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Crunch Beat Penguins, Extend Win Streak to Four Games


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Crunch had a feeling they would break through.

Despite outshooting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 17-4 in the first period, the Syracuse went into the intermission with a one goal deficit. The Crunch scored three unanswered goals to beat the Penguins, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday to extend their win streak to four games.

“We were going. I thought we played really good in the first,” Syracuse forward Gabriel Dumont said. “I think it was pretty much a question of time for when things would turn for us.”

Juniors Game Night: 2-23-18

Ontario Hockey League

Sudbury Wolves 2 @ Kitchener Rangers 3 (OT)

W Alexey Lipanov, SBY: Did not play
Season Totals (SBY): 13 GP, 2-2-4, -10, 6 PIM
Season Totals (BAR): 35 GP, 11-19-30, +9, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 48 GP, 13-21-34, -1, 16 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

Almost carbon copy of the 3-2 OT road loss in North Bay a couple of nights ago, but this time the Wolves letting a 2-1 lead early in the 3rd slip away. Like the North Bay match, Lipanov didn’t dress against the Rangers. Connor Bunnaman (PHI, 2016 4th round pick) tallied his 22nd of the season in the 3rd to knot the score and force overtime, and then the Ranger captain assisted on Joseph Garreffa’s (undrafted) OT game winner just 38 seconds into the extra frame. Kole Sherwood (CLB, FA ELC) also had a goal and an assist for Kitchener. Sudbury’s newest winless streak now sits at six games.

Western Hockey League

Seattle Thunderbirds 4 @ Kelowna Rockets 5

D Cal Foote, KEL: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 51 GP, 16-42-58, +21, 40 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

After falling behind 2-0 at the 1st intermission, Foote opens the Rockets scoring just 19 seconds into the 2nd period and sparks a four-goal rally by Kelowna. But the visiting T-birds would push back, knotting the score at 4-4 with two goals of their own before the Kole Lind (VAN, 2017 2nd round pick) potted the game-winner for the Rockets with just 80 seconds remaining in regulation. Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) paced Kelowna with a goal and an assist.

Regina Pats 7 @ Saskatoon Blades 5

D Libor Hajek, REG: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (REG): 18 GP, 3-7-10, +4, 2 PIM
Season Totals (SAS): 33 GP, 8-17-25, -10, 26 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 11-24-35, -6, 28 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 65 GP: 4-22-26, -17, 81 PIM

The Pats and Blades combined for 12 goals in a barn burner SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. The Blade jumped out to a 4-0 lead in front of almost 4,000 faithful, but Cameron Hebig (undrafted) and former Canadiens prospect Matt Bradley would lead a four-goal rally by the Pats to tie the score at 4-4 early in the 3rd. After a go-ahead goal by Saskatoon, Regina goals by Sam Steel (ANA, 2016 1st round pick) and Jared Leglen (undrafted) would pull the Pats back ahead, and Hebig and Bradley would combine for an empty netter to seal the Regina win.

Pasquale Wins Duel Against Tokarski, Crunch Edge Phantoms


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Eddie Pasquale and Dustin Tokarski certainly have a history.

When a brawl broke out in 2013, Pasquale and Tokarski — then with the Crunch — met at center ice and began hurling punches at each other.

Two seasons later, the two became teammates on the St. John’s IceCaps.

In their first time meeting again as competitors, Pasquale and Tokarski kept the game scoreless for nearly 50 minutes. Michael Bournival broke through for a pair of goals late in the third period, as Pasquale and the Syracuse Crunch edged Tokarski and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“He’s probably excited. He played here for a long time and did really well here,” Pasquale said. “He’s a goalie that if you don’t bring your A game, you’re not going to win. He’s been around a long time and had a lot of success. We had a good duel tonight, and it’s good to get the win.”

AHL Game Night: 2-23-18 Phantoms at Crunch

Crunch vets earn win against the team with the second best record in the Eastern Conference.

SYR-2
LV-1

Eddie Pasquale allowed 1 goal on 32 shots for the victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
8:53 SYR Bournival (14), (Condra, Stephens)
13:52 LV Read (7), (unassisted)(SH)
17:16 SYR Bournival (15), (Condra, Bodie)

Michael Bournival, Pasquale, and Erik Condra were the game's three stars as the Crunch's vets showed up big in a very important win.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 2-22-18

Ontario Hockey League

Kingstons Frontenacs 1 @ Peterborough Petes 3

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 6/16 FO
Season Totals: 53 G, 15-12-27, -31, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (NIA/PBO): 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

Dylan Wells (EDM, 2016 5th round pick) made 31 saves for the Petes to help secure a big home win against Kingston. Paquette assisted on empty net shortie by Zach Gallant (DET, 2017 3rd rounder) with 8 seconds left in the game to preserve Peterborough’s tenuous 2-1 lead with the Frontenacs pressing for the equalizer.

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

Omaha Lancers 8 @ Youngstown Phantoms 1

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +16, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

Perbix scored his 2nd of the season and added an assist as the visiting Lancers put a snowman up on the scoreboard against the Phantoms. Perbix notched the helper on Brendan Furry’s (Niagara commit) goal as part of a five goal 1st period by Omaha. Perbix’s goal came in garbage time early in the 3rd with the Lancers having a commanding 7-0 lead on Youngstown. Perbix broke 20 points as a blueliner in his first full season post-high school, and by far and away leads all Omaha defensemen in points and assists. He’s also 7th on the team in points, 5th in assists, and 3rd on the team in power play assists.

Minnesota State High School League

Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper Wings 1 @ Edina Hornets 5

F Sammy Walker, EDN: 1-1-2, 2 PIM
Season Totals (HS): 26 GP, 29-31-60, 14 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

Edina advances to the Minnesota State high school 6AA championship semi-finals by virtue of a 5-1 win against the Wings of Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper high school. Walker posted a goal and an assist, netting his goals just 2:23 into the game and hot on the heels of Lewis Crosby’s (uncommitted) 1st goal of the game just 49 seconds into the match. In the 2nd period, Walker would team up with linemate Mason Nevers (uncommitted) to set up the first of Jett Jungels’ (Northern Michigan commit) two goals. Jungels and Crosby both would each score again in the 3rd.

With the win, the Hornets advance to the state semi-finals Saturday night at the Bloomington Ice Garden against the 5th seed St. Louis Park Orioles. The Orioles pulled off a minor 2-1 upset of the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights. The winner advances to the state championship finals Monday night against either #3 seed Wayzata (whom Edina beat twice during the regular season) or #2 seed Cretin-Derham Hall (whom Edina beat once during the regular season).

NHL Game Night: 2-22-18 Lightning at Senators

We can neither confirm nor deny the Lightning abducted Erik Karlsson after the game.

TB-4
OTT-3

Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the victory. Should've been 2 on 36, but a charity decision by Toronto reversed a goaltender interference call that originally waved off the first goal allowed in the Third Period.

First Period
9:31 TB Johnson (17), (Kunitz, Gourde)
14:54 OTT Dzingel (16), (Stone, Brassard)
16:26 TB Hedman (9), (Kucherov, Namestnikov)

Second Period
3:37 TB Namestnikov (20), (Kucherov, Stamkos)
19:59 TB Point (24), (Gourde, Killorn)

Third Period
8:11 OTT Borowiecke (Ryan, Ceci)
17:44 OTT Brassard (18), (Stone, Karlsson)(PP)

Vladislav Namestnikov and Yanni Gourde were the game's first and second stars.

Kind of a common game for the pre-deadline dog days of this season for the Lightning: built a 3 goal lead through 40 minutes and then sleepwalk through a lackluster garbage time before eventually snagging the two points. The Lightning keep doing just what they need to do in very workmanlike fashion. Very few of these games look like Picassos, but I'm not expecting any more masterpieces until maybe midway through March when the roster will be different and the team is tuning up for the postseason.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 7:49.

Adam Erne is -1 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 7:44.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 2-21-18

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Halifax Mooseheads 3 @ Charlottetown Islanders 2 (OT)

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 2-0-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 18/36 FO, *First Star*
Season Totals: 50 GP, 25-50-75, +36, 22 PIM
’16-’17 Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Somppi (pictured) earns First Star for his second game in a row after he scored two goals to knot the game at 2-2 and force overtime. Raphael Lavoie (2019 draft eligible) scored his second OT game-winner in as many games as the Mooseheads gutted out a tough two points on the road. With about 10 games left in the Halifax regular season and Somppi averaging 1.5 points/game, a 30-60-90 season is within reach for the Finn.

Ontario Hockey League

Sudbury Wolves 2 @ North Bay Battalion 3 (OT)

W Alexey Lipanov, SBY: Did not play
Season Totals (SBY): 13 GP, 2-2-4, -10, 6 PIM
Season Totals (BAR): 35 GP, 11-19-30, +9, 10 PIM
Season Totals: 48 GP, 13-21-34, -1, 16 PIM
‘16-‘17 Totals (VHL-Russia): 21 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 8 PIM

After a couple games back in the lineup, Lipanov didn’t dress for Sudbury’s trip to North Bay, where the Wolves let a 2-0 lead in the 1st slip away. North Bay scored in both the 2nd and 3rd to force overtime, and then Jake Henderson (undrafted) buried the game-winner for the Battalion just 31 seconds into the extra session.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 2 @ Swift Current Broncos 4

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 11/25 FO
Season Totals: 36 GP, 22-35-57, +25, 36 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

D Oleg Sosunov, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 58 GP, 7-16-23, +34, 54 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (MHL-Russia): 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

The Broncos handled their business at home against the Warriors, with four different players scoring for Swift Current and righty-D Artyom Minulin (2018 draft eligible) racking up three assists including the game-winning shortie by Beck Malenstyn (WAS, 2016 5th round pick).

AHL Game Night: 2-21-18 Crunch at Americans

Peca and Ingram help stake Crunch to key 4 point victory.

SYR-2
RCH-1

Connor Ingram allowed 1 goal on 20 shots for the victory.

First Period
5:01 RCH Malone (6), (Cornel, Fedun)(SH)

Second Period
1:26 SYR Stephens (18), (Verhaeghe, Masin)
1:36 SYR Peca (9), (Verhaeghe, Bodie)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Matthew Peca and Carter Verhaeghe were the game's first and second stars. Dominik Masin is also riding a little hot streak with 2 goals and 5 points in his last 5 games.

Syracuse moves 1 point clear of Rochester into third place in a tightly bunched North Division. Toronto is nine points clear of the pack, but Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester and separated by a mere two points between second and fourth position.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Even After Highlight Reel Save, Ingram Pragmatic About His Development


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Connor Ingram isn’t letting one play get to his head.

The Syracuse Crunch goalie made a highlight reel save that ended up on SportsCenter’s Top 10 in a 3-1 win in Charlotte Sunday. Even after a spectacular diving stop with his stick, Ingram focused more on making the next save.

Ingram remains pragmatic about the play and hockey in general as he works his way toward the NHL.

“It went right to left, I slid in and missed my post on the left side and it was a wide open net. You’ve got to do whatever you can to get there, and luckily he just shot it right into my stick,” Ingram said. “I’m not going to take credit for it. It’s a pretty fluky thing that’ll happen.”

Juniors Game Night: 2-20-18

Western Hockey League

Prince George Cougars 5 @ Kelowna Rockets 6

D Cal Foote, KEL: 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 50 GP, 15-42-57, +21, 38 PIM
‘15-‘16 Totals: 71 GP, 6-51-57, +39, 41 PIM

Foote assisted on a Carsen Twarynski (PHI, 2016 3rd round pick) power play goal in the 1st period and also on what would eventually be the game-winner by Erik Gardiner (undrafted) in the 2nd. The Rockets jumped out to a 3-2 lead over the Cougars in the 1st and then extended it to 6-2 in the 2nd behind two goals by Twarynski and two goals and an assist by Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick). Prince George rallied in the 3rd, scoring three but could never muster the equalizer. For Foote, he equaled his points total (57) from last season in 21 fewer games.

Minnesota State High School League

The Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper Wings beat the Hopkins Royals Tuesday by the score of 3-2, winning the Minnesota State 6AA tournament play-in and advancing to the quarterfinals against Sammy Walker and the #1 seed Edina Hornets on Thursday night. The win broke a seven-game losing streak for the Wings.

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