Tokarski, Dustin

AHL Game Night: 1-11-13 Admirals at Crunch

Jared Nightingale!?!?

SYR-3 (SO)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 20 shots before stopping 2 of 4 shooters in the penalty shot session to secure the win.

First Period

Second Period
NOR Palmieri, (12) (Holland), 2:32 (PP)
NOR Palmieri, (13) , 7:34 (PP)
SYR Gauthier, (4) (Conacher, Killorn), 15:57

Third Period
SYR Labrie, (8) (Korobov, Angelidis), 13:16


NOR- Holland, Etem
SYR- Wyman, Palat, Nightingale, Panik

Jared Nightingale and Danick Gauthier were the game's first and third stars. Both may be called on to shoulder a bigger load with the NHL lockout over with.

Those looking for clues on who might go up to Tampa for the abbreviated training camp got very few from tonight's lineup. Perhaps tomorrow's game against Rochester will help yield a better picture with camps around the NHL set to open on Sunday.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-9-13 Crunch at Americans

In possibly their last game together as a group, Syracuse gets a win...


Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (14) (Gauthier, Korobov), 10:25
RCH Mancari, (9) (Porter, Finley), 13:14

Second Period
SYR Panik, (18) (Palat, Cote), 6:50
SYR Angelidis, (6) (Killorn, Taormina), 10:54
RCH Adam, (8) (Rankin, Brennan), 19:26 (PP)

Third Period
RCH Flynn, (11) (Tarnasky), 11:25
SYR Gauthier, (3) (Connolly, Devos), 12:20
SYR Wyman, (3) (Killorn), 18:11

Brett Connolly and Mike Angelidis were the game's first and second stars. If Lightning camp does indeed get going this weekend, tonight may have been Connolly's last in a Crunch jersey.

Richard Panik (pictured) is just 1 goal shy of his total from all of last season, and the Panik attack might well be deserving of at least an abbreviated training camp look.

Alex Killorn has 5 multi-point games in his last 10 outings. He's another one who might deserve a look.

Good to see Ondrej Palat back after getting banged up in the first game in Norfolk over the weekend. He is one of those guys who is the straw that stirs the drink.

Things get interesting now. The team has a game against Norfolk in Syracuse on Friday night. Speculation around the league earlier this week had most training camps opening on Saturday. Head Coach Jon Cooper made a comment about possibly losing a lot of his current roster to the NHL, presumably for an abbreviated camp as the Lightning evaluate whether it's smart (I think it is) to add a couple of these AHLers who have been playing well and don't have any rust to shake off. Watch the transaction wire the next couple of days, because you might see callups from Florida of the ECHL that signal what's to come.

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AHL Game Night: 1-5-13 Crunch at Admirals

Crunch sweep homecoming weekend in dramatic fashion.

NOR-3 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the victory after Jon Cooper chose to pass over Riku Helenius for the start and keep the same netminder for the back end of the two game set. We'll see if Riku goes on Wednesday or if Cooper has evoked the "stick with a winner" selection process.

First Period

Second Period
NOR Kurtz, (3) (Vatanen, Rosehill), 2:54
SYR Killorn, (13) (Wyman, Gudas), 3:48
NOR Maroon, (10) (Vatanen, Sexton), 12:28 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (2) (Labrie), 17:58

Third Period
SYR Panik, (17) (Connolly, Cote), 3:46
NOR Palmieri, (11) (Vatanen), 11:39 (PP)

SYR Connolly, (13) (Killorn), 2:21

Brett Connolly was the game's first star. He's been pretty consistent all season, statistically. If you look at his last 22 games, for instance, he was only held off the scoresheet in 6 of those games. That's got to make Coach Cooper, and Guy Boucher for that matter, smile.

Richard Panik is now just 2 goals shy from his total of all last season. The Panik attack has lit the lamp 4 times in the last 3 games.

Vladislav Namestnikov is also consistently finding the scoresheet since his return from injury. He got his second pro goal tonight and he has 2 goals and 3 points in the 5 games since he came off the shelf.

Alex Killorn had his 4th multi-point game in his last 9 outings. He was chipping in singles in the early part of the season, but now he's starting to really pick up steam in his rookie campaign.

Syracuse moves on Wednesday to face Rochester.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-4-13 Crunch at Admirals

For tonight, Tic and the Crunch are still the Kings of Norfolk.


Dustin Tokarski (pictured) stopped all 22 shots he faced for the shutout. The comfort of the old barn? Extra concentration going against his old uniform? Whatever it was, he put up the forcefield tonight in the Crunch players' return to the scene of many of their greatest career triumphs.

First Period
SYR Panik, (16) , 2:28 (PP)
SYR Johnson, (20) , 14:50

Second Period

Third Period
SYR Aulie, (3) (Killorn), 17:04

Tyler Johnson, Tokarski, and Richard Panik were the game's three stars. On January 4th, TJ becomes the first Syracuse player to reach the 20 goal plateau. The Panik attack, for his part, is now just 3 goals shy of his total from all of last season.

Vladislav Namestnikov checked first pro goal off his list recently, and tonight he had his first pro fight. So, that's all the low hanging fruit. Now he's got to move on to first pro multi-point game, first pro hat trick, etc. Right?

Let's be honest: there was no way in hell the Crunch were losing this game. They held Norfolk to just 11 shots on goal through 2 periods and it was pretty clear how focused the team was. They weren't going to stub their toe in the homecoming game. It just wasn't happening. Credit to the Admirals, they clearly wanted it badly, too.

Now, tomorrow night holds some intrigue. Presumably Riku Helenius will go in net and he doesn't have as fond a set of memories about Scope. It'll also be interesting to see Riku go against his teammate from last season in JYP, Sami Vatanen, who was a stellar defenseman in the SM-liiga. They won a championship together last season. But, that was last season.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-31-12 Crunch at Penguins

Panik brings the fireworks on New Year's Eve.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 1 goal on 19 shots for the victory, completing 2012 with a solid performance that will hopefully set the tone for 2013. He came within 2 seconds of a shutout.

First Period

Second Period
SYR Panik, (14) (Connolly), 16:53

Third Period
SYR Panik, (15) (Johnson, Palat), 0:33 (PP)
WBS Smith, (11) (Dumoulin), 19:59 (PP)

Richard Panik, Tokarski, and Brett Connolly were the game's three stars. Panik's 15 goals are already just 4 shy of his total from all of his rookie campaign last year.

Syracuse heads to the old barn, Scope in Norfolk, for a 2 game set starting Friday night. The Admirals are currently last in the East Division, while the Crunch finish 2012 in first place in the Eastern Conference. That's pretty good for a Crunch team that has yet to achieve the consistency that last year's Calder Cup champs had in the second half of the season and the playoffs.

Box score from

Crunch Score Three Power Play Goals, Beat Admirals 4-2

By Jeremy Houghtaling

As the Syracuse Crunch took the ice for warmups, they looked across the ice at something that gave them a range of emotions.

It was different. It was weird. It was somewhat-familiar.

It was the same bright blue, yellow and red Norfolk Admirals uniforms that most of the team wore last year during their amazing winning streak and ensuing run to the Calder Cup championship.

"You step out and you're skating around and you see them coming out of their lockerroom, and you're like 'Jeez, those jerseys look pretty familiar,'" Crunch defenseman Mark Barberio said. "After that, it comes down to you're playing hockey and they're the opposition."

Syracuse, the new affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, scored three power play goals in a 4-2 win over Norfolk, the former farm team, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

AHL Game Night: 12-28-12 Admirals at Crunch

TJ and old Admirals beat down new Admirals.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 18 shots for the victory. He's won his last 2 starts, but his save percentage has dwindled all the way down to .901 after being at .913 to start the month of December. It's absolutely a cause for concern.

First Period
SYR Barberio, (6) (Connolly, Johnson), 9:42 (PP)
SYR Killorn, (11) (Namestnikov, Oberg), 12:12 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Palmieri, (10) , 7:19

Third Period
SYR Palat, (4) (Taormina, Johnson), 5:00
NOR Vatanen, (4) (Maroon, Wagner), 10:54
SYR Connolly, (13) (Panik, Palat), 16:15 (PP)

Tyler Johnson (pictured) and Richard Panik were the game's first and second stars. Panik attack y'all. Johnson's tied for 3rd in the league in scoring and is 2nd in goals. Unfortunately, given that 3/4 of Edmonton's NHL team is playing in Oklahoma City during the lockout, it's probably going to be tough for him to catch Jordan Eberle. Still, 3rd in the AHL in scoring during a lockout is damned impressive.

After giving the red light a one game holiday vacation, Alex Killorn scored yet another goal. That's 8 in his last 10 games. He's one of several guys, with Ondrej Palat also on that list, who might be playing themselves into contention for NHL jobs if the lockout ever lifts. It's an honest question the organization would have to ask itself: do you get more from a Tom Pyatt or a B.J. Crombeen than you'd get from a Killorn, Johnson, Conacher, Palat, Panik, etc?

Congrats to Vladislav Namestnikov on picking up a helper in his first game back since going on the shelf 2 months ago.

Syracuse faces the St. John's IceCaps tomorrow, with the Baby Thrasher-Jets still reeling from last year's Eastern Finals sweep and in dead last in the Atlantic Division.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-26-12 Crunch at Senators

Wherein #89 reminds us he's the reigning league MVP...


Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 20 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Barberio, (5) (Conacher, Connolly), 18:54 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Conacher, (11) , 0:28
SYR Gudas, (3) (Wyman), 9:51
BNG Da Costa, (4) (Hoffman, Silfverberg), 11:07

Third Period
SYR Brown, (6) (Palat, Conacher), 1:02 (PP)
BNG Silfverberg, (12) (Jessiman, Benoit), 5:23 (PP)
BNG Pageau, (2) (Jessiman), 11:35
SYR Angelidis, (5) (Wyman), 19:15 (EN)

Cory Conacher (pictured) and Mark Barberio were the game's first and third stars. Conacher's been exceedingly quiet with just 1 goal and 4 points in the 10 games prior to tonight, but his 3 point outburst signals perhaps "The Honey Badger" (not the LSU variety that ends up in rehab) is ready to start hitting the scoresheet regularly again.

Hard to believe Alex Killorn didn't score a goal tonight. His streak snaps at 6 games, although he did have 5 shots on goal tonight.

Syracuse outshot Bingo a mind-numbing 44-20 in the game, including 29-9 through the first 40 minutes. Almost dominant.

And now, the moment that we knew was coming and have been dreading. Norfolk comes to town Friday night, and the Crunch will try to take down the franchise for which they staked a record-breaking winning streak that may never be equaled. Mixed emotions.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-22-12 Penguins at Crunch

Syracuse gets Grinched in their last weekend set before Christmas.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss as his save percentage continues to atrophy this month. He got the back-to-back start with Riku Helenius gone to Helenius to handle some family matters, but tonight was not the night he turned his recent slide around.

First Period
WBS Thompson, (8) (Gibbons, Holzapfel), 3:57 (PP)
SYR Killorn, (10) (Wyman, Gudas), 9:21
WBS Mormina, (1) , 9:35

Second Period
WBS Smith, (10) (Tangradi, Samuelsson), 10:20
SYR Johnson, (18) (Gudas, Aulie), 18:45

Third Period

Radko Gudas and Alex Killorn were the game's second and third stars. Don't look now, but Gudas is on a pace for about 30 points, which would be a nice haul for a guy who may also have 200 PIMs when all is said and done this year. Killorn now has goals in his last 6 games and 7 in his last 8. How is he accomplishing this? He's tied for 4th in the AHL in shots on goal. The guy plays a north-south game and he puts pucks on net. As his shot continues to improve, watch out. This guy could very well become a steady goalscorer at the next level, too.

Going 0-1-0-1 in the last 2 games going into the holiday break is obviously a let down for the team. They're still perched atop the Eastern Conference despite a very iffy month of December to date. There's simply got to be more consistency though if they want to stay up in the standings, starting Wednesday in another important early season game against Binghamton and their great goaltending battery.

Box score from

Lackluster Third Period Dooms Crunch in 3-2 Loss to Penguins

By Jeremy Houghtaling

One night after coming back from a three-goal deficit to salvage a point in a shootout loss, the Syracuse Crunch again put themselves in a hole early.

The Crunch allowed the Wilkes-Barre Penguins to score on a power play less than four minutes into the game, and despite briefly tying the game, fell 3-2 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"There's a lot of mental mistakes, something that's uncharacteristic of our team," Syracuse forward Tyler Johnson said. "Sometimes we battled hard, and sometimes we didn't. We just weren't ourselves and we've got to fix that."

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