Despite falling behind in the opening minutes of the third period, the Syracuse Crunch found a way to rally.
Mike Blunden scored shorthanded for his second goal of the night, Mike Angelidis added the go-ahead goal on the power play two minutes later, and Andrei Vasilevskiy shut the door on multiple scrambles in the final minutes, as the Crunch topped the Hartford Wolf Pack, 3-2, to take the Northeast Division lead heading into the all-star break at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"Mike Blunden was unreal tonight, (Mike) Angelidis was good tonight," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "All the guys you count on night in and night out really stepped up."
Syracuse takes the division lead heading into the AHL All-Star Break.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the victory. As with last night's game, solid stat line and key saves at key moments.
SYR Blunden, (12) (Koekkoek, Corrente), 1:29
HFD Allen, (6) (Mueller, Vaive), 5:17 (PP)
HFD Hrivik, (5) (Bodie, Kristo), 2:31
SYR Blunden, (13) (Namestnikov), 7:47 (SH)
SYR Angelidis, (14) (Blunden, Mormina), 9:48 (PP)
The win allows Syracuse to move 1 point ahead of Springfield into first place in the Northeast Division, 1 point back of Manchester for the conference lead. Almost as important, it allowed the Crunch to expand their lead over the Wolf Pack to 4 points in the ultra-competitive Northeast race, as the Crunch's division might be the toughest in the league this season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
HPK 2 vs. Karpat 5
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 3-3-6, -1, 2 PIM
Saku Salminen was -1 in 11:49 of ice time in HPK's 5-2 loss to Karpat. Karpat was led by 2 goals from ex-Kings pick Esa Pirnes, as they avenged their loss to HPK on the front half of the home and home set.
Florida Everblades 5 at Gwinnett Gladiators 7
D Artem Sergeev, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 6-9-15, +5, 10 PIM, 40 SOG
G Allen York, FLA, 59:00 MIN, 6 GA, 35 SH, 29 SV
Season totals: 23 GP, 15-4-0-3, 2.76 GAA, 0.898 SV%, 3 SO
F Jeff Costello, FLA: DNP
Season totals (ECHL): 26 GP, 8-7-15, -1, 26 PIM, 65 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
F Mike Aviani, FLA: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 28 GP, 6-10-16, +1, 26 PIM, 51 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
The league standings says you have won 75% of your games, but then again you've lost 4 of your last 5, 5 of your last 8, and the cellar-dwelling Gwinnett Gladiators have put a 7-spot up on the scoreboard in back-to-back games. Seems like a reason for concern in Estero. The once unflappable Allen York is winless in this last 3, allowing 16 goals in that span, and his save percentage has dipped below 90% for the first time this season. Friday night, the 'Blades took a 3-2 lead into 2nd intermission, partly behind Lightning camper Mike Aviani's sixth goal of the season that was the equalizer early in the 2nd period. But far from closing out a one-goal lead, Florida allowed five 3rd period Gwinnett goals on just six shots! York made just 1 save on 5 shots in that disastrous 3rd period. Florida draws the rematch Saturday night against Gwinnett looking to stop the bleeding.
Wichita Thunder 4 at Rapid City Rush 5
F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals (ECHL): 39 GP, 15-20-35, -1, 37 PIM, 118 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-0-0, E, 5 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 0-10-10, -6, 87 PIM, 36 SOG
Fresh off an impressive performance in the ECHL All-Star game, Lightning prospect Danick Gauthier earned a visiting team Third Star in an losing effort Friday night. Gauthier assisted on the Thunder's first and last goals, the latter being a power-play marker that knotted the game at 4-4 early in the 3rd period. Back from recall to Syracuse, Lightning prospect Dan Milan squared off against Rush forward Daniel Barczuk in a bit of fisticuffs following Wichita's 3-2 go ahead tally early in the 2nd period. The Thunder, losers of 3 straight and 6 of their last 8, get another shot at Rapid City Saturday night.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Val-d’Or Foreurs 4 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 2
C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 15/28 FO, 1 Hit
With Sherbrooke: 14 GP, 9-12-21, -3, 12 PIM
With Cape Breton: 19 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 33 GP, 10-25-35, -9, 26 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
Sherbrooke sits in a tie for eighth in the league with Charlottetown. Darcy’s former team, Cape Breton, is 16th.
Halifax Mooseheads 1 @ Quebec Remparts 6
W Adam Erne, QUE: 1-4-5, +1, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 6/16 FO, 2 Hits, *First Star*
Season totals: 41 GP, 28-32-60, +18, 63 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Adam Erne (La Presse photo) had his third career five-point game as Quebec downed Halifax, 6-1. Quebec scored six unanswered goals in the game. Erne’s last five-point game was a four-goal affair in October 2012. His first was in October 2011 when he had five assists in one game. Quebec goalie Zach Fucale (Canadiens) faced his longtime team for the first time since being traded. The Remparts will play in an outdoor classic on Saturday in Shawinigan.
Ontario Hockey League
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 7 @ Mississauga Steelheads 5
D Anthony DeAngelo, SOO: 0-3-3, +1, 2 PIM
With SSM: 6 GP, 1-10-11, +2, 8 PIM
With Sarnia: 29 GP, 10-28-38, +1, 64 PIM
Season totals: 35 GP, 11-38-49, +3, 72 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM
DeAngelo has a five-game point streak in which he has a goal and 10 assists. The Soo outshot Mississauga 45-25 in the game, including 20-5 in the second period.
Western Hockey League
Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ Regina Pats 3 (OT)
C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 36 GP, 20-32-52, +12, 25 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM
Moose Jaw captain Brayden Point is now scoreless in two of his last three games. He has had only one other three-game stretch like that this season. In both cases he had two assists in the middle game.
Swift Current Broncos 0 @ Calgary Hitmen 8
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 36 GP, 5-15-20, +1, 18 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Thomas finally climbed to the positive side of even for the season with a plus-2 night vs the Broncos.