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Erne Registers Four Points, But Crunch Fall to Wolf Pack


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Erne had a hand in every Syracuse goal, but the Crunch came up short.

The Syracuse forward netted a pair of goals and assists for his first four-point night as a pro, but the depleted Crunch fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack, 5-4, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

Three of the Crunch’s six leading scorers are on recall to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Obviously, we want to win hockey games regardless of the lineup,” Erne said. “I don’t think that’s really an excuse for us. I think we need to find a way to win these games.”

AHL Game Night: 12-21-16 Wolf Pack at Crunch

Frantic Syracuse comeback falls just short.

HFD-5
SYR-4

Adam Wilcox allowed 5 goals on 24 shots for the loss. With Ben Bishop potentially injured for the long term and Gudlevskis up in Tampa Bay, Syracuse's crease belongs to Wilcox now. We'll see how he handles the challenge.

First Period
16:08 SYR Erne (7), (Peca)
19:42 HFD Graves (4), (Joly, Jensen)

Second Period
2:58 HFD Tambellini (5), (Fontaine, Kampfer)(PP)
6:21 HFD Bodie (6), (Oksanen, McPherson)
7:48 SYR Hart (3), (Erne)
17:28 HFD Oksanen (2), (Bodie, McRae)

Third Period
1:01 SYR Erne (8), (Taormina)
2:11 HFD Fontaine (4), (Nieves)
4:00 SYR Walcott (1), (Gourde, Erne)

Adam Erne and Brian Hart were the game's first and third stars. Erne's 4 point night moves him to 5 goals and 10 points in 9 games in the month of December. An afterthought for much of the past few seasons, the former 2nd round pick Hart now has 3 goals and 4 points in the past 5 games. Two young power forwards starting to make a little progress, at least on the scoresheet, is a positive thing.

Syracuse's North Division lead has now shrunk to 2 points, although the Crunch still hold a couple of games in hand on Albany.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

MHL Game Day: 12-21-16

Chekhov Jr. 2 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 5
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 50 PIM

Oleg Sosunov did not dress for the second game of Loko Jr.'s set with Chekhov Jr. Loko currently sits in 6th place in the 15 team conference.

NHL Game Night: 12-20-16 Red Wings at Lightning

Lightning dominate Wings even as injuries continue to mount.

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TB-4

Ben Bishop stopped all 4 shots he faced before leaving in the First Period with an apparent groin or other kind of soft tissue injury. I'm not a doctor, but I'll play one on the internet: the eye test indicates that's likely a week-to-week injury rather than a day-to-day injury, but we'll see and hold out hope. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal (with under 11 seconds left to go) on 23 shots for the rare back door win. Hmmmmm.

First Period
7:02 TB Boyle (7), (Stralman, Drouin)

Second Period
7:41 TB Drouin (8), (Killorn, Johnson)(PP)
17:04 TB Point (3), (Johnson, Hedman)
19:27 TB Namestnikov (4), (Killorn, Point)

Third Period
19:49 DET Mantha (5), (Jensen, Zetterberg)

Jonathan Drouin, Brayden Point, and Brian Boyle were the game's three stars. Drouin and Point were very dangerous all game and Drouin is starting to be the star his skill set always said he was going to be. If he ever figures out the nuances of situational hockey on top of this, he's going to be a Hall of Famer.

Point had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 2 shots in 19:32. He could've had a second goal easily on a shot where he hit the goalpost flush.

Slater Koekkoek had 1 hit in 11:23.

Tanner Richard had 1 shot, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot and was 27% on 11 draws in 12:23 in his NHL debut. He wasn't glaringly good or bad, which is neither particularly good or bad for a first game. He'll need to get used to going against the best faceoff men in the world at this level and I think the speed of the skaters up top will be a challenge for him to adjust to.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 12-20-16

SaiPa 2 vs. HIFK 4
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 2-4-6, -4, 39 PIM

Saku Salminen was scoreless in 9:33 of ice time in SaiPa's 4-2 loss to HIFK. Ex-Canadiens farmhand Brock Trotter had a goal in defeat for SaiPa.

MHL Game Day: 12-20-16

Chekhov Jr. 0 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 3
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 24 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 50 PIM

Ilya Konovalov only had to turn away 17 shots to stake Loko Jr. to a 3-0 shutout win over Chekhov Jr. Now two dozen games into his campaign, Oleg Sosunov is still looking for his first MHL point of the year for Loko Jr.

CHL Game Night: 12-18-16

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 1 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 8

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-2-4, +4, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, *First Star*
Season: 32 GP, 16-14-30, +8, 22 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Katchouk was first star for the second game in a row, scoring twice and adding two helpers for four points. One of Katchouk’s assists came short-handed. He has four shorthanded goals on the season, which is tied for the lead in the OHL.

Peterborough Petes 5 @ North Bay Battalion 2

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 25 GP, 4-12-16, +11, 25 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

Peterborough won its eighth game in a row, beating North Bay 5-2. Matt Spencer has seven points during the eight-game win streak.

NOTE: All leagues are on break until the week after Christmas. The following players are with Team Canada in preparation for the World Junior Championships: Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh, Mitchell Stephens, Connor Ingram, Mathieu Joseph. Libor Hajek is with Team Czech Republic.

AHL Game Night: 12-18-16 Crunch at Bruins

Crunch drop finale of 3 game weekend set.

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PRO-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
13:57 PRO Kuraly (3), (Porter, White)

Second Period
7:24 SYR Halmo (8), (unassisted)
12:43 PRO DeBrusk (5), (Grzelcyk, Grant)

Third Period
18:09 PRO Vatrano (2), (Heinen, Cross)(EN)

Mike Halmo was the game's third star.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 12-17-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Charlottetown Islanders 2 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 8

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-2-3, +1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 2 Hits
Season Totals: 31 GP, 20-8-28, +5, 40 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

One day after a snowstorm forced the postponement of a Halifax-Saint John matchup the Dogs put a snowman on the board against the Islanders. Imama now has 20 goals in 31 games. He had 30 in his entire QMJHL career coming into this season (210 games). Let that sink in.

Moncton Wildcats 6 @ Halifax Mooseheads 4

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 2-1-3, +1, 0 PIM, 8 SOG, 16/26 FO, 0 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 28 GP, 8-14-22, -3, 18 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Somppi scored twice and added an assist, but it wasn’t enough for Halifax, who lost to Moncton, 6-4. Somppi’s second of the game cut the Wildcats’ lead to 5-4 at 7:58 of the third period. That was the closest they’d come. This was Somppi’s first multi-goal game since February 4 of last year. He has three 2-goal games in his brief QMJHL career.

Shawinigan Cataractes 6 @ Quebec Remparts 1

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 4 Hits
Season Totals: 28 GP, 22-17-39, +9, 32 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

One game after putting five points on the board vs. the Sags, Yan scored once in Shawinigan’s 6-1 win in Quebec City. Yan has six goals and seven assists in six December games.

NOTE: The QMJHL is on break until December 28.

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Niagara IceDogs 4 (SO)

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 31 GP, 12-15-27, -5, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

Niagara was down 2-0, then up 3-2 late before Windsor forced overtime. The IceDogs won in a shootout. Paquette had two points in regulation, but was not one of the five shooters for Niagara in the circus. Former Bolt prospect Cristiano DiGiacinto had a goal and two assists for the Spits. The former sixth rounder has eight goals and 11 helpers in 21 games this year.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ Regina Pats 7

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-1-2, -3, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 20 GP, 15-16-31, +3, 15 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Moose Jaw heads into the break with a 7-3 loss at the hands of the Pats, whom the Warriors upset on Friday night. Howden’s goal put Moose Jaw up 3-2 entering the third period Saturday before Regina scored five times in the final frame – none into an empty net. The Warriors gave the Pats just their third loss of the season on Friday.

NOTE: The following players are with Team Canada in preparation for the World Junior Championships: Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh, Mitchell Stephens, Connor Ingram, Mathieu Joseph. Libor Hajek is with Team Czech Republic.

NHL Game Night: 12-17-16 Lightning at Oilers

Lightning close out a .500 road trip.

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EDM-3 (SO)

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 32 shots before allowing 2 of 3 to convert in the Shootout for the penalty shot session loss. What's the difference between this game and the game against Vancouver? One less bit of bad luck, but more importantly better situational goaltending and no softies. Bishop made sure the Lightning kept contact in the First and Second Periods. It's a shame his PK couldn't help him get it over the finish line in regulation. He played well.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
3:58 EDM Lucic (9), (Draisaitl, Sekera)(PP)
18:59 TB Drouin (7), (Hedman, Point)(PP)

Third Period
2:35 TB Johnson (9), (Conacher, Nesterov)
7:03 EDM Draisaitl (14), (Letestu, Sekera)(PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- Drouin
EDM- Letestu, McDavid

Victor Hedman was the game's second star. He played 28:26 tonight on the tail of a back-to-back and was good from the first shift to the last.

Coming into this game, after looking underwhelming against the Canucks and losing Paquette from the lineup, the expectations were low for the night. In pregame, the HNIC crew didn't mince words about Tampa's chances, or lack thereof. The Lightning weathered kind of a tough First Period just continued to get stronger at 5v5 as the game wore on. By the Third Period, despite being the more road weary team, they were fairly dominant in possession and managed to build the 2-1 lead. It's tough that they couldn't close it out in regulation and tough Namestnikov had a chance in OT that came within an eyelash of securing the second point, but there was a lot to like tonight. Under the gun with roster issues and fatigue issues, the Lightning trusted their structure and played well within it. When guys like Palat and Kucherov return, there's reasons for optimism even though there's no moral victories with the standings situation what it is at the moment.

Brayden Point had a helper, 2 PIMs, and 1 shot in 23:33. He was also 30% on 10 draws. Tonight was one of the 2-3 best games he's had all season, faceoffs aside, and his ice time reflected it.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 7:23. He got on the wrong side of a 50/50 play and took the penalty that allowed Edmonton to tie the game at 2-2. Later in the game he made a decent breakout play under duress in a key shift late in the Third Period. Mixed bag.

Joel Vermin had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 9:42. He crushed Sekera on a hit that was a thing of beauty.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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