyler Johnson had two assists each.

- Alex Killorn's game-winning goal Saturday was his second of the season, his first since Dec. 14 in Glens Falls against the Adirondack Phantoms, a 3-0 Crunch win. Brett Connolly leads Syracuse and the AHL with six game-winners.

- The Crunch scored two power-play goals Saturday (2-for-5), after scoring just one power-play goal in their previous seven games (1-for-24). Saturday was the 12th time Syracuse has scored at least two power-play goals in one game this season, and the first time since Dec. 29, the last time Syracuse played the IceCaps.

- Syracuse's overall power play is ranked 13th in the AHL at 18.2% (36-for-198) and is third with the man advantage on home ice at 23.4% (22-for-94).

- J.T. Wyman scored first shorthanded goal of the season Saturday (his fourth overall), Syracuse's sixth shorthanded marker of the season and second in three games. Only four AHL teams have more shorthanded goals this season: BNG (11), CT (8), GR (7), TEX (7). Syracuse's six shorthanded goals have come from six players: Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik, Ondrej Palat, Wyman, Matt Taormina, Mike Angelidis.

- With 46 penalty minutes Saturday, the Crunch became the second team in the league to surpass 1000 penalty minutes for the season. Rockford's 1,141 PIMs equates to 26.53 per game, edging Syracuse's 1,013, or 24.71 per game.

- Syracuse leads the AHL in goals-per game, 3.45. The Crunch suffered their first shutout Friday, but equaled their largest scoring output of the season Saturday with six goals. They previously scored six goals Oct. 20 at Binghamton in a 6-5 overtime win, and 6-1 wins Nov. 16 vs. Hershey and Nov. 25 at Worcester.

- Syracuse continues to limit opponents's shots better than any AHL team, 25.29 per game, while registering 33.39 shots of their own, the second highest average in the league.


Crunch at Springfield—Friday, 7:00 p.m.

The Crunch return from the All-Star break by traveling to Springfield to face the Falcons for the first time this season. It’s the first of two meetings this year, with the final one coming in late February back in Syracuse. The Crunch and Falcons split a pair of meetings last season.

Springfield is 7-2-1-0 in its last ten games, but has lost two in a row leading into the All-Star break. With a 25-11-3-3 record and 56 points, the Falcons sit in first place in the Northeast Division, and in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Falcons are 11-6-1-3 this season on their home ice. The leading scorers for the Falcons are left wing Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (16g-29a-45pts), center Nick Drazenovic (14g-24a-38pts), and left wing Ryan Craig (12g-17a-29pts). Cam Atkinson (17g-21a-38pts) had been the second leading scorer for the Falcons, but he is now with Columbus of the NHL. Audy-Marchessault’s 45 points makes him the active leader in points in the AHL. Curtis McElhinney has made the majority of the starts in goal for Springfield. In 27 games the all-star has a 17-7-2 record with a 2.28 goals against average. His six shutouts lead the AHL.

Last season, as a member of the Norfolk Admirals, Dustin Tokarski played in all four games against Springfield. He went 3-1 in goal, with a 2.01 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.

Crunch vs. Rochester—Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

For the fourth time in 2013 and the sixth time this season, the Syracuse Crunch face I-90 rival the Rochester Americans. It will be the sixth of ten meetings this season between the two teams, and the third time they meet at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse. The Amerks have won four of the first five meetings with the Crunch: a 6-5 shootout win Oct. 12, a 5-2 win Nov. 10 in Syracuse, a 4-1 win Jan. 12 in Syracuse and a 4-1 win Jan. 18 in Rochester. The Crunch's only win this year against the Amerks came on Jan. 9, a 5-3 victory in Rochester.

The Amerks have won seven of their last ten games, including three straight, to improve to 22-15-2-1, fourth in the North Division and eighth in the Western Conference. The leading scorers for the Amerks are right wing Mark Mancari (11g-24a-35pts), center Kevin Porter (12g-22a-34pts), and right wing Brian Flynn (15g-14a-29pts). Goalie David Leggio leads the AHL in victories with an 21-12-1 record, with four of those wins coming against the Crunch. His 21 wins make him the only goaltender with more than 20 victories in the AHL. He has one shutout along with a 2.88 goals against average.

Dustin Tokarski has played in three games against the Amerks and Riku Helenius has played in two, with Tokarski picking up the lone win. Ondrej Palat has six assists in five games to lead the Crunch against the Amerks.

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