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Weekly Syracuse Crunch Roundup

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Last Week

Thurs., Sept. 26 - Crunch at St.John's - W, 5-2

Sat., Sept. 28 - Crunch at St. John's - W, 1-0

Sun., Sept. 29 - Crunch at St. John's - L, 3-2

This Week

Sat., Oct. 5 - Crunch at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.

Need to Know

- The Crunch captured their second straight Mary's Cup by taking two of three preseason games at St. John's.

- Syracuse's final preseason practices are at the Cicero Twin Rinks Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 11 a.m.

- The 20th season of Crunch hockey begins Saturday night in Binghamton when Syracuse battles the Senators.

From Tampa to Newfoundland to Syracuse, Crunch camp nears conclusion

The Crunch arrived in Central New York Monday after a week-long trip to Newfoundland for training camp. Syracuse won two of three exhibition contests against the St. John's IceCaps, AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. The series win clinches another Mary's Cup for Syracuse and caps the third consecutive season that the Tampa Bay Lightning have held their AHL training camp in Newfoundland.

The roster of 20 players who participated in Crunch training camp last week was bolstered Sunday by Tampa Bay Lightning personnel moves. Five players were assigned to Syracuse: forwards J.T. Brown, Brett Connolly and Nikita Kucherov; and defensemen J.P. Cote and Dmitry Korobov.

Forwards Mike Angelidis and Dana Tyrell were placed on waivers Sunday, cleared Monday and were assigned to Syracuse. Defenseman Matt Taormina also cleared waivers Monday, but cannot yet be assigned the Crunch because of an injury.

Nine former Crunch players remain with the Lightning and will be on the club's active roster of 23 when the NHL season begins Tuesday, including forwards Alex Killorn, P.C. Labrie, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Richard Panik; defensemen Keith Aulie, Mark Barberio, Radko Gudas and Andrej Sustr. The Lightning open their regular season Thursday in Boston.


Preseason Game 1: Crunch capture preseason opener with three unanswered goals

Syracuse topped St. John's, 5-2, Thursday at Mile One Centre in Newfoundland in the Crunch's first exhibition game of training camp. Forward Cedric Paquette scored twice and Tanner Richard scored the game-winner while netminders Riku Helenius and Cedrick Desjardins split time in goal, with Helenius stopping 19 of 21 shots.

After a scoreless first period, Paquette potted his first marker 4:16 into the second. Defenseman Luke Witkowski doubled the Crunch lead with 7:41 to go in the middle frame. IceCap Cody Sol cut the Crunch lead in half with a power-play tally less than a minute later. With 4.2 seconds remaining in the second stanza St. John's forward Kael Mouillierat tied the game, 2-2.

Crunch forward Tanner Richard gave the Crunch the go-ahead-goal on a breakaway at the 8:16 mark of the final frame, beating St. John's netminder Michael Hutchinson high on the glove side. Paquette's second tally provided insurance and Vlad Namestnikov capped the scoring with an empty netter for the final score of 5-2, Syracuse.

Preseason Game 2: Syracuse clinches Mary's Cup with shutout win

Geoff Walker scored the lone goal and Riku Helenius stopped all 27 shots he faced as the Syracuse Crunch defeated the St. John's IceCaps 1-0 Saturday at Clarenville Events Centre in Clarenville, NL. The Tampa Bay Lightning's AHL affiliate has won three consecutive Mary's Cups.

Walker's goal came on a 5-on-3 power play in the final 10 seconds of the first period. With St. John's Patrick Cullity and Cody Lampl serving penalties, Joey Mormina's point shot kicked off the end wall to Walker in front who beat IceCaps goaltender Jussi Olkinuora for the game's only goal. Olkinuora played the first two periods, stopping 16 of 17 shots. Adam Brown came on for the third, making eight saves.

Syracuse's Phil Paradis had a third-period fight with rookie J.C. Lipon.

Preseason Game 3: IceCaps avoid Mary's Cup sweep vs. Crunch

The Crunch fell to the IceCaps, 3-2, Sunday at Mile One Centre in St. John's. Despite the loss, Crunch players hoisted the Mary's Cup after the contest, having won two of three preseason contests against the IceCaps.

Nikita Nesterov and Cedric Paquette lit the lamp for the Crunch, while Cedrick Desjardins stopped 26 shots in the loss.

St. John's opened the scoring halfway through the first period with a goal from Blair Riley and doubled its lead with a power-play goal from Josh Lunden during the second frame.

The Crunch scored the next two goals to tie the score. Nesterov scored shorthanded with 11 seconds remaining in the middle frame. Early in the third, Paquette redirected a shot from the point past St. John's netminder Eddie Pasquale to equal the score.

IceCaps forward Andrew Gordon scored the game-winning goal just 27 seconds later, making the final score 3-2, St. John's.


Crunch at Binghamton Senators—Saturday, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN Radio)

The 20th season of Crunch hockey begins Oct. 5 in Binghamton at 7:05 p.m. The Crunch were 4-3-0-1 against the Senators last season and beat them by one point in the standings (97 to 96) for the East Division regular season championship and the three seed in the Eastern Conference. In their first meeting of the season last year, Oct. 20 in Binghamton, Syracuse staged the largest comeback in team history, overcoming a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5 in overtime.

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