Helenius, Riku

AHL Game Night: 11-27-13 Crunch at Senators

Depleted Crunch continue to struggle.

SYR-1
BNG-5

Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 37 shots for the loss. The Crunch could really use one of their goaltenders standing on their head to get through this rough patch. Didn't quite happen tonight. Helenius did, at least, turn aside a Binghamton penalty shot early in the First Period.

First Period
BNG Sdao, (2) , 10:26

Second Period
BNG Petersson, (6) (O'Brien, Prince), 6:45
SYR Walker, (1) (Korobov, Cote), 10:35 (PP)
BNG Prince, (5) , 19:02

Third Period
BNG Schneider, (6) (Dziurzynski, Robinson), 11:31
BNG Petersson, (7) (O'Brien, Prince), 15:14

To add injury to insult, Nikita Nesterov took a slapshot to the face in an ugly scene, and may miss some more time because of it.

At this point, I have to openly wonder if Julien BriseBois is going to pull the trigger to get a veteran player or two into Syracuse to try to stabilize things. The team did add familiar face P.M. Devos on a PTO, but it may take a weightier move to staunch the bleeding.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-15-13 Penguins at Crunch

Callups/blueline injuries help crush Crunch.

WBS-5
SYR-3

Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 27 shots for the loss in his first start back from injury.

First Period
WBS Despres, (3) (Mikkelson), 2:26
WBS Megna, (4) (Despres, Gibbons), 11:23
WBS Conner, (6) (Despres, Gibbons), 19:44 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Namestnikov, (8) (Kucherov, Cote), 7:29
WBS Kostopoulos, (5) (Harrington, Ebbett), 12:55
SYR Rankin, (5) (Paquette), 19:41

Third Period
WBS Gibbons, (6) (Conner, Zolnierczyk), 1:41
SYR Gauthier, (2) (Namestnikov), 10:38

Vladislav Namestnikov was the game's third star. It was kind of a perfect storm against Syracuse with Korobov up in Tampa and Taormina and Nesterov out, along with the top line auditioning a new winger with Brown up and Helenius possibly a little rusty in his first start back. Life in the minors. They'll build off the fact they won the final 40 minutes of the game 3-2. They face Albany tomorrow.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-9-13 Crunch at Admirals

Still the kings of Norfolk.

SYR-4
NOR-0

Cedrick Desjardins stopped all 19 shots he faced for the shutout and the victory. After the game, Syracuse sent Kristers Gudlevskis down to Florida of the ECHL after Riku Helenius suited up for the backup role tonight.

First Period
SYR Namestnikov, (6) (Brown, Nesterov), 5:36 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Paquette, (4) (Cote, Korobov), 10:25
SYR Tyrell, (3) (Angelidis, Walker), 11:13
SYR Namestnikov, (7) (Paradis, Gauthier), 12:48

Third Period
NO SCORING

Vladislav Namestnikov, Dana Tyrell, and Desjardins were the game's three stars.

Can the Syracuse Crunch win games where Nikita Kucherov doesn't appear like a rash all over the scoresheet? They did tonight. Can they get secondary scoring? They did tonight. Can they keep shots and chances down and keep the puck out of the back of their net? They did that all weekend. They answered a lot of lingering questions about their own legitimacy as a team and, in the process, have taken over the top spot in the East Division. They're still 2 points shy of the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on Manchester.

The Crunch move on to face Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-19-13 Crunch at Senators

Mid course correction successful.

SYR-4
BNG-1

Riku Helenius allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory. I dare say he just defined himself as the #1 tonight.

First Period
SYR Sergeev, (2) (Richard, Mormina), 9:48 (PP)

Second Period
BNG Prince, (1) (Wideman, Petersson), 17:23 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Namestnikov, (3) (Kucherov, Taormina), 2:34
SYR Kucherov, (5) (Brown), 9:15
SYR Paquette, (2) (Taormina), 15:38

Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's first and second stars. I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat. Kucherov, as of this posting, leads all AHL rookies in scoring and is just 3 points off the pace for the overall league lead.

Syracuse washes out the taste of that bitter defeat last night at the hands of the Senators. This was a big win psychologically for the team. They're off until Friday when they'll play Utica. Utica is the new affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 10-13-13 Penguins at Crunch

Much like the big club, the Crunch have a Third Period collapse against the Pens.

WBS-6
SYR-3

Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Kostopoulos, (1) (Drazenovic, Harrington), 17:28 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Namestnikov, (1) (Taormina, Nesterov), 10:49 (PP)
SYR Paquette, (1) (Rankin), 14:39 (SH)

Third Period
WBS Kostopoulos, (2) (Mikkelson, Drazenovic), 0:55 (PP)
WBS Drazenovic, (1) (Conner, Mikkelson), 4:04 (PP)
WBS Megna, (1) (Ebbett), 8:48 (SH)
SYR Taormina, (1) (Walker, Richard), 10:26
WBS Zolnierczyk, (3) (Sill, Despres), 14:20
WBS Uher, (1) (Deslauriers), 18:34 (EN)

Eric Neilson and Mike Angelidis were the game's first and second stars. Things got out of hand in the Third Period (obviously) after Cedric Paquette (who also got his first professional goal in the game) took a Game Misconduct for boarding that led to a pair of Penguins goals that helped flip the outcome.

Syracuse is off until Friday when they'll face Binghamton.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-12-13 Americans at Crunch

Syracuse's home opener takes on a distinctly Russian (and Belarusian) flavor.

RCH-1
SYR-5

Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 18 shots for the victory. Life is good when your team gives you 5 goals of support and only allows a paltry 8 shots the first 40 minutes of the game.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Brown, (1) (Nesterov, Namestnikov), 4:31 (PP)
SYR Sergeev, (1) (Connolly), 6:18 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (1) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 16:48 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Kucherov, (2) (Nesterov, Taormina), 0:24 (PP)
RCH Tardif, (1) (Varone, McNabb), 5:30 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (3) (Nesterov, Brown), 12:56

Nikita Nesterov, J.T. Brown, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars. Bold choice by the Syracuse media not giving a nod to Nikita Kucherov, who introduced himself to the home fans with a hat trick.

For their part, the Russian/Belarussian trio of Nesterov, Sergeev, and Korobov (AKA the mythical 70's R&B cover band known as Eastern European Soul) got huge marks in the game. Nesterov had assists in triplicate and was +1 while Artem Sergeev scored his first professional goal, and Dmitry Korobov got himself involved in one of the big physical dust ups late in the game and earned the third star selection. That's a heck of a positive sign for the Crunch as these guys need to step up this year for Syracuse to continue the momentum they had last season as an elite level AHL club.

Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett got 16 penalty minutes in the game, including a roughing call, diving call, and unsportsmanlike call (all minors) in three separate incidents in the Second Period that he chased down with a 10 Misconduct and a Game Misconduct late in the Third Period. You don't often see an unglued mess like that between the pipes. Treasure the memory, Crunch fans.

Syracuse gets Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow at home.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-5-13 Crunch at Senators

Crunch waste a chance to get 2 points.

SYR-3
BNG-4 (OT)

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 4 goals on 39 shots for the OT loss. I confess to being a Riku Helenius man, if you're asking me who'd I'd like to see win the goaltending competition in Syracuse.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Tyrell, (1) (Korobov, Rankin), 1:24
BNG Grant, (1) , 3:35 (SH)
SYR Tyrell, (2) , 15:41 (SH)
SYR Rankin, (1) (Angelidis), 18:58

Third Period
BNG Cowick, (1) (Ceci), 6:42
BNG Zibanejad, (1) (Wideman), 9:13 (PP)

Overtime
BNG Ceci, (1) (Petersson), 2:13

Dana Tyrell was the game's second star, leading an excellent effort by some of the veteran guys. The team also got excellent physical contributions from guys like Philippe Paradis, as well. It won't take long for the younger guys to adjust and start chipping in, too. As it is, though, it still hurts to squander a 2 goal lead in the final frame. Syracuse gets a week to stew on it until their home opener against Rochester.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Preseason Game Day: 9-28-13 Crunch at IceCaps

Odd numbered seasons suit Riku.

SYR-1
STJ-0

Riku Helenius stopped all 27 shots he faced for the victory.

Geoff Walker scored on the power play for the lone goal of the match.

Game recap from Syracusecrunch.com.

AHL Preseason Game Night: 9-26-13 Crunch at IceCaps

Dump truck!

SYR-5
STJ-2

Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals on 21 shots after spelling Cedrick Desjardins, who was flawless in the opening half of the game.

Syracuse got a pair of goals by Cedric Paquette (aka Dump Truck), and goals by Luke Witkowski, Tanner Richard, and Vladislav Namestnikov.

The teams will square off again Saturday night.

Game recap from Syracusecrunch.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-19-13 Lightning at Predators

The kids at forward stake their claim.

TB-5
NSH-1

Riku Helenius was perfect on 15 shots before giving way to Cedrick Desjardins, who allowed 1 goal on 17 shots the rest of the way. It's a good showing for the potential tandem for Syracuse this season.

First Period
5:41 TB Connolly, (Hedman)
6:51 TB Palat, (unassisted)

Second Period
6:44 TB Stamkos, (Malone, Witkowski)
18:41 TB Connolly, (Hedman, Sustr)

Third Period
0:46 NSH Cullen, (unassisted)(SH)
2:03 TB Panik, (Kucherov, Taormina)(PP)

Brett Connolly, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars. Connolly also scored in a big scrimmage earlier in preseason to draw the praise of Jon Cooper and with Connolly and the PTP line (Palat, Johnson, and Panik) all playing well the roster calculus gets very interesting.

In particular, note Jonathan Drouin only got 12:23 of ice time tonight. Follow the ice time in these games, because it will tell you who the club is looking at and who is earning a little longer look. For instance, note Andrej Sustr with over 20 minutes of ice time, which was almost 4 minutes more than Keith Aulie. Interesting stuff.

Box score from Tampabaylightning.com.

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