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Crunch Top Comets in Shootout, Earn All Six Points on Homestand

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard moved left and right as he slowly approached the net, and then quickly flicked a backhander that beat Michael Garteig’s glove.

The goal — followed by a save by Kristers Gudlevskis at the other end — sealed a 4-3 shootout win for the Syracuse Crunch over the Utica Comets at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. The Crunch captured all six points on the three-game homestand, including two wins against divisional opponents.

“It’s a very good week for us, obviously,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “Tonight we battled hard. It was our fifth game in eight days with some previous travel in St. John’s, so we had to battle hard last night and battle hard again against a very competitive Utica team. My hat’s off to our players.”

AHL Game Night: 12-10-16 Comets at Crunch

Crunch clip their rivals.

SYR-4 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 34 shots before stopping 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win.

First Period
7:45 UTI Pelletier (1), (Kunyk, Subban)(PP)
13:20 SYR Ikonen (1), (Bournival, Gourde)

Second Period
5:03 UTI Virtanen (4), (Billins, Robak)(PP)
7:01 SYR Thomas (1), (Richard, Hart)

Third Period
0:12 SYR Taormina (8), (Dotchin, Peca)(SH)
15:21 UTI Cassels (3), (Kunyk, Grenier)


UTI- Valk
SYR- Conacher, Richard

Tanner Richard, Henri Ikonen, and Michael Bournival were the game's three stars.

Syracuse, for the moment, moves 6 points clear of second place atop the North Division. They're starting to make up some ground on Lehigh Valley for tops in the conference if they can stay on track.

Box score from

NHL Game Night: 12-10-16 Penguins at Lightning

Despite valiant effort, the hole gets deeper for Tampa Bay.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 37 shots for the loss. A lot of bang-bang plays from prime scoring areas a big gunners. Can't blame Vasilevskiy for those.

First Period
12:03 PIT Crosby (19), (Dumoulin, Letang)
17:57 TB Drouin (5), (Stralman, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
3:38 TB Filppula (6), (Nesterov)
10:19 TB Drouin (6), (Garrison, Namestnikov)
17:25 PIT Malkin (11), (Kessel, Letang)(PP)

Third Period
5:08 PIT Crosby (20), (Kessel, Letang)(PP)
8:36 PIT Malkin (12), (Daley, Kessel)(PP)

Jonathan Drouin as the game's second star after leaving the game for stitches with a cut on his cheek in the First Period and coming back to score two goals. His performance is something to build on moving forward.

Tampa Bay got outshot 37-23, so I cannot sit here with a straight face and tell you the Lightning were the better team in the run of play tonight. But, 5 on 5, I do think they competed hard and defended fairly well, and it hurts that this is the result they got. Pittsburgh got the benefit of their usual officiating advantage and they rode it to the win on the power play, and even still Val Filppula had a wide open cage on a chance he shot back into Murray that should've allowed Tampa Bay to get at least a point out of the night. The problem is there are no moral victories at this point, and after the Lightning close out this 10-game segment of the season they will be at least 4 points behind a comfortable playoff pace. Those are hard points to be chasing down the rest of the season.

Brayden Point was 64% on draws in 15:33. Impressive work.

Luke Witkowski was +1 with 3 hits in 7:46.

Joel Vermin was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 13:57.

Box score and extended statistics from

Liiga Game Day: 12-10-16

Sport 2 vs. SaiPa 3 (SO)
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 2-3-5, -5, 39 PIM

Saku Salminen assisted on a Second Period goal in SaiPa's 3-2 SO win over Sport. He played 10:37 in the victory.

CHL Game Night: 12-9-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Shawinigan Cataractes 5 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 1

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 26 GP, 18-10-28, +1, 30 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Yan scored twice to break a five-game goalless streak.

Ontario Hockey League

North Bay Battalion 2 @ Oshawa Generals 5

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 11/22 FO
Season Totals: 25 GP, 13-20-33, +17, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

Cirelli had just his third minus game of the season (25 games).

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 7 @ Prince Albert Raiders 3

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-1-2, +2, 5 PIM
Season Totals: 17 GP, 14-12-26, +4, 13 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden had a Gordie How hat trick, scoring, notching an assist, and fighting Carson Miller in Moose Jaw’s 7-3 win over the Raiders Friday.

NCAA Game Night: 12-9-16

No. 5 Boston University Terriers 2 @ No. 12 Vermont Catamounts 4

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 13 GP, 0-4-4, +4, 16 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 26 GP, 1-1-2, -4, 26 PIM

C Ross Colton, UVM: 1-0-1, +1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 15 GP, 7-6-13, +4, 14 PIM

Vermont got a big home win against the visiting Terriers, who seemed to put half their team on the Team USA World Junior camp roster earlier this week. Colton scored the seventh goal of his freshman season – an empty-netter to seal the game.

No. 20 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 3 @ No. 17 St. Cloud State Huskies 1

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: Did not play
Season Totals: 6 GP, 3-2-1, 2.97 GAA, .901 sv%, 0 SO

Oldham sat as Even Weninger stopped 40 shots in the win. Oldham had 40 saves in a win his last game.

No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers 4 @ Michigan State Spartans 2

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 14 GP, 2-2-4, +5, 12 PIM

An assist machine in the USHL with Sioux City last year before moving to Dubuque, Zuhlsdorf notched the second assist of his freshman season with Minnesota Friday in East Lansing. The Gophers outshot Sparty, 44-14.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

Crunch Rally Past Devils in Third Period

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch found a way to rally late.

After erasing a pair of one-goal deficits, the Crunch pulled ahead late in the third period on a goal by Yanni Gourde, as Syracuse topped the Albany Devils, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“It shows we’ve got some confidence and we’ve got some confidence in this room,” Crunch assistant captain Erik Condra said. “No matter if we’re up a couple or down a couple, we’re going to work the same way. The puck was bouncing a lot out there, especially in the second … in the third we settled it down and played a more simple game. We know what we’ve got in the room. We’ve been rolling a little bit, and when you’re rolling like that you don’t want it to stop.”

AHL Game Night: 12-9-16 Devils at Crunch

Crunch top Devils in key 4 point game atop the division standings.


Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory.

First Period
8:08 ALB Quenneville (8), (Mandat)
14:07 SYR Richard (7), (Condra, Dotchin)

Second Period
11:04 ALB Coleman (6), (Pietila)

Third Period
5:42 SYR Erne (6), (Peca, Thomas)(PP)
14:36 SYR Gourde (7), (Dotchin, Condra)
18:42 SYR Condra (5), (Gourde, Dotchin)(EN)

Yanni Gourde, Adam Erne, and Jake Dotchin were the game's three stars. Dotchin with assists in triplicate is making waves at right side defense with Witkowski shuttling back and forth to the big club and Blujus out injured.

Syracuse pulls 3 points clear atop the North Division.

Box score from

Liiga Game Day: 12-9-16

Karpat 3 vs. SaiPa 1
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 21 GP, 2-2-4, -6, 39 PIM

Saku Salminen was -1 in 11:44 of ice time in SaiPa's 3-1 loss to Karpat. Ex-NHL'er Jiri Tlusty had a goal in the win for Karpat.

CHL Game Night: 12-9-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Victoriaville Tigres 4 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 3 (OT)

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 2 Hits
Season Totals: 28 GP, 16-6-22, +3, 27 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 28 GP, 25-20-45, +23, 29 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Saint John had a 3-1 lead before the Tigres rebounded, tying the game in the final minute of regulation and winning in overtime. Joseph scored his 25th goal of the season, which is two more than anyone else in the league.

Ontario Hockey League

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 7 @ Niagara IceDogs 4

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-0-0, -1, 7 PIM, 4 SOG
Season: 27 GP, 13-11-24, +5, 22 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 1-2-3, +2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG
Season Totals: 27 GP, 11-10-21, -3, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

Paquette had a 3-point night as the IceDogs beat Katchouk and the Soo, 7-4. Katchouk fought Kyle Langdon. Zach Senyshyn had a hat trick for the Greyhounds.

Ottawa 67’s 3 @ Peterborough Petes 5

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-2-2, +2, 4 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 21 GP, 3-9-12, +6, 25 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

Spencer has three points in his last two games.

Sarnia Sting 0 @ Saginaw Spirit 3

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 remains out of the Saginaw lineup with an undisclosed injury.

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