With the Albany Devils nipping at their heels in the standings, the Syracuse Crunch found a way to pull out a win.
For Syracuse head coach Benoit Groulx, the game showed his players could get two points even if they weren’t at their best.
“We were a vulnerable team tonight, playing our ninth game in 16 days with traveling in the middle of that and playing against a rested team,” Groulx said. “I thought our goalie was phenomenal. He allowed us to stay in that game, obviously. They were skating better than us. They were first on pucks. They were the best team on the ice tonight, but we found a way.”
Lightning run into a juggernaut, see playoff hopes harmed.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.
3:44 WSH Oshie (27), (Johansson, Backstrom)(PP)
11:52 WSH Oshie (28), (Ovechkin, Backstrom)
15:52 TB Kucherov (32), (Palat, Point)(PP)
16:08 TB Killorn (17), (Drouin)
3:14 WSH Williams (20), (Niskanen, Burakovsky)
5:30 WSH Carlson (8), (Oshie, Backstrom)
18:30 TB Kucherov (33), (Point)
19:16 WSH Oshie (29), (Backstrom)(EN)
Nikita Kucherov was the game's third star.
Valiant effort by the Lightning still playing with darn near all their centers out of the lineup and really testing the East's best team. Were it not for a bit of embellishment that led to the call in the Third Period that led to Williams' goal shortly after its conclusion, Tampa Bay might've well gotten points out of the evening.
Unfortunately, with the standings predicament the Lightning are in, there are no moral victories. They're running out of road quickly.
Luke Witkowski had 4 hits in 7:19
Gregg McKegg had 2 penalty minutes and was 60% on 10 draws in 8:44. McKegg is now a couple of games shy of graduation from prospect status on the website.
Jake Dotchin was -1 with 3 hits in 19:40.
Gabriel Dumont had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 10:58.
Yanni Gourde had 1 shot, 1 hit, and was 33% on 15 draws in 15:17.
Adam Erne had 1 shot and 4 hits in 11:19.
Indy Fuel 6 at Kalamazoo Wings 5
F Brian Hart, KAL, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIMS, 0 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 24 GP, 2-3-5, -3, 4 PIMs, 42 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs, 50 SOG
F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 1-2-3, E, 0 PIMS, 5 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals (ECHL): 11 GP, 3-11-14, +7, 6 PIMs, 30 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs, 40 SOG
G Nic Riopel, KAL, L, 58:25 MINS, 28/34
Season Totals: 28 GP, 16-10-0-1, 2.88 GAA, 0.903 SV%, 1 SO
St. Patrick's Day at the Wings Event Center means one thing - green ice. It also means the team with the second fewest goals scored in the league and the second worst record in the league coming in and putting six up on the scoreboard. Nic Riopel and the K-Wings surrendered a second intermission lead, allowing 2 goals on just 7 third period shots for just his second loss in 14 starts. Lightning prospect Cam Darcy had a goal and two assists despite the loss, earning Third Star honors. Next up for Kalamazoo is a rematch with the Fuel in Indianapolis Saturday night.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Saint John Sea Dogs 3 @ Charlottetown Islanders 6
W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 2-0-2, -1, 4 PIM, 6 SOG, 2 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 65 GP, 40-14-54, +10, 103 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM
W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: Did not play
Season Totals: 54 GP, 36-44-80, +37, 57 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM
Imama scored twice to give him an astounding 40 goals this season, and topped 100 penalty minutes for the year in the same game. Joseph sat as the Sea Dogs have already wrapped up the top seed for the Q playoffs.
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3 @ Halifax Mooseheads 2 (OT)
C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: Did not play
Season Totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, -7, 28 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM
Somppi is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, per Halifax reporter John Moore of sportsandmoore.com.
Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 7
W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 1 Hit, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 64 GP, 46-29-75, +23, 52 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM
Yan scored again – his 46th of the season – as the Cataractes beat the visiting Phoenix, 7-2.
Ontario Hockey League
Erie Otters 3 @ Kitchener Rangers 2 (OT)
D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 49 GP, 3-18-21, +32, 51 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM
C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/16 FO
Season Totals: 51 GP, 24-37-61, +35, 12 PIM
With Erie: 23 GP, 11-14-25, +15, 4 PIM
With Oshawa: 26 GP, 13-21-34, +18, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM
W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-0-1, -2, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals: 58 GP, 41-67-108, +67, 35 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM
Alex DeBrincat scored his 64th goal of the season in overtime to lift Erie. Taylor Raddysh’s goal opened the scoring. His brother, free agent right-handed defenseman Darren Raddysh, had an assist to give the overager 78 points in 62 games.
Saginaw Spirit 1 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3
W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season: 65 GP, 33-28-61, +17, 46 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM
Katchouk was scoreless Friday. All the scoring took place in the third period, starting with Saginaw’s goal six seconds into the period.
Flint Firebirds 3 @London Knights 7
W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 0-2-2, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 50 GP, 22-32-54, +19, 26 PIM
With London: 28 GP, 11-14-25, +6, 12 PIM
With Saginaw: 22 GP, 11-17-28, +13, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM
Ducks first rounder Max Jones had two goals for London in their win over Flint.
Western Hockey League
Prince Albert Raiders 3 @ Saskatoon Blades 5
D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 60 GP: 4-22-26, -15, 74 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM
Saskatoon beat visiting Prince Albert, but with Calgary’s win over Kootenay the Blades were eliminated from playoff contention. On the plus side, Hajek can join AHL Syracuse for practices next week.
Moose Jaw Warriors 1 @ Swift Current Broncos 2
C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 57 GP, 35-41-76, +11, 64 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM
Moose Jaw lost a playoff preview match-up with Swift Current. The two will play each other in the first round as the East Division’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams.
Prince George Cougars 3 @ Kamloops Blazers 1
G Connor Ingram, KAM: Loss, 35 saves on 28 shots, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 45 GP, 26-14-2-2, 2.44 GAA, .927 sv%, 5 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO
Jesse Gabrielle (Bruins) had two goals (34, 35) as the Cougars beat the Blazers in Kamloops, 3-1. Ingram was named second star in the loss.
Crunch comeback dissolves into defeat.
Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 23 shots for the loss. Thus far with Syracuse he is 1-3-1 with a 4.23 GAA and a .868 save percentage. His acquisition has not led to the expected results thus far, needless to say.
13:22 UTI Rendulic (12), (Pelletier, Robak)
14:42 UTI Pelletier (9), (Carcone, Rendulic)
17:44 SYR Ikonen (3), (Comrie, McGinn)(PP)
4:05 UTI Archibald (20), (McEneny, Kunyk)(PP)
6:31 SYR Halmo (16), (Ikonen, Koekkoek)
7:01 SYR McGinn (7), (Condra)
8:15 UTI Zalewski (4), (Subban, Bancks)
Tye McGinn was the game's second star. Since returning from injury on 3/3, McGinn has 6-2-8 in 8 games. And there ain't nothing wrong with those stats.
Tonight's game was a frustrating one. Syracuse outshot Utica 38-23 and battled their way back from a pair of 2 goal deficits to get things level in the Third Period only to eventually lose the contest in regulation. The consistency from the net out needs to get dramatically better by the playoffs.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1 vs No. 4 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 5
C Ryan Lohin, UML: 1-2-3, +3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, *First Star*
Season Totals: 38 GP, 10-16-26, +9, 14 PIM
Lohin was first star with three points as UML advanced to the Hockey East Finals Saturday vs Boston College.
No. 14 Boston College Eagles 3 vs No. 7 Boston University Terriers 2
D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 34 GP, 2-5-7, +9, 28 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 26 GP, 1-1-2, -4, 26 PIM
BU was upended by rival BC Friday in the Hockey East Semifinals. BC advanced to play Ryan Lohin and UMass-Lowell. BU, who trailed 3-0 entering the third period, will wait for their at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.
No. 15 Penn State Nittany Lions 4 vs No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3 (2OT)
D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 36 GP, 2-3-5, +11, 35 PIM
Penn State won on a power play goal moments after a shorthanded chance by the Gophers to move the Lions to the Big 10 Finals against Wisconsin. Minnesota will play in the NCAA tournament. Zuhlsdorf was on shorthanded during the game-winner. He stopped the rush along the boards before a second player picked up the loose puck and found the scorer on the weak side.
*USCHO poll used for rankings
Ontario Hockey League
Hamilton Bulldogs 0 @ Peterborough Petes 4
W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 7/14 FO
Season Totals: 65 GP, 19-29-48, +3, 28 PIM
With Petes: 26 GP, 7-12-19, +11, 14 PIM
With Niagara: 37 GP, 12-17-29, -7, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM
D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 59 GP, 7-21-28, +9, 56 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
Dylan Wells (Oilers) stopped 37 shots for his first career shutout as the Petes beat the Bulldogs, 5-0, to clinch the top seed in the East. Wells improved to 33-15-2-2 this season. His first shutout came in his 106th career OHL game. Lightning prospect Matt Spencer had an assist.
It didn't happen...
Rather than write a full game report, I'm going to do something I haven't done in a while tonight. It's probably been a couple of years, but I'm going to skip the detailed post mortem of what happened tonight to offer you a different perspective.
It didn't happen.
The fact of the matter is the Lightning were completing a marathon leg of 4 games in 6 nights, and while the effort level was good, they just couldn't get a single bounce to go their way all game long. It's not overly surprising under the circumstances, and it happens. Do we all wish it hadn't happened under this particular circumstance in the standings and against this particular club? Sure. But what's done can't be undone, and there's too much heavy lifting left to do for the club to really dwell on a seemingly impossible night at the office. Better to bury it now and just move on like it didn't happen when the sun rises tomorrow morning, especially for young netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy who still has a lot more big moments to face down before now and the finish line of the regular season.
MHL Western Conference Quarterfinals
(6)Cherepovets Jr. 3 vs. (3)Yaroslavl Jr. 2 (OT)
Cherepovets Jr. Wins the Series 3-1
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM
Oleg Sosunov drew in for his first game of the MHL playoffs and took a matching minor for roughing in Loko Jr.'s 3-2 OT loss to Cherepovets Jr. The defeat seals Loko Jr.'s first round upset defeat.
KHL Western Conference Semifinals
(2)St. Petersburg 2 vs. (3)Dynamo Moscow 0
St. Petersburg Wins the Series 4-1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 4-6-10, +2, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM
Nikita Gusev had the opening goal for SKA in their 2-0 Game Five blanking of Dynamo Moscow to send them to the WHL Western Conference Final. Gusev played 13:23 in the match. Ex-Isles pick Mikko Koskinen stopped all 20 shots he faced for the shutout victory. SKA will face the winner of the CSKA vs. Yaroslavl series in the next round. The 4th seeded Lokomotiv currently lead CSKA in that series 3-2.