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Crunch Rally, but Bested By Marlies in Shootout


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch rallied in the second period, but their shootout struggles continued in a battle of the top teams in the North Division.

The Crunch got a pair of goals from unlikely sources to tie the score in the middle frame but couldn’t find the game-winner in the third period, overtime or shootout, as Syracuse fell to Toronto, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. The Crunch have 80 points, one point behind the Marlies.

“I think they came out strong again,” Crunch captain Erik Condra said. “We pushed back and came back on a pretty good team and got a point out of it.”

AHL Game Night: 3-31-17 Marlies at Crunch

Crunch lose a key divisional point in the Shootout.

TOR-3
SYR-2 (SO)

Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 33 shots before conceding to 1 of 2 in the penalty shot session for the loss in the Shootout. McKenna is finally settling into Syracuse nicely, as he's now starting to regularly put in quality starts.

First Period
7:41 TOR Griffith (9), (O'Reilly, Rychel)(PP)
16:21 TOR Leipsic (14), (Moore)

Second Period
12:16 SYR Thomas (3), (Condra, Masin)
15:20 SYR Racine (1), (unassisted)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TOR- Griffith
SYR- NONE

Mike McKenna and Ben Thomas were the game's first and second stars. Thomas continues a very respectable rookie season where he's compiled 19 points in 64 games. It's not a staggering stat line, but for a guy who came into the club with some middling numbers (and that's being kind) out of junior, he's really set himself nicely as one to watch the next couple of seasons.

Toronto pulls 1 point ahead of Syracuse in the North Division by virtue of the extra point in the penalty shot session.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-30-17

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 6 @ Niagara IceDogs 2
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Peterborough wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-1-1, +1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/18 FO
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +3, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-2-2, +4, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-3-4, +10, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-22-29, +9, 58 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

The Petes completed their 4-game sweep of the IceDogs with a 6-2 win Thursday. Matt Spencer had two assists to finish the series with four points and an outstanding plus-10 rating, which leads the league in the playoffs. Paquette had two assists in the series while playing his normal 2-way game. It looks as though he was playing in the No. 2 center role. Peterborough will now wait for the lowest ranked team to survive the OHL Eastern Conference’s first round. Niagara showed good effort on the game stars, awarding all three to IceDog players, perhaps as a good-bye gift.

London Knights 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 3 (OT)
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Windsor leads best-of-7 series, 3-1

W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 2-0-2, -1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 22-32-54, +19, 26 PIM

Windsor put the defending champs on the brink of elimination with a 3-2 overtime win at home in Game 4. Graham Knott scored at 5:58 of overtime. London had a 2-1 lead halfway through the game. The Knights will try to extend the series Saturday at home. Should that not happen, Stephens may be on the next plane to Syracuse.

NHL Game Night: 3-30-17 Red Wings at Lightning

Even with Kucherov out ill, the Lightning keep their playoff hopes healthy.

DET-3
TB-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the victory.

First Period
4:22 DET Nielsen (15), (Helm)
18:58 TB Brown (3), (Dumont)

Second Period
2:22 TB Sustr (3), (Palat)
12:46 DET DeKeyser (4) (Tatar, Zetterberg)
16:13 TB Killorn (18), (unassisted)(PP)
18:04 TB Drouin (21), (Hedman, Point)(PP)

Third Period
6:03 TB Gourde (3), (Palat, Sustr)
8:18 DET Green (13), (Nielsen, Larkin)(PP)

Andrej Sustr, Alex Killorn, and J.T. Brown were the game's three stars. If you picked those three as the opening three goal scorers tonight, I salute you on hitting the million to one trifecta.

With Nikita Kucherov out of the lineup sick, the Lightning cobbled an important victory out of duct tape, bailing wire, spit, and guile.

Luke Witkowski was +1 with 5 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 10:28.

Gregg McKegg was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit. He was also 57% on 7 draws.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:22.

Gabriel Dumont had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot. He was also 73% on 11 draws.

Yanni Gourde had a goal and was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 22:44. He was also 25% on 8 draws. Yanni Gourde with 22:44 of ice time in a must-win game down the stretch of the regular season. We live in interesting times.

Adam Erne was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 10:12.

Joel Vermin had 1 shot in 9:16.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-29-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 4 @ Rimouski Oceanic 3
QMJHL Playoffs, Round 1
Saint John wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, +1, 5 PIM, 1 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 3-2-5, +6, 12 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 3-5-8, +6, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

The top-seeded Sea Dogs swept their first round series with Rimouski by beating the Oceanic 4-3 Wednesday. Mathieu Joseph added two more assists to his playoff totals. Boko fought Samuel Laberge (undrafted) at the end of the second period.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 1 @ Halifax Mooseheads 3
QMJHL Playoffs, Round 1
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 7/17 FO
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM

Halifax knotted up their series with the Huskies with a 3-1 win Wednesday. Somppi, who came back from a shoulder injury to play in Game 3, played his normal defensive role. He was on the ice for the final whistle protecting the lead and took the most faceoffs of any Moosehead.

Shawinigan Cataractes 2 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 3
QMJHL Playoffs, Round 1
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff Totals: 4 GP: 3-2-5, -1, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 64 GP, 46-29-75, +23, 52 PIM

Coming off a hat trick in Game 3, Yan managed an assist in Shawinigan’s loss to the Foreurs in Game 4. The series is all tied up headed back to Shawinigan. Etienne Montpetit (undrafted) made 41 saves for Val-d’Or.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 3 @ Erie Otters 9
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Erie wins best-of-7 series, 4-0

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-3-4, +8, 0 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 11/19 FO
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 4-2-6, +4, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-4-5, +2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 3-8-11, +9, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

The line of Alex DeBrincat, Dylane Strome, and Taylor Raddysh combined for 12 points and the Otters swatted the Sting out of the playoffs with a 9-3 win Wednesday in Game 4. Sarnia got down 5-0 early, but gave it a go, pulling back within two goals early in the third before Erie slammed the door. With authority. Raddysh finished the series with 11 points in four games. Erie now waits for the lowest seed to advance to the second round.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5 @ Flint Firebirds 2
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Sault Ste. Marie leads best-of-7 series, 3-1

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 4-2-6, +3, 2 PIM
Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

The Soo pushed the Firebirds to the brink of elimination with a 5-2 Game 4 win Wednesday. Katchouk has scored in all four games. Game 5 is back in Sault Ste. Marie Friday.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 2 @ Swift Current Broncos 5
Eastern Conference First Round
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -2, 6 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

The good news is Howden was able to finally get one past Swift Current goalie Jordan Papirny, but the bad news is his Warriors lost, 5-2, and the series is even again at two games apiece. Game 5 is back in Moose Jaw Friday.

Kelowna Rockets 1 @ Kamloops Blazers 0
Western Conference First Round
Kelowna leads best-of-7 series, 3-1

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Loss, 48 saves on 49 shots, *Second Star*
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-3-0-0, 2.27 GAA, .948 sv %, 0 SO
Season Totals: 45 GP, 26-14-2-2, 2.44 GAA, .927 sv%, 5 SO

Michael Herringer (undrafted) stopped 24 shots and the Rockets got a goal by Dillon Dube (Flames) in the second period that was enough for Kelowna to beat Kamloops and take a commanding 3-1 lead in their opening round series. Ingram was second star, stopping 48 shots. Game 5 is Friday in Kelowna. Hopefully it’s not Ingram’s final junior game. The Lightning third rounder is second in the WHL in playoff save percentage at .948. Ty Edmonds (undrafted) of Prince George is at .957.

AHL Game Night: 3-29-17 Crunch at Senators

Roller coaster goes back up.

SYR-6
BNG-1

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the win, making that 2 quality starts in his last 3 outings, by my count. Getting better.

First Period
7:06 BNG Akeson (19), (White, Nehring)(PP)

Second Period
1:02 SYR Peca (11), (Taormina, Thomas)
2:22 SYR Kurtz (4), (Taormina)
15:31 SYR Bournival (7), (unassisted)

Third Period
0:31 SYR Condra (13), (Brodeur, Koekkoek)
10:07 SYR Lynch (4), (Brodeur, Koekkoek)
19:17 SYR Hajek (1), (Richard)

Matt Taormina, Slater Koekkoek, and Mathieu Broduer were the game's three stars, as the Crunch D showed out tonight. That included Libor Hajek notching his first pro goal, as well.

Syracuse moves back into a tie with the Toronto Marlies at 79 points atop the North Division, with Toronto holding a 4 game lead in ROW for the tiebreaker.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

ECHL Game Night: 3-29-17

Kalamazoo Wings 2 at Florida Everblades 6

F Brian Hart, KAL, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMS, 2 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 29 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 4 PIMs, 53 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs, 50 SOG

F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIMS, 2 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 16 GP, 5-14-19, +10, 8 PIMs, 44 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs, 40 SOG

Other Notables
G Nic Riopel, KAL, did not play
Season Totals: 29 GP, 17-10-0-1, 2.89 GAA, 0.904 SV%, 1 SO

F Brendan O'Donnell, FLA, 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIMS, 2 SOG, *2nd Star*
Season Totals (ECHL): 56 GP, 37-34-71, +26, 35 PIMs, 221 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 6 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 0 PIMs, 0 SOG

F Dalton Smith, FLA, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIMS, 1 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 56 GP, 10-10-20, -4, 126 PIMs, 89 SOG

The K-Wings rolled into Estero Wednesday night for the first of three games against the former Lightning affiliate Florida Everblades, but quickly discovered there was no welcome mat out at the Germain Center for the visiting team. The Everblades peppered Joel Martin with 37 shots and 6 goals, en route to clinching the South Division title, guaranteeing home ice for Florida through the first two rounds of the Kelly Cup playoffs. Former Bolt prospect Brendan O'Donnell, the ECHL's current goal scoring leader, scored the game's opening marker less than 2 minutes into the contest, and then added a couple more assists as he earned 2nd star honors on the night. For Cam Darcy, it was just his 2nd game in 16 for the K-Wings in which he did not register a point. Kalamazoo now sits 6 points back of Quad Cities for 3rd in the Central Division, with this road series against the Everblades continuing Friday and Saturday nights.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-29-17

KHL Western Conference Final
(4)Yaroslavl 1 vs. (2)St. Petersburg 2
St. Petersburg Wins the Series 4-0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff totals: 13 GP, 6-8-14, +2, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM

Ex-NHL'er Evgeny Dadonov had a pair of helpers to lead SKA to a 2-1 Game Four win over Yaroslavl to sweep the KHL Western Conference Final. Forward Nikita Gusev was scoreless in 13:48 in the match. They look likely to face the East's top seed Magnitogorsk, which currently holds a 3-0 series lead over Ak Bars Kazan.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-28-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 5 @ Rimouski Oceanic 2
QMJHL Playoffs, Round 1
Saint John leads best-of-7 series, 3-0

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 2-1-3, +3, 7 PIM, 3 SOG, 4 Hits, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 3-2-5, +5, 7 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-3-3, +3, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 2 Hits, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 3-3-6, +6, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM

Mathieu Joseph was first star with three helpers and Boko Imama scored twice for the Dogs in their Game 3 win in Rimouski. Top-seeded Saint John can eliminate the Oceanic with a win Wednesday. Boko fought Alex-Olivier Voyer at the end of the second period. Both of Boko’s goals were assisted by Joseph. #fam

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2 @ Halifax Mooseheads 0
QMJHL Playoffs, Round 1
Rouyn-Noranda leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Did not play (shoulder injury)
Season Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Somppi, who was considered week-to-week with a shoulder injury, must’ve got the Miyagi treatment because he was back for Game 3 at home in Nova Scotia. He was held off the scoresheet and took a minus-2 as the heavily favored Huskies took the series lead.

Shawinigan Cataractes 6 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 3
QMJHL Playoffs, Round 1
Shawinigan leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 3-0-3, +1, 0 PIM, 8 SOG, 0 Hits, *First Star*
Playoff Totals: 3 GP: 3-1-4, -1, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 64 GP, 46-29-75, +23, 52 PIM

Yan scored his first goal of the playoffs, then added two more to give himself a road hat trick and propel the Cataractes to a 6-3 Game 3 win over the Foreurs. Yan scored on a first period power play, then again in the mid-second with Shawinigan down 3-1. He tied the game with another power play goal late in the second period. Alexis D’Aoust (undrafted) scored twice in the third period before an empty-netter sealed the deal.

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 4 @ Niagara IceDogs 3 (OT)
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Peterborough leads best-of-7 series, 3-0

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 4 SOG, 8/19 FO
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 0-1-1, +2, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 66 GP, 19-29-48, +1, 28 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 1-1-2, +6, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP, 7-22-29, +9, 58 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

The Petes took a commanding 3-0 series lead, beating the IceDogs in St. Catherines, 4-3 in OT on a Josh Coyle (undrafted) goal. Peterborough can close out the series Thursday.

London Knights 1 @ Windsor Spitfires 3
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Windsor leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 22-32-54, +19, 26 PIM

The Spits broke a 1-1 tie in the second period, then former Bolt prospect Cristiano DiGiacinto scored his first of the playoffs a few minutes later to provide some insurance. The defending champion Knights are in need of a road win Thursday.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ Swift Current Broncos 3
Eastern Conference First Round
Moose Jaw leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 6 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 38-43-81, +14, 73 PIM

Moose Jaw took a 2-1 lead in their tightly contested series with Swift Current, hanging on for a 4-3 win. The Warriors had a 4-2 lead before the Broncos scored on the power play with 29 seconds left in regulation. Swift Current has been able to keep Howden off the scoresheet through three games this series.

Kelowna Rockets 1 @ Kamloops Blazers 4
Western Conference First Round
Kelowna leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Win, 37 saves on 38 shots, *Second Star*
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 1-2-0-0, 2.68 GAA, .935 sv %, 0 SO
Season Totals: 45 GP, 26-14-2-2, 2.44 GAA, .927 sv%, 5 SO

Ingram backstopped the Blazers to a must-win Game 3 victory, getting Kamloops back in the series. Kamloops looks to hold serve at home in Game 4 Wednesday night.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 3-27-17

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 5 @ Sarnia Sting 3
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Erie leads best-of-7 series, 3-0

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 1-2-3, +7, 0 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 16/26 FO
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 3-2-5, +3, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 51 GP, 25-39-64, +36, 12 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 9 SOG
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 2-4-6, +7, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 58 GP, 42-66-108, +67, 37 PIM

Erie pushed the Sting to the brink of elimination with a 5-3 road win Monday. Darren Raddysh, free agent right-handed defenseman and brother of Taylor, was named first star with two goals. The series shifts back to Pennsylvania for two games as a part of a 1-2-2-1-1 format.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3 @ Flint Firebirds 1
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Sault Ste. Marie leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 3-2-5, +1, 2 PIM
Season: 66 GP, 35-29-64, +18, 46 PIM

Bruins pick Zach Senyshyn scored a tie-breaking goal at 13:37 of the third period and Katchouk added an empty-netter as the Soo took back home ice advantage in their series with Flint by beating the Firebirds 3-1 Monday.

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