Helenius, Riku

AHL Game Night: 3-2-13 Americans at Crunch

All of a sudden, Syracuse is struggling to win close games too.

ROC-2
SYR-1 (OT)

Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the overtime loss.

First Period
RCH Mancari, (17) (McCormick, Rissmiller), 10:25 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Palat, (11) (Barberio, Gudas), 1:28 (PP)

Overtime
RCH McNabb, (5) (Mancari, Adam), 4:50 (PP)

Ondrej Palat was the game's second star. Palat has 5 goals and 13 points in his last 8 games. I believe that technically qualifies as "on fire". With Benoit Pouliot possibly hurt in today's game against Boston, I wonder if Palat might be worthy of some consideration for a cup of coffee.

Syracuse finishes their weekend tomorrow against Hershey.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-20-13 Marlies at Crunch

5 in a row.

TOR-3
SYR-4 (SO)

Riku Helenius allowed 3 goals on 31 shots before stopping 3 of 5 in the penalty shot session for the win. Riku is now on a personal 4 game winning streak.

First Period
TOR Colborne, (8) (Zigomanis, Hamilton), 19:59 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Angelidis, (9) (Palat, Hutchings), 2:46
TOR Colborne, (9) (Abbott, Mottau), 5:43
SYR Palat, (7) (Barberio, Helenius), 6:51 (PP)

Third Period
TOR Hamilton, (21) (Yeo, Colborne), 6:50
SYR Tyrell, (4) (Korobov), 18:26

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TOR- Colborne, Connolly
SYR- Palat, Connolly, Gudas

Dana Tyrell and Ondrej Palat were named the game's first and third stars. Palat has 1 goal and 6 points in his last 3 games, all multi-point efforts.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-17-13 Crunch at Penguins

Riku is hulking up.

SYR-3
WBS-0

Riku Helenius (pictured) stopped all 23 shots he faced for his 2nd shutout in the past 3 games and his 4th shutout of the season. He's allowed just 1 goal over the span of those 3 games. We've seen this before with Helenius, when he had a string of shutouts early in the season for JYP en route to backstopping them to a SM-liiga title. His save percentage is still just .891 for the season, and the Lightning just acquired Cedrick Desjardins for a reason, but when Riku starts getting on a roll like this, he can be unbelievable.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Wilson, (2) (Labrie), 2:02
SYR Connolly, (21) (Palat, Johnson), 3:25
SYR Wilson, (3) (Johnson, Palat), 11:44

Helenius, Kyle Wilson, and Brett Connolly were the game's three stars.

Syracuse draws Albany tomorrow night as they try to run down Springfield and Binghamton for the conference lead.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-15-13 Crunch at Senators

Jon Cooper must be a Jedi.

SYR-7
BNG-1

Riku Helenius (pictured) allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the victory. His season save percentage is still languishing at .885, but he's only allowed 1 goal over his last 2 starts and has stopped 56 of 57 shots in that span. There's not a huge opening for Helenius, but with Tokarski gone, if he can take the #1 job in Syracuse and run with it for a great second half and a deep playoff run, he could set himself up to the NHL.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (20) (Tyrell), 3:51 (PP)
SYR Wyman, (7) (Gudas), 5:36
SYR Hutchings, (1) (Angelidis, Cote), 8:12
SYR Wyman, (8) , 11:03 (SH)

Second Period
SYR Labrie, (9) , 12:55
BNG Prince, (10) (Cannone, Lebda), 16:18 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Wyman, (9) (Connolly, Barberio), 4:40
SYR Tyrell, (2) (Wyman, Gudas), 19:23 (PP)

J.T. Wyman, Brett Connolly, and Helenius were the game's three stars.

Connolly becomes the third Crunch player to hit 20 goals this season (Johnson and Panik). Dana Tyrell has 3 points in 3 games since being sent down to the AHL. After posting two straight multi-point games, Radko Gudas is just 3 points shy of his pro high in points. He's also 6 PIMs shy of his pro high in penalty minutes, too, for that matter.

Entering the night, Binghamton was tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and Syracuse just smashed them after destroying Albany 6-0 on Wednesday night. Whatever voodoo potion Jon Cooper employed to not only weather all the call ups, the trade of his #1 goaltender, and the lineup shuffling, but to start annihilating teams in the midst of it all, he needs to Fedex a supply to Guy Boucher.

Syracuse draws Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-13-13 Crunch at Devils

No Panik? No Killorn? No problem.

SYR-6
ALB-0

Riku Helenius stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout victory.

First Period
SYR Barberio, (7) (Johnson, Connolly), 0:45 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Korobov, (3) (Devos, Gudas), 4:30 (PP)
SYR Gudas, (4) (Korobov, Namestnikov), 5:07 (PP)
SYR Tyrell, (1) , 12:21 (SH)
SYR Wyman, (6) (Devos, Barberio), 16:49 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (8) , 19:44 (SH)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Helenius, Radko Gudas, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars.

Dana Tyrell chipped in a shorthanded goal in the victory.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-10-13 Crunch at Phantoms

Last night's collapse continues into today's match.

SYR-1
ADK-6

Riku Helenius allowed 4 goals on 14 shots for the loss before giving way to Dustin Tokarski, who allowed 2 on 12 shots the rest of the way. At some point you'd like one of your two championship pedigree goaltenders to step up and act like it and steal you a game rather than getting lit up like Roman candles.

First Period
ADK Gustafsson, (4) , 7:02

Second Period
ADK Mangene, (2) (Sim), 0:37
ADK Dimmen, (3) (Mangene, Sim), 10:56
ADK Laliberte, (2) (Syvret, Akeson), 12:34 (PP)

Third Period
ADK Eddy, (2) (Wellwood, Lauridsen), 1:30
ADK Laliberte, (3) (Akeson, Noebels), 13:21
SYR Johnson, (23) (Connolly, Neilson), 18:38 (PP)

This is the kind of embarassing loss where you'd expect Julien BriseBois to start looking to make some moves, now. The Crunch let some valuable veteran components like Segal, Smith, and Jackson walk over the offseason with the thought there was enough good youth to handle it. And, yes, there is a lot of good youth. But, in my mind, a piece needs to be added to, at the very least, try to fill some of what was lost between Conacher and now, possibly, Alex Killorn, to Tampa Bay.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Continue to Struggle, Fall to Amerks 5-3


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Richard Panik was in the right place at the right time.

The Syracuse Crunch forward, stationed just outside the Rochester Americans' crease, watched as the puck trickled away from a sprawling David Leggio.

"I was standing on the goal line and I tapped it in," Panik said.

With the game tied, the tide seemed to turn in the Crunch's favor.

But that feeling was brief.

Before the goal was finished being announced, Rochester retook the lead on a Rick Schofield goal. The Americans scored three more times before the Crunch could respond, as Syracuse fell 5-3 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

AHL Game Night: 2-2-13 Americans at Crunch

It's starting to feel like Rochester has Syracuse's number.

RCH-5
SYR-3

Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 21 shots for the loss. That's an ugly stat line and a bitter pill for the whole team to swallow when they outshot Rochester 46-21.

First Period
RCH Rissmiller, (1) (McNabb), 11:48 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Panik, (20) (Wyman, Angelidis), 11:28
RCH Schofield, (6) (Varone, Legault), 12:06
RCH Crawford, (3) (McNabb, Rissmiller), 14:16 (PP)

Third Period
RCH Sundher, (4) (Mancari, Porter), 7:34
RCH Porter, (14) (Mancari, Gauthier-Leduc), 9:21
SYR Connolly, (17) (Killorn, Korobov), 12:50
SYR Gauthier, (5) (Barberio), 17:23

Richard Panik notched his 20th goal of the season in the defeat. Alex Killorn is tied with Jason Zucker of Houston for second in rookie scoring behind Justin Schultz, whose callup to Edmonton puts the Rookie of the Year award in play for Killorn.

But first, Syracuse needs to shake off the futility of this weekend.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-26-13 IceCaps at Crunch

Breakthrough.

STJ-3
SYR-6

Dustin Tokarski (pictured) allowed 3 goals on 18 shots before being kicked out of the game for leaving his crease to beat Eddie Pasquale like a drum. Key point: Eddie Pasquale is 6'3" 220 lbs. Tic is 6'0" 194 lbs. Didn't matter. Tic was like a rabid wolverine on its prey. He became a folk legend tonight. Oh, yeah, and Riku Helenius stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way for the win (yawn).

First Period
SYR Killorn, (14) (Panik, Barberio), 14:50 (PP)
SYR Wyman, (4) , 17:37 (SH)

Second Period
STJ Arsene, (1) (Mouillierat), 1:46
STJ Mouillierat, (4) (O'Dell, Melchiori), 2:35
STJ Cormier, (3) (Klingberg), 4:46 (PP)
SYR Wilson, (1) (Oberg, Panik), 9:16

Third Period
SYR Killorn, (15) (Johnson, Barberio), 3:40 (PP)
SYR Cote, (1) (Angelidis, Killorn), 15:58
SYR Panik, (19) (Johnson, Korobov), 19:44

Alex Killorn and Richard Panik were the game's first and second stars. Panik's game was his first back from a 3 game suspension, and he came out like an animal that's been caged up too long with 1 goal and 3 points to show for his night. The Panik attack has equalled his goal total from a season ago and the sky is the limit if he keeps playing like that. Killorn snapped a personal three game scoreless streak in style with 2 goals and 3 points, as the entire Syracuse team had a breakthrough.

This was a huge win for this team, after suffering through the post-lockout malaise. They're still not at full strength with Taormina still out, but getting Panik tonight and winning an emotional, brawl-filled game by blowing a team off the rink in the Third Period goes a long way toward rekindling the club's confidence. They've been slowly recalibrating the bomb sites despite the setbacks and frustrations of the past few games, and tonight St. John's (and Eddie Pasquale's face, for that matter) was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Springfield is next on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-19-13 Monsters at Crunch

Post-lockout pains continue.

LE-4
SYR-2

Riku Helenius allowed 3 goals on 22 shots for the loss. He's now just one game over .500 and his .878 save percentage is ugly. This can't be what anyone had in mind when he came over from JYP.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
LE Carey, (7) (Agozzino, Pock), 3:42
LE Pock, (5) (Carey, Steffes), 8:55
SYR Palat, (5) (Connolly, Gudas), 9:20
SYR Palat, (6) (Johnson), 16:23 (SH)

Third Period
LE Thomas, (15) (Sgarbossa, Connolly), 16:59 (PP)
LE Chouinard, (1) , 19:59 (EN)

You can't really say anything other than, "It'll get better." Richard Panik will come off suspension, Taormina will get healthy, and this group will begin to settle into their new roles and get used to new on-ice combinations. But, it's going to hurt a bit over the next couple of weeks to get there. The team did outshoot Lake Erie tonight and it is showing signs of improvement. But, it takes time to build chemistry.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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