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AHL Game Night: 3-16-19 Devils at Crunch

Volkov and company expand Crunch's North Division lead.

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Martin Ouellette allowed just 1 goal on 18 shots for the victory.

First Period
4:02 SYR Andreoff (24), (Barre-Boulet, Verhaeghe)(PP)

Second Period
1:59 SYR Volkov (15), (Dumont, Tammela)
11:42 SYR Verhaeghe (28), (Stephens, Labrie)
19:24 BNG Schmelzer (10), (Saracino, Seney)(PP)

Third Period
19:02 SYR Volkov (16), (Andreoff, Thomas)(EN)

Carter Verhaeghe, Alexander Volkov, and Ouellette were the game's three stars. Volkov made a strong push late in the season last year to seal a 20-goal campaign and he looks to be following the same roadmap this season. He now had 4 goals in his last 5 games to ease up to 16 goals for the season.

Syracuse's win, coupled with Rochester's loss to Charlotte, pushes the Crunch up to a 3 point advantage in the race for the North Division crown. Now the schedule gets a little spicy with a short turnaround for a Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back against the league-leading Checkers. Glass half empty man says, "Oh my goodness, if the Crunch drop both games they open the door for Rochester to take back the division lead!" Glass half full man says, "Sweep the set and the Crunch will have the best rest record in the entire league." The stakes are high this coming week.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-15-19 Wolf Pack at Crunch

Syracuse takes the North Division lead with smooth victory over Hartford.

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Eddie Pasquale allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory.

First Period
1:07 SYR Volkov (14), (Dumont, Conacher)

Second Period
19:27 SYR Andreoff (23), (Raddysh, Colton)

Third Period
1:56 SYR Stephens (10), (Katchouk, Brassart)
11:51 HFD Fontaine (9), (Gilmour, Beleskey)(PP)
18:53 HFD Lettieri (23), (Gilmour, Gropp)

Gabriel Dumont, Taylor Raddysh, and Boris Katchouk were the game's three stars. Katchouk made perhaps the play of the game with a Vincent Lecavalier-esque move around the corner on the rush and a behind-the-back pass that ended up being the goal that pushed the Syracuse lead to 3-0 that he chased with a roughing call and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after starting a retaliatory scrap right after the goal. In other words, a Katchouk-ian microcosm of Katchouk-ianism. The goal gave the Crunch that all important three goal margin in the final frame. And, yes, Hartford did get the old false hope goal, but in the end the three goal lead remains a virtual death sentence for the trailing team in pro hockey.

With Rochester stubbing their toe against Charlotte, Syracuse moved one point ahead in the North Division while still holding a game in hand. Also of note: Syracuse is just a scant three points back of the Checkers for the best record in the entire AHL with both teams sitting on 14 games remaining on their schedules.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-13-19 Crunch at Rocket

Crunch keep pace by doubling up Laval.

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Eddie Pasquale allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the victory.

First Period
2:39 LAV Ouellet (4), (unassisted)(PP)
14:28 SYR Foote (8), (Andreoff)

Second Period
18:37 SYR Raddysh (16), (Colton, Stephens)(PP)

Third Period
1:14 SYR Dumont (10), (unassisted)
18:43 LAV Vejdemo (12), (Evans, Alain)
19:15 SYR Barre-Boulet (29), (Pasquale)(EN)

Pasquale and Gabriel Dumont were the game's first and second stars. Taylor Raddysh is started to sneak up on the 20 goal plateau while Ross Colton has continued his hot run of production as of late. In his last six games, Colton has a stylish 3 goals and 8 points.

Unfortunately, Rochester also won tonight, so Syracuse only managed to keep pace in the division. They currently sit one point back of the Americans with a game in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NCAA Game Weekend: March 8-9, 2019

#3 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 3 @ #1 St. Cloud State Huskies 4 (OT) (Mar 8th)
#3 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 3 @ #1 St. Cloud State Huskies 4 (Mar 9th)

D Nick Perbix, STC: 2 GP, 2-2-4, +2, 2 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 34 GP, 5-15-20, +21, 10 PIM

F Cole Koepke, UMD: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 34 GP, 4-10-14, +7, 12 PIM

On Friday night, Lightning prospect Nick Perbix scored a pair of power-play goals, including the OT game-winner to lead the top-ranked Huskies in a big win over #3 UMD. In the 1st period, Perbix helped set up a St. Cloud power-play marker to give the Huskies the early 1-0 lead. The team’s traded three more 1st period goals as the score was knotted 2-2 at the first intermission. After a scoreless 2nd period, Perbix notched his first power-play goal early in the 3rd to give St. Cloud a 3-2 lead before the Bulldogs battled back and once again tied the game to force OT.

On Saturday night, Perbix once again notched a power play assist to help start a three-goal St. Cloud rally after dropping into a 2-0 deficit to the Bulldogs. Perbix ended his freshman regular season with 5 goals and 20 points and a +21 rating. Among NCHC freshmen defensemen, that stat line is good for 1st in the conference in plus-minus, 1st in points/game, 2nd in goals, 2nd in assists, and 3rd in total points.

The top-ranked Huskies finish the regular season with a record of 27-4-3 (19-2-3 NCHC) and will face Miami (Ohio) next weekend in a best of three series in the quarterfinals of the NCHC conference tournament. UMD finishes the regular season with a record of 21-11-2 (14-9-1 NCHC) and takes on UNO next weekend in a their best of three NCHC conference tourney quarterfinals match up.

Colorado College Tigers 2 @ #6 Denver Pioneers 1 (Mar 8th)
#6 Denver Pioneers 0 @ Colorado College Tigers 1 (Mar 9th)

F Cole Guttman, DEN: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 14/23 FO
Season Totals: 34 GP, 11-10-21, +15, 18 PIM

The sixth-ranked Pioneers ended their regular season on a sour note, dropping both legs of a home-and-home series with cross-state rival Colorado College. On Fright night, Tigers goalie Alex Leclerc made 26-saves and then backed that up Saturday night with a 30-save shutout. Bolt prospect Cole Guttman finished the regular season leading all NCHC freshmen in goals (11), goals/game, and faceoff wins. He was also 4th in among conference freshmen in total points, and 5th in plus-minus.

Denver finishes the regular season with a record of 19-10-5 (11-10-3 NCHC) and square off next weekend in a best of three series against #19 North Dakota in the NCHC conference tournament quarterfinals.

#10 Cornell Big Red (idle)

D Alex Green, COR: idle
Season Totals: 13 GP, 0-3-3, -8, 6 PIM
’17-’18 Totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, +9, 23 PIM

The tenth-ranked Big Red was idle this past weekend, having finished their regular season last week with a record of 17-8-4 (13-5-4 ECAC). Cornell faces off next weekend against Union College in a best of three series in the ECAC conference tournament quarterfinals.

#16 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 2 @ Vermont Catamounts 2 (OT) (Mar 8th)

F Ryan Lohin, UML: 0-0-0, +1, 4 PIM, 1 SOG, 9/12 FO
Season Totals: 30 GP, 12-14-26, +9, 12 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 36 GP, 9-16-25, -2, 26 PIM

On Friday night, the Catamounts fought the River Hawks to a draw, handing UML a disappointing season-ending 1-3-3 run in their last seven games. Bolt prospect Ryan Lohin ended his regular season campaign as UML’s leading goal-scorer, points, power play goals, and power play points, all despite missing four games with injury.

#16 UMass Lowell finishes the regular season with a record of 18-11-5 (12-7-5 HEAST) and dials up a best of three series next weekend against Boston University in the Hockey East conference tournament quarterfinals.

Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals
Michigan Wolverines 2 @ Minnesota Gophers 3 (OT) (Mar 8th)
Michigan Wolverines 1 @ Minnesota Gophers 4 (Mar 9th)

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf , MINN: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 34 GP, 1-7-8, +2, 22 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 38 GP, 0-9-9, +1, 40 PIM

F Sammy Walker, MINN: 2 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 5/10 FO
Season Totals: 36 GP, 10-15-25, +6, 18 PIM

The much-beleaguered Gophers entered the Big Ten conference quarterfinals this weekend on a 5-1 roll in their last six games, and rattled off two-straight wins to eliminate the Wolverines and advance to the conference semi-finals. Bolt prospect Sammy Walker set up Ducks prospect Blake McLaughlin (ANA, 2018 3rd round pick) Friday night on the game-tying goal in the 3rd that would force overtime before Brannon McManus (undrafted) fired home the OT winner. On Saturday night, Mat Robson (undrafted) would make 22-saves, allowing just a single Michigan goals to complete the sweep.

Minnesota improves to a record of 18-15-4 and takes on #16 Notre Dame in the Big 10 conference semifinals next weekend.

New Hampshire Wildcats 0 @ #9 Northeastern Howlin’ Huskies 4 (Mar 8th)

G Ty Taylor, UNH: did not play
Season Totals: 7 GP, 1-3-1, 3.82 GAA, 0.853 SV%

On Friday night, Northeastern goalie Cayden Primeau pitched a 32-save shutout of the Widcats, ending New Hampshire’s regular season with a record of 12-13-9 (8-10-6 HEAST) and faces off next weekend against #2-ranked Massachusetts (Amherst) in a best of three series in the Hockey East tournament conference quarterfinals.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

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