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Weekly Crunch Roundup

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning

Last Week

Wed., Feb. 13 - Crunch at Albany - W, 6-0

Fri., Feb. 15 - Crunch at Binghamton - W, 7-1

Sun., Feb. 17 - Crunch at W-B/Scranton - W, 3-0

This Week

Mon., Feb. 18 - Crunch at Albany, 2:00 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 20 - Crunch vs. Toronto, 7:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 23 - Crunch vs. Springfield, 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 24 - Crunch vs. Connecticut, 3:00 p.m.

Need to Know

- Syracuse has a three-game win streak, outscoring opponents 16-1 in those games including two shutouts.

- Brett Connolly has an eight-game scoring streak with 10 points in that span, six goals and four assists.

- For the first time this season Syracuse has four games in one week: one on the road followed by three at home.


Game 47: Syracuse serves revenge to Albany in 6-0 special teams exhibition

All six Syracuse goals came on special teams-four on the power play and two shorthanded-while Albany was held scoreless in six man advantages as the Crunch thumped the Devils, 6-0, at Times Union Center in Albany. Syracuse snapped its two game losing streak which was started by the Devils, a come-from-behind effort four days earlier. Mike Angelidis dropped the gloves with Dan Kelly eight seconds into the game following boarding by Kelly. Mark Barberio scored his seventh 37 seconds into the ensuing power play (Tyler Johnson and Brett Connolly assisting) to set the tone. Syracuse scored a season-best five goals in the second frame: Dmitry Korobov, Radko Gudas and J.T. Wyman on the power play with Dana Tyrell (in his Crunch debut) and Mike Angelidis adding unassisted shorthanded markers. Gudas had his first Gordie Howe hat trick of the year, as Barberio, Korobov and Philip-Michael Devos each had two-point performances. Riku Helenius stopped all 24 Albany shots while starter Keith Kincaid made only 10 saves on 16 shots through 40 minutes before getting relieved by Jeff Frazee for the third.

Game 48: Crunch uncork Senators in 7-1 drubbing

Syracuse's largest scoring output of the season came against the Eastern Conference's least-scored-upon goalie Friday in Binghamton, a 7-1 Crunch victory. Robin Lehner had not allowed more than four goals this season, but Syracuse's seven-including three from J.T. Wyman-balooned the netminders' average from 1.85 to 2.02. He had allowed five goals combined in four previous appearances vs. Syracuse. Along with Wyman's second career hat trick, Syracuse got markers from Brett Connolly (20), Alex Hutching (1), P.C. Labrie (9) and Dana Tyrell (2). Wyman had a four-point game, his season high, while Gudas, Tyrell and Connolly had two points. Riku Helenius stopped 33 of 34 shots, allowing a power-play goal to Shane Prince late in the second period. Syracuse added three more special teams goals: one shorthanded from Wyman plus 2-for-5 on the power play. The BSens outshot the Crunch 34-33.

Game 49: Pens blanked by Crunch, 3-0

The Crunch won their third straight game with a three-goal third period and a stellar defensive effort Sunday in Wilkes-Barre, a 3-0 win over the Penguins, who now trail the Crunch by nine points in the East Division. Kyle Wilson, who had one goal in his first 11 games with the Crunch, scored twice (the first and third Syracuse goals). P.C. Labrie assisted on Wilson's game winner at 2:02, registering his second point in as many games with the Crunch since returning from Tampa Bay for a conditioning assignment. Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson each potted two helpers, first setting up Brett Connolly's 21st of the season at 3:25 of the third and the capping tally from Wilson at 11:44. Riku Helenius earned his 11th win of the year and fourth shutout while appearing in his fourth consecutive game. Jeff Zatkoff, who still has the AHL's best active goals-against average at 2.01, dropped to 16-15-0. The Crunch were held to a season-low 15 shots, including the smallest total by period, two, in the second. Only four penalty minutes were served in the game, two for each side.


2/16/2013 Pat Nagle (G) DEL Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) to Florida (ECHL)

2/14/2013 Brendan Mikkelson (D) ADD Conditioning loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

2/14/2013 Pierre-Cedric Labrie (LW) ADD Conditioning loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

2/14/2013 Pat Nagle (G) ADD Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)

2/14/2013 Cedrick Desjardins (G) ADD Loaned from Tampa Bay (NHL)

2/14/2013 Dustin Tokarski (G) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

2/12/2013 Richard Panik (RW) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)


- Brett Connolly extended his scoring streak to eight games Sunday with his 21st goal of the season. Connolly has 10 points (6g, 4a) in that span, the longest active streak on the Crunch.

- Connolly now has 44 points (21g, 23a), second only to Tyler Johnson's 45 (23g, 22a). Johnson is the AHL's second best scorer among active players, fourth overall. Connolly is fourth among actives, seventh overall.

- Riku Helenius has two shutouts in his three-game win streak, allowing only one goal in that span. He's dropped his goals-against average from 3.26 to 2.78 in the last week while his save percentage has risen from 0.870 to 0.891.

- Syracuse's power play is up to ninth in the AHL at 19.4% while the penalty kill has risen to 13th at 84.1%. Three shorthanded goals in Week 19 give Syracuse nine for the season, third most in the AHL, allowing the fewest (3).


Crunch at Albany—Monday, 2:00 p.m.

For the second time in less than a week and the third time in ten days, the Crunch square off with the Albany Devils Monday afternoon. Syracuse has won three of the four meetings this season, including a 6-0 victory Feb. 13, in the most recent match. The Crunch have won all three games in Albany this season.

The Devils have lost three in a row (0-2-0-1), but are 5-4-0-1 in their last ten games to move to 20-18-1-9. That’s good for 50 points, which puts the Devils in third place in the Northeast Division and tenth overall in the Eastern Conference. Albany is led by right wing Matt Anderson (10g-18a-28pts), left wing Joe Whitney (12g-15a-27pts), and center Steve Zalewski (8g-17a-25pts). Goaltender Keith Kinkaid is 16-10-5 with a 2.61 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. He’s given up 13 goals in three games against the Crunch. For Syracuse, Tyler Johnson’s seven points (4g-3a) lead all Crunch scorers in four games against the Devils. In net, Riku Helenius has won both of his starts versus Albany, including one shutout.

Crunch vs. Toronto—Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

For the first time this season, the Crunch face the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night in Syracuse. It’s the first of two meetings between the two clubs, with the final match coming Mar. 6 in Toronto.

The Marlies are 4-5-1-0 in their past ten games, dropping to 26-17-2-2 overall. That gives Toronto 56 points, placing them second in the North Division and sixth in the Western Conference. The Marlies are led by left wing Ryan Hamilton (20g-10a-30pts), center Joe Colborne (7g-19a-26pts), and center Jake Gardiner (9g-12a-21pts). The Marlies are thin in goal right now, with their two top goaltenders both recalled to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their two active goalies have played a combined eight games, with Drew MacIntyre getting a win in his first game with the Marlies on Saturday. In a sense, this game could be looked at as a rematch of last year’s Calder Cup Finals, as the Marlies lost to many of the current Crunch players who last season played in Norfolk. In the finals last season, Tyler Johnson was the leading scorer, with three goals and three assists in four games against Toronto.

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

For the second and final time this season, the Crunch face the Springfield Falcons Saturday night in Syracuse. The Falcons won the first meeting this year, a 5-3 win Feb. 1 in Springfield.

Springfield is 6-3-1-0 in its past ten games to move to 29-12-4-3, good for 65 points. That places the Falcons in first place in the Northeast Division, first in the Eastern Conference and second overall in the AHL. The Falcons are currently led by left wing Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (16g-30a-46pts), left wing Ryan Craig (16g-22a-38pts), and center Ryan Johansen (16g-16a-32pts). Audy-Marchessault is currently the active scoring leader in the AHL with 46 points. Goaltender Curtis McElhinney is 20-9-2 with a 2.30 goals against average and a league high seven shutouts. For the Crunch, Mark Barberio had an assist on each of the Crunch’s three goals in the loss at Springfield earlier this month.

Crunch vs. Connecticut—Sunday, 3:00 p.m.

For the second and final time this season, the Crunch play the Connecticut Whale Sunday afternoon in Syracuse. Syracuse won the first meeting this season, a 4-3 overtime win Dec. 1 in Hartford.

With points in six consecutive games (5-0-0-1) the Whale are one of the hottest teams in the league. They are 7-1-1-1 in their past ten to improve to 25-21-4-2, with 56 points. With this run, the Whale have moved up to second in the Northeast Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. Connecticut is led by center Kris Newbury (17g-27a-44pts), right wing Brandon Segal (14g-14a-28pts), and defenseman Logan Pyett (5g-20a-25pts). Goaltender Cam Talbot is 19-19-1 with a 2.52 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. He’s won four straight starts. For the Crunch, Riku Helenius started in goal the last time these teams met. He allowed three goals on 27 shots in the victory.

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