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Weekly Syracuse Crunch Roundup

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Last Week

Wed., Jan. 9 - Crunch at Rochester-W, 5-3

Fri., Jan. 11 - Crunch vs. Norfolk-W, 3-2 SO

Sat. Jan 12 - Crunch vs. Rochester-L, 4-1

This Week

Fri., Jan. 18 - Crunch at Rochester, 7:05 p.m.

Sat. Jan 19 - Crunch vs. Lake Erie, 7:30 p.m.

Need to Know

Syracuse won two of three contests in Week 14, including its first shootout win of the season, to stay atop the AHL standings with a 0.716 points percentage at 24-8-2-3 (53pts).

Tyler Johnson has the most goals in the Eastern Conference (20) and second most points (35).

Syracuse completes the first half of its season Friday in Rochester and faces Lake Erie for the first time Saturday.


Game 35: Crunch finish road trip with 5-3 win over Rochester

In Wednesday’s 5-3 victory in Rochester, 10 different Crunch players posted at least one point, the second highest total of the season. (The Crunch had 14 players mark the score sheet Nov. 16 in a 6-1 win over Hershey.) Syracuse took leads of 1-0 and 3-1, but the Amerks battled back to tie both times. Danick Gauthier scored the Crunch’s fourth goal, the eventual game-winner, the first of his career. J.T. Wyman added an insurance goal to help the Crunch to a 5-3 win, their first win against Rochester in three meetings this year. Gauthier and Wyman were two of four Crunch players with multi-point efforts: Brett Connolly (1g, 1a), Danick Gauthier (1g, 1a), Alex Killorn (2a) and J.T. Wyman (1g, 1a). Dustin Tokarski made 28 saves in his 16th win of the season, while David Leggio allowed five goals on 45 shots. Only ten combined penalty minutes were served in the contest, as the Crunch were 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Amerks were 1-for-3.

Game 36: Crunch win streak hits season-high with shootout win over Norfolk

Trailing the Norfolk Admirals 2-0 in the second period, Syracuse rallied to force overtime before eventually winning, 3-2, in a shootout Friday at the War Memorial. The Crunch’s fifth straight win, a season-high and third over Norfolk in the past week, was third time Syracuse won despite trailing after two periods. After former Crunch winger Kyle Palmieri helped the Admirals take a 2-0 lead, Danick Gauthier cut the deficit in half in the second period and P.C. Labrie tied the game with 6:44 remaining in the third period. J.T. Wyman, Ondrej Palat, Jared Nightingale, and Richard Panik scored in the shootout, while Dustin Tokarski stopped two of four shooters. Syracuse is 4-0 against Norfolk and 13-5 vs. East Division opponents.

Game 37: Crunch finally cool down with 4-1 loss to Rochester

Syracuse’s season-high five game win streak ended in a 4-1 loss to Rochester Saturday at the War Memorial. In a physical game between the I-90 rivals, 24 total penalties were called and the teams racked up a combined 93 penalty minutes, including six fighting majors and three misconducts. Riku Helenius stopped 27 of 31 shots for Syracuse, but the Amerks offense generated the most goals vs. Syracuse since St. John's Dec. 29. Former Crunch forward Rick Schofield tallied the first goal followed by Nick Tarnasky to build the Amerks 2-0 edge. Brett Connolly pulled the Crunch within one on a power-play goal, but Amerks captain Kevin Porter and leading scorer T.J. Brennan added insurance goals to seal Rochester's third win in four games against Syracuse.


1/12/2013 Alex Hutchings (LW) ADD Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)

1/12/2013 Charles Landry (D) ADD Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)

1/13/2013 Mike Angelidis (C) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 Keith Aulie (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 Cory Conacher (LW) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 Mark Barberio (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 Radko Gudas (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 Tyler Johnson (C) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 Pierre-Cedric Labrie (LW) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 Matt Taormina (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

1/13/2013 J.T. Wyman (RW) DEL Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)


Syracuse's longest winning streak of the season (five games, Dec. 31-Jan. 11) came to an end in Week 14.

Dustin Tokarski has won each of his last seven starts (including his second shutout of the season Jan. 4 at Norfolk), allowing 14 goals in that span with a 1.97 goals-against average and 0.910 save percentage. His 17 wins are second most in the AHL and his 2.28 goals-against average is 10th in the league. The fourth-year pro has only one regulation loss in his last 13 appearances.

Jared Nightingale's shootout game-winning goal Friday vs. Norfolk was the first shootout attempt of his career at any level. The 30-year-old defenseman has played 406 regular-season games in the ECHL and AHL.

Danick Gauthier scored his first game-winning goal while recording his first multi-point game (1g, 1a) Wednesday in Rochester when the Crunch topped the Amerks, 5-3. Gauthier added his fourth goal of the season Friday vs. Norfolk, sparking Syracuse's comeback win. In 13 games this season, the 21-year-old rookie has five points (4g, 1a).

Alex Killorn has points five straight games (1g, 6a) and in 12 of his last 15 games (Dec. 9-Jan. 12), totaling 18 points in that span (9g, 9a). He now has the team's third most points (31) with 15 goals and 16 assists.

Allowing five power-play goals on 16 chances in Week 14, Syracuse's penalty kill drops from sixth in the AHL to 14th at 84.2%. At 1-for-13 on the power play in Week 14, Syracuse sinks from seventh to 11th in man-advantage opportunities at 18.3%.


Crunch at Rochester—Friday, 7:05 p.m.

For the third time in their last four games, the Syracuse Crunch face I-90 rival the Rochester Americans. It will be the fifth of ten meetings this season between the two teams, and the third time they meet at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. The Amerks have won three of the first four meetings with the Crunch: a 6-5 shootout win Oct. 12, a 5-2 win Nov. 10 in Syracuse, and a 4-1 win Jan. 12 in Syracuse. The Crunch’s only win this year against the Amerks came last week, a 5-3 victory in Rochester.

Rochester has won six of its last nine games to improve to 19-14-2-1, third in the North Division and seventh in the Western Conference. The leading scorers for the Amerks are defenseman T.J. Brennan (14g-21a-35pts), center Kevin Porter (11g-19a-30pts), and right wing Mark Mancari (10g-20a-30pts). Goalie David Leggio leads the AHL in victories with an 18-11-1-1 record, with three of those wins coming against the Crunch. He has one shutout along with a 2.90 goals against average. Dustin Tokarski and Riku Helenius have each played in two games against the Amerks, with Tokarski picking up the lone win. Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat each have five assists in four games to lead the Crunch against the Amerks.

Crunch vs. Lake Erie—Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

For the first time this season, the Syracuse Crunch will face the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday. This is the first of two meetings this season between the Crunch and Monsters, down from four matchups a season ago. Saturday will be the only time the Monsters travel to the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, as the Crunch will close out the season series in Cleveland Apr. 9.

The Monsters are 6-3-1-0 is their past ten games and 20-16-2-1 overall, good for 43 points. That puts them in second place in the North Division and in sixth place in the Western Conference. The leading scorers for the Monsters are rookie left wing Andrew Agozzino (12g-18a-30pts), center Mike Sgarbossa (13g-15a-28pts), and defenseman Tyson Barrie (6g-21a-27pts). Goalies Calvin Pickard and Sami Aittokallio have split time for the Monsters, with each picking up ten victories. Over the past five seasons, the Monsters are 10-5-1-0 vs. Syracuse, including a 5-2-1-0 record in Syracuse. Saturday’s game will be just the second game against an Eastern Conference opponent for Lake Erie, after the Monsters play the Hershey Bears on Friday.

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