This week we continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
This week’s winner is the only person to walk on this earth that can say he completed his Harvard University degree while winning a Calder Cup championship.
The Prospect of the Week for December 17 is … Alex Killorn, C/W, Syracuse (AHL – USA)
No one can claim they completed their Harvard degree while winning a Calder Cup championship except Alex Killorn.
Killorn made his AHL debut late last season for the Norfolk Admirals after finishing an outstanding collegiate career at Harvard University. He finished his last Harvard paper during Norfolk’s Calder Cup run, contributing three goals and 12 points when he wasn’t hunched over his computer.
Plenty of numbers stuck out after the Syracuse Crunch topped the Wikes-Barre Scranton Penguins 4-0 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
The night began with 1,286 teddy bears thrown on the ice after Brett Connolly opened the scoring, the Crunch's power play followed by converting for two goals, and Syracuse goalie Dustin Tokarski finished with 29 saves for his first shutout of the season.
The weekend marks a return to Jon Cooper hockey...
SYR Connolly, (12) (Wyman, Killorn), 14:35
SYR Killorn, (8) (Devos, Brown), 11:21 (PP)
SYR Labrie, (6) (Johnson), 5:07
SYR Johnson, (16) (Panik, Palat), 16:37 (PP)
This weekend's two game set was a return to what makes Jon Cooper hockey so special. It's not just that the team will score a ton of goals. It's not just that they're tough as nails. At the heart of it all, what made last year's team in Norfolk so special was that they also played suffocating defense, too. They beat you like you stole large sums of money from them in every single phase of the game, and often made you look like a pee wee team in the process. And it didn't matter if it was Tic or Janus between the pipes, either. Back-to-back shutout annihilations should send a chilling message to the rest of the Eastern Conference. After two weekends of looking mortal, the next generation of the Lightning has returned to the style Jon Cooper preaches, and may God have mercy on the rest of the AHL's souls if they keep it up.
Syracuse is off until Friday when they'll try to continue their team shutout streak against last night's victim, Adirondack.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Riku makes the Phantoms' scoring chances disappear.
Riku Helenius stopped all 21 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. Coming into the season, Helenius had just one shutout in 37 career AHL appearances. Now he has two in his first 11 appearances since re-emerging from Finland.
SYR Killorn, (7) (Aulie), 4:53
SYR Panik, (12) (Korobov), 9:39 (SH)
SYR Gudas, (2) , 13:44
After a five game scoreless streak, Richard Panik and the Panik attack returned to the scoresheet with a shorthanded goal.
This was a rough, brutal game that saw the teams combining for 119 penalty minutes. If you're looking for one of the biggest differences between the AHL and the NHL versions of the Lightning, it's that the Crunch are tougher than the steak you get at Golden Corral.
Syracuse tries to wrap up a solid week tomorrow at home against the Penguins.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
It has been stressed to Brett Connolly that he needs to drive to the net.
The 20-year-old Syracuse Crunch forward followed through against the Binghamton Senators Wednesday at the Onondaga County War Memorial, potting a pair of goals in the Crunch's 4-3 win.
"Coach has been all over me to do that," Connolly said. "That's where I've been scoring all my goals."