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Wilcox, Penalty Kill Lift Crunch Over Phantoms


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite having to weather the storm from the Phantoms for long stretches in the second and third periods, the Crunch emerged with the win.

Goalie Adam Wilcox made 48 saves, the penalty kill was flawless and Matt Taormina’s goal late in the third lifted Syracuse to a 4-2 win over Lehigh Valley at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

“I think we have to give credit tonight to our goalie, obviously. He was our best player out there,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “Our PK was phenomenal too. I think (Erik) Condra, (Yanni) Gourde, (Michael) Bournival, (Cory) Conacher, (Matthew) Peca, (Adam) Erne with our group defensemen and our best PKer, which is our goalie, were very good. (The Phantoms) have a good power play, and they did an outstanding job at killing penalties.”

KHL Game Day: 12-8-16

St. Petersburg 2 vs. Dynamo Moscow 1 (SO)
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, DNP
Season totals: 36 GP, 16-30-46, +29, 6 PIM

Ex-NHL'er Ilya Kovalchuk had a helper and scored the winner in the penalty shot session to pace SKA to a 2-1 Shootout victory over Dynamo Moscow. Nikita Gusev was reportedly injured in SKA's last match and will miss two weeks for SKA.

CHL Game Night: 12-7-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Moncton Wildcats 0 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 4

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 27 GP, 16-6-22, +4, 27 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-0-1, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 26 GP, 24-19-43, +23, 29 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Joseph and Imama both scored and rookie Alex D’Orio notched his first career shutout in the Q as the Dogs beat provincial rival Moncton.

Ontario Hockey League

Niagara IceDogs 3 @ Sarnia Sting 4 (SO)

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 26 GP, 10-8-18, -5, 12 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-3-3, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 28 GP, 23-38-61, +37, 17 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Raddysh had his 17th multi-point game of the year, notching three assists against Paquette and Niagara.

Western Hockey League

Calgary Hitmen 4 @ Saskatoon Blades 3

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 29 GP: 1-10-11, -7, 43 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Hajek scored his first of the season to open the game’s scoring, and Saskatoon had a 2-0 lead mid-way through the first period but wound up losing, 4-3.

AHL Game Night: 12-7-16 Phantoms at Crunch

A goaltender rises...

LV-2
SYR-4

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 50 (not a typo) shots for the victory. Wilcox is now 9-3-0 on the season with 1 shutout, a 2.13 GAA, and a .924 sv%. His 9 wins now matches his total number of victories from all of his rookie pro campaign. Tonight was his statement of intent to take over the starting job in Syracuse permanently. I don't think, ultimately, he's going to lose in his bid.

First Period
11:57 LV Bardreau (3), (Knight)
12:29 SYR Peca (5), (Condra, Erne)
12:50 SYR Dotchin (2), (Gourde, Halmo)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:40 LV Bardreau (4), (Knight, O'Neill)
17:25 SYR Taormina (7), (Erne, Condra)
19:39 SYR Gourde (6), (Condra)(EN)(SH)

Wilcox and Matt Taormina were the game's first and second stars.

When the Lightning organization's farm team last won a championship with the Norfolk Admirals, they did so with a team that was fortunate enough to have two high-quality AHL starting goaltenders in Dustin Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus. Coming into this season, with a Syracuse roster stocked to the gills with veteran firepower, it's always seemed the limiting factor would be goaltending where it wasn't clear the Crunch even had one high-quality AHL starter. Now that we're well past the quarter post of the season, though, it's becoming clear one of the two netminders in Syracuse's tandem has risen up and clearly separated himself from the other. Adam Wilcox doesn't have all the physical gifts that Kristers Gudlevskis does, but goaltending is only partially about pure athleticism. Like boxing, goaltending is also a sweet science of understanding angles, body positioning, reading your opponents, and the ebb and flow of the game. Gudlevskis has struggled to find his calm place in the sweet science of the goaltending game. Adam Wilcox is finding his comfort zone inside the maelstrom around his crease and he's made his move. The numbers don't lie. Wilcox is now 7th in the AHL in GAA and 8th in save percentage.

Syracuse moves 1 point up on Albany for first in the North Division with 2 games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

MHL Game Day: 12-6-16

KHK MVD Jr. 1 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 3
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 50 PIM

Oleg Sosunov had his second straight plus game in Loko Jr.'s 3-1 win over KHK MVD Jr. Sosunov is closing in on evening up his plus-minus rating for the season.

CHL Game Night: 12-6-16

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 4 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 3 (SO)

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 28 GP: 0-10-10, -8, 43 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 16 GP, 13-11-24, +2, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden scored in regulation, then again in the shootout, but it wasn’t enough to beat Libor Hajek’s Blades. Moose Jaw allowed two goals in the final two minutes of regulation to allow Saskatoon to tie the game. Hajek was on the ice for the game-tying goal scored at 19:01.

Ingram Named CHL, WHL Goaltender of the Week

(CHL Press Release) The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Connor Ingram of the Kamloops Blazers is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending December 4 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.66 and save percentage of .950.

Ingram made 96 saves in three games backstopping the Blazers to a trio of victories improving their record to 17-12-1-0 for second place in the WHL’s B.C Division. His week included a pair of notable performances beginning with a season-high 52 saves on Wednesday as first star of a 4-3 overtime win against the Seattle Thunderbirds, and ending Sunday with a 29-save shutout as third star of a 4-0 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. In between, Ingram turned aside 15 shots on Saturday in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Giants.

MHL Game Day: 12-5-16

KHK MVD Jr. 5 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 2
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 21 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 50 PIM

Oleg Sosunov took a minor penalty in the Second Period of Loko Jr.'s 5-2 loss to KHK MVD Jr.

KHL Game Day: 12-5-16

Vladivostok 1 vs. St. Petersburg 4
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 36GP, 16-30-46, +29, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev had an unassisted goal early in the Third Period of SKA's 4-1 win over Vladivostok. He played 12:36 in the match. Linemate Evgeny Dadonov had 2 helpers in the win for SKA.

CHL Game Night: 12-4-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 6 @ Gatineau Olympiques 3

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 26 GP, 15-6-21, +3, 27 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 26 GP, 23-18-41, +22, 27 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Joseph extended his point streak to 16 games with an assist and Sens prospect Thomas Chabot had a goal as Saint John defeated the Olympiques, 6-3.

Ontario Hockey League

Niagara IceDogs 3 @ Sarnia Sting 4 (SO)

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 4/11 FO
Season Totals: 25 GP, 10-8-18, -5, 12 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

The IceDogs fought back from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime and a shootout, but fell in the circus, 2-0.

Erie Otters 6 @ Owen Sound Attack 1

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-2-2, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 27 GP, 23-35-58, +35, 17 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Raddysh had two assists and his linemates Dylan Strome (1+3) and Alex DeBrincat (2+1) combined with him for nine points as Erie swept the Attack in Owen Sound for the weekend.

Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Saginaw Spirit 2 (OT)

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: Did not play
Season Totals: 22 GP, 11-15-26, +13, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM

Stephens was a late scratch for Saginaw, prompting speculation that a trade might be in the works. Stephens, who is already signed with Tampa Bay, is in his last year of junior hockey and while Saginaw has done well lately, conventional thought is the Spirit can cash in on a Stephens trade to set themselves up for the future. Though he played in Saginaw’s last game, it was an injury that kept him out Sunday.

Western Hockey League

Brandon Wheat Kings 0 @ Kamloops Blazers 4

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Win, 29 saves on 29 shots, shutout, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 24 GP, 14-9-1-0, 2.12 GAA, .935 sv%, 2 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram won his third game in a row, this time by shutout, beating Brandon, 4-0. His 2.12 GAA is second in the WHL to Carter Hart (Flyers) at 1.65, and his save percentage, win total, and shutout totals are just behind Hart (.937, 15, 4). Hart and Ingram will battle through Canada’s World Juniors camp to be the team’s No. 1 goalie.

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