Palat, Ondrej

Crunch Come Back, But Come Up Short in Shootout


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch came out flat Friday, and the Adirondack Phantoms took full advantage.

The Phantoms tallied goals on the first two shots of the game, and led 3-0 before the first intermission. The Crunch spent the rest of the game playing catch-up, and despite tying the game in the third, fell short in the shootout, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

"It was a good comeback, the guys battled hard," Syracuse forward Tyler Johnson said. "But at the same time, we shouldn't put ourselves in that position. We shot ourselves in the foot."

AHL Game Night: 12-8-12 Crunch at Phantoms

Shot down in the shootout.

SYR-3
ADK-4 (SO)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 34 shots and 2 of 4 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. He's hit a little dry spell now, going 1-3-0-1 in his last 5 starts. That may partly explain why it looks like Helenius will get the bulk of the time this weekend.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (9) (Brown), 17:47

Second Period
ADK McGinn, (7) (Couturier, Schenn), 1:56 (PP)
ADK Schenn, (10) (Couturier, Gustafsson), 4:54 (PP)
SYR Labrie, (5) (Wyman), 13:51
ADK Schenn, (11) (Akeson), 18:12
SYR Conacher, (10) (Aulie, Brown), 19:02

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Palat
ADK- Schenn, Roe

Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe managed to shut down the collective firepower of Conacher, Connolly, Panik, and Johnson in the shootout, only surrendering a goal to Ondrej Palat. Against that murderers row, I'd have to say he earned his pay - with the help of two posts.

Brett Connolly led the Crunch with a very solid 7 shots on goal to go with his game-opening marker. He's starting to really hit his stride.

Syracuse will finish out their weekend tomorrow afternoon against Bridgeport. That'll end the 3 in 3 nights scenarios for about 2 months, and the Crunch will settle into a more normal and less fatiguing routine. The fact they've managed to hang around the top spot in the conference even despite the scheduling challenges bodes well now that they've cleared this month-long hump of hectic weekend sets.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Score Early, Often In 5-1 Win Over Bulldogs


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Initially thought to have sustained a cracked sternum, Brett Connolly found out earlier this week that it was just a contusion.

While the injury made it hurt for him to breathe this week, the Syracuse Crunch forward was determined to play against the Hamilton Bulldogs at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"Right now, it's just pain tolerance," Connolly said. "It's going to take a lot to keep me out of the lineup."

Connolly played through the pain, registering a pair of points - including a 5-on-3 power play goal seven minutes into the game that stood up as the game-winner - as the Crunch beat the Bulldogs, 5-1.

AHL Game Night: 12-7-12 Bulldogs at Crunch

Crunch squash Hamilton.

HAM-1
SYR-5

Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 20 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Palat, (3) (Barberio, Johnson), 0:26
SYR Connolly, (8) (Killorn, Johnson), 7:08 (PP)
SYR Taormina, (3) (Conacher, Brown), 13:42 (PP)
HAM Palushaj, (7) (Beaulieu, Leblanc), 19:42

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Killorn, (4) (Palat, Barberio), 6:28
SYR Labrie, (4) (Connolly, Korobov), 11:08

Brett Connolly, Ondrej Palat, and Alex Killorn were the three stars of the game.

Don't look now, but Palat has snuck past teammate Dmitri Korobov into the top spot in the league in +/- at +17. Tyler Johnson, who still leads the league in goal scoring, is lingering in a tie for third in the league at +14.Richard Panik and Radko Gudas are also in the top-20 in the league in the statistic.

Syracuse gave some rough treatment to former Lightning farmhand Cedrick Desjardins, running up a 42-20 shot advantage en route to pinning 5 goals on him. When you score 26 seconds into a game and swarm to a 3-0 lead within the first 14 minutes, it's safe to say you were ready to go at puck drop.

Keith Aulie (pictured) was back in the lineup for Syracuse for the first time since late October. The big d-man was +2 with 3 shots on goal.

Syracuse will move on to face Adirondack tomorrow night.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-9-12 Crunch at Bulldogs

The defense doesn't rest for the Crunch.

SYR-4
HAM-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed 1 goal on 14 shots for the win. Yes, 14 shots. That's getting a full game check for half the work. Thank your defense, Tic.

First Period
SYR Devos, (1) (Korobov, Gudas), 16:07

Second Period
HAM Quailer, (1) (Nattinen, Dumont), 2:07
SYR Angelidis, (4) (Wyman, Brown), 19:08

Third Period
SYR Johnson, (7) (Panik, Palat), 7:58
SYR Johnson, (8) (Panik, Gudas), 10:55

Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat were the game's first and second stars. Palat (pictured) is now tied for 3rd in the AHL in assists.

Panik attack, y'all. 2 helpers.

But, seriously. 14 shots? The Crunch already have an abnormal amount of offensive firepower. You're telling me they also have the ability to hold another professional team to 14 shots on goal defensively? Just give them the repeat now, if that's the case. It's just not fair to the rest of the league.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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