Talk Lightning Hockey with fans and staff at the BP Message Boards and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Latest Features

Crunch Hang On to Top Bruins, Take 2-1 Series Lead


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The first period showed how good the Syracuse Crunch can be when they play their game.

The final six minutes showed how relentless the Providence Bruins can be.

The Crunch built up a 4-1 lead by the four minute mark of the third period but had to survive a late Bruins flurry, as Syracuse hung on to top Providence, 5-4, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

The Crunch lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Friday in Syracuse.

“I thought we played a solid first period. Then we stopped playing in the second and they were all over us. Our goalie was phenomenal in the second period,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “Then we came back and played a solid 14 minutes in the third, and then we stopped playing again.

“I don’t think we can stop playing at this part of the year.”

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-25-17

Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Erie Otters 2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Memorial Cup: 3 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 1-8-9, +17, 10 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 7/11 FO
Memorial Cup: 3 GP: 1-5-6, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 15-16-31, +18, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Memorial Cup: 3 GP, 3-6-9, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 12-19-31, +16, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Tournament-host Windsor advanced to the Memorial Cup final with a 4-2 win over OHL champ Erie Wednesday night on the strength of a Jeremiah Addison (Canadiens) hat trick. Taylor Raddysh had a goal for the Otters, scored on a wrist shot through the 5-hole off the left wing. Anthony Cirelli added an assist. Erie, who beat Saint John 12-5 last game, will face the Sea Dogs again in the semifinals for the right to meet Windsor in the Final. Saint John is coming off a 7-0 win over Seattle. Don’t expect another blowout.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-24-17 Bruins at Crunch

Wild finish to otherwise dominant performance by the Crunchning Death Star.

PRO-4
SYR-5

Syracuse Leads the Series 2-1

Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 39 shots for the victory. Goal support: McKenna has it.

First Period
8:19 SYR Conacher (5), (Taormina, Gourde)(PP)
14:18 SYR Bournival (4), (Brodeur, Thomas)

Second Period
4:48 SYR Taormina (3), (Conacher)
17:35 PRO Heinen (7), (Simpson, Szwarz)

Third Period
3:59 SYR Gourde (4), (Dotchin, Conacher)
16:49 PRO Blidh (1), (Grant, Fitzgerald)
17:11 PRO Heinen (8), (Szwarz, Simpson)
17:52 SYR Conacher (6), (Dumont, Dotchin)(EN)
19:09 PRO Fitzgerald (1), (Porter)(SH)

McKenna, Cory Conacher, and Yanni Gourde were the game's three stars.

Syracuse's dominance on home ice in these playoffs remains in tact. 6-0 thus far on home ice is a serious edge with the next two games in Syracuse. Am I in love with the fact the Crunch allowed Providence to get the false hope goal in the Third Period twice? No, but it's called the false hope goal for a reason. When you stake yourself to a three goal lead in the final frame, it's a death sentence for the opposition seemingly 99.9% of the time, and those odds were reconfirmed again tonight.

At this hour, the directive for Game Four for the Crunch is clear: stomp on the Bruins' playoff throats. A win in Game Four puts them in a 3-1 hole and squarely up against the ropes. The Crunch allowed Toronto to stick around longer than they probably should've in the last round. This round? Finish them.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-22-17

Saint John Sea Dogs 7 vs Seattle Thunderbirds 0

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-2-3, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Memorial Cup: 3 GP, 1-2-3, E, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 8-7-15, +17, 22 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Memorial Cup: 3 GP, 2-2-4, +1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 13-19-32, +20, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Boko Imama had a goal and two assists and Callum Booth (Hurricanes) stopped all 31 shots he faced as Saint John stayed alive in the Memorial Cup by eliminating WHL champ Seattle Tuesday night, 7-0. The Sea Dogs exploded for six goals in the second period – five in just over three minutes – to advance to the tournament semifinals. Mathieu Joseph was dangerous all night, drawing penalties and throwing hits. His goal came off the weak side when he snapped a rolling puck into the far top corner of the net. Boko’s goal came off a turnover in the high slot when he knocked the puck carrier off the puck, spun, and snapped his shot by the goalie in one motion. He had an assist on Joseph’s goal by starting the rush through the neutral zone. Saint John will play the loser of Wednesday’s Erie-Windsor match-up. The winner of Wednesday’s game gets a bye to the finals.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-22-17

Saint John Sea Dogs 5 @ Erie Otters 12

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Memorial Cup: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 8-7-15, +17, 22 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Memorial Cup: 2 GP, 1-2-3, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 13-19-32, +20, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Memorial Cup: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 1-8-9, +17, 10 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 1-3-4, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/12 FO, *Third Star*
Memorial Cup: 2 GP: 1-4-5, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 15-16-31, +18, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 2-4-6, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, *Second Star*
Memorial Cup: 2 GP, 2-6-8, +2, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 12-19-31, +16, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

OHL champ Erie crushed the Sea Dogs Monday night in a game featuring five Lightning prospects. Mathieu Joseph had a strong first shift, hitting the post and knocking an Otter flying with a hard hit, but it was all downhill from there for Saint John. Taylor Raddysh scored his first of the game off a pass from Anthony Cirelli on the game’s second shift and Erie would never look back. Raddysh was temporarily tied for the Memorial Cup record for points in a game with six before his teammate Dylan Strome (Coyotes) scored his fourth goal and seventh point. Cirelli and Raddysh were strong on and off the puck all night and Erie was simply too fast and skilled for Saint John. Joseph showed good jump all night, earning a penalty shot, but he was unable to convert the opportunity. Imama wasn’t overly visible in the game. Stay-at-home defenseman Erik Cernak was solid on defense for Erie and contributed an assist. Erie will play Windsor Tuesday with the winner advancing to the championship game. The loser of that game will play the winner of Seattle-Saint John in the semifinals. Despite the Sea Dogs’ 0-2 start, they can still get to the finals.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-21-17 Crunch at Bruins

Crunch lose a Game Two goaltending duel.

SYR-1
PRO-2 (OT)

Series Tied 1-1

Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 36 shots for the OT loss. Probably wishes they saved him a couple of goals from the previous two 6 goal outbursts.

First Period
1:26 SYR Thomas (2), (Brodeur, McGinn)

Second Period
16:47 PRO Szwarz (4), (Heinen, Cross)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
8:28 PRO Szwarz (5), (Simpson, Heinen)

Ben Thomas was the game's third star.

Mixed emotions from this opening two game set in Providence. The Crunch accomplished what they needed to by wrestling home ice away from the Bruins and they came within an eyelash of grabbing the series by the throat tonight in an airtight Game Two. Rationally, they're in great shape, but momentum may be sitting on Providence's bench heading into an absolutely critical Game Three after an emotional OT victory. Luckily, with such a veteran laden team, I expect Syracuse to have a strong response in Game Three. They need it. That's not a must-win contest, but it's one you desperately want to have.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-20-17

Erie Otters 4 vs Seattle Thunderbirds 2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 1-8-9, +17, 10 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 12/20 FO
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 15-16-31, +18, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 22 GP, 12-19-31, +16, 18 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Chicago prospect Alex DeBrincat had a goal and a helper to lead Erie to a 4-2 win over WHL champ Seattle in the Memorial Cup opener for both teams. The three Lightning prospects on the Otters combined for four assists. Erie plays Saint John on Monday in a match-up featuring five Tampa Bay prospects.

Memorial Cup Game Night: 5-19-17

Saint John Sea Dogs 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 3

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 8-7-15, +17, 22 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff Totals: 18 GP, 13-19-32, +20, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

After not playing for more than a month, tournament host Windsor held on for a 3-2 win over QMJHL champion Saint John Friday at the 2017 Memorial Cup. Mathieu Joseph had an assist for Saint John, who next play OHL champ Erie on Monday.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-19-17 Crunch at Bruins

Crunchning Death Star continues to maraud its way through Calder Cup playoff run.

SYR-6
PRO-3

Syracuse Leads the Series 1-0

Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the victory. He might want one of the goals back that he allowed to make the game close for a moment in the Third Period, but life remains good when you bathe in sweet, sweet goal support.

First Period
3:57 SYR McGinn (4), (Condra)
12:20 SYR Bournival (3), (Conacher, Gourde)

Second Period
4:37 PRO Grant (2), (unassisted)
6:56 SYR Vermin (5), (Peca, Taormina)(PP)

Third Period
4:13 SYR Dumont (4), (Vermin, Erne)
12:56 PRO DeBrusk (6), (Grzelcyk, Grant)
13:09 PRO Heinen (6), (Simpson, Cross)
18:25 SYR Gourde (3), (Dumont)(EN)
19:38 SYR Froese (4), (unassisted)(EN)

Joel Vermin and Yanni Gourde were the game's first and second stars.

After failing to take a road win in their entire 7 game series against the Marlies, the Crunch got one right off the jump tonight thanks in large part to the play of their veterans. The P-Bruins should be sweating that outcome because the Crunch have to feel very loose right now knowing they've been very good holding serve at home and they've already taken away home ice advantage for the series. Heading into Game Two, the pressure is squarely on Providence's shoulders and the Crunch are playing with a tall stack of the house's chips.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Top Marlies, Advance to Eastern Conference Finals


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite trailing 3-1 in the second period, Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx liked his team’s composure.

The Crunch evened the score before the second intermission, went ahead eight seconds into the final frame and finished with five unanswered goals to top the Toronto Marlies, 6-3, in Game 7 of the North Division Finals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

Syracuse advances to play Providence, who also won a Game 7 Wednesday, in the Eastern Conference Finals starting Friday in Providence.

“I like the composure we had on our bench tonight,” Groulx said. “The guys always believed. I’m very happy for them. They did a great job. Credit to our guys.”

Syndicate content