Gourde, Yanni

AHL Game Night: 11-6-15 Devils at Crunch

Crunch comeback dissolves into Third Period disappointment.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss. That's not exactly the kind of triumphant return one might've hoped for in Gudlevskis first action back from Tampa Bay. Then again, some rust due to inaction was probably inevitable.

First Period
ALB Thomson, (2) (Scarlett), 16:40

Second Period
ALB Blandisi, (3) (Lorito, Sislo), 1:41 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (2) (Marchessault, Richard), 11:41
SYR Nesterov, (1) (DeAngelo, Vermin), 17:45 (PP)

Third Period
ALB Blandisi, (4) (Lorito, Sislo), 4:03 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (4) (Gourde, Richard), 8:21
ALB Kujawinski, (2) (Mozik, McKelvie), 14:38

Yanni Gourde and Mike Blunden were the game's second and third stars.

It's a shame the Crunch spend all game crawling out of their initial 2 goal deficit only to relent the winner after getting the even footing for the second time in the game. Nikita Nesterov paid instant dividends in his return to the club by potting a power play goal that was the first equalizer toward the end of the Second Period. That's good news. Nesterov's regressed a bit early this year in Tampa Bay due to lack of action and a loss of confidence. Getting the chance to get more minutes, especially on the power play, is a good way for Nikita to get his swagger back. In the mean time, I'd expect a recall on the blueline to Tampa Bay for tomorrow's game against Minnesota (Slater Koekkoek?).

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-26-15 Lightning at Stars

Emery opens the door in the Third Period. Will Gudlevskis step through it.


Ray Emery allowed 6 goals on 26 shots for the loss in his first full game of action in the preseason. The stat line is ugly, especially in the Third Period where he allowed 3 goals on 9 shots. My theory remains the same: I think the Lightning would be thrilled for Kristers Gudlevskis to take the backup job in October and November until Vasilevskiy returns, but they're not going to hand it to him. He has to win it from Emery and right now Emery opened the door to Kristers.

First Period

Second Period
0:42 TB Namestnikov (1), (Nesterov, Drouin)(PP)
4:17 DAL Lindell (1), (Honka, Shore)(PP)
11:09 DAL Seguin (1), (Klingberg, Sharp)
13:24 TB Drouin (1), (Blujus, Marchessault)(PP)
18:21 DAL Sharp (1), (Seguin, Smith)

Third Period
2:01 TB Koekkoek (1), (Gourde, McGinn)
4:59 DAL Ully (1), (Smith, Goligoski)
6:47 DAL Seguin (2), (Ranford, Johns)
7:18 DAL Ranford (1), (Shore, Lindell)

The result tonight wasn't terribly surprising. This was another case of Dallas playing most of their NHLers against a depleted Lightning lineup that was sitting out its top two lines and best defensemen. Still, it's disappointing to have a game tied 3-3 early in the Third Period and then surrender 3 goals in less that 2 and a half minutes to spoil it. You'll no doubt see cuts en masse now as Syracuse Crunch camp is about to start overseas.

Matt Taormina was -1 with 2 blocked shots in 21:34. He'll likely be packing for Crunch camp now. I don't anticipate a lot of danger that he'll be plucked off waivers.

Slater Koekkoek had a goal and was -1 with 2 shots in 18:37. He's played well. I wouldn't be shocked to see him get an extended look, but I'd guess the nature of Syracuse's overseas camp probably makes it harder to keep him with Tampa Bay.

Brayden Point was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 15:19. He was also 23% on 13 draws. He's just a puppy, age-wise, and I'd expect the Lightning to pull the trigger here soon to send him back for his final season of junior hockey.

Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 13:55. He was also 36% on 11 draws. Suspect he'll have some family and friends make the trip over from Switzerland to watch him during Crunch camp.

Jonathan Marchessault had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:30. Maybe a slight chance he'll get plucked off of waivers if the Lightning do indeed choose to make the move right now.

Philippe Paradis was -1 with 5 hits in 11:41. Crunch camp, no doubt.

Luke Witkowski was -1 with 3 blocked shots in 17:16. I believe he's waiver eligible, too, but suspect he'll make it through.

Henri Ikonen was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 13:54. Another likely Crunch camper.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 16:09. Another likely Crunch camper.

Dylan Blujus had a helper and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 20:21. Third on the team in ice time tonight. I've been pretty pleased how he and Dotchin have played along side the more obvious suspects like Koekkoek and DeAngelo. He's another likely Crunch camper, but the Lightning should feel a lot better about their future at that position than they did at this time even a year ago.

Nikita Nesterov had a helper and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 21:19. Just 1 shot on goal? Does Nikki have a cold?

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-25-15 Panthers at Lightning

All is right with the world...


Ben Bishop stopped all 18 shots he faced for the win before giving way to Kristers Gudlevskis, who allowed 1 goal on 18 shots the rest of the way. My going theory on the backup job the first two months of the regular season is this: the Lightning would be perfectly comfortable signing Ray Emery, but they'd really prefer to give Gudlevskis the gig. A solid performance like that is very helpful to Gudlevskis' cause.

First Period
12:29 TB Kucherov (1), (Peca, Namestnikov)

Second Period
1:45 TB Condra (1), (Boyle, Erne)
10:59 TB Peca (1), (Callahan, Namestnikov)
12:26 TB Kucherov (2), (Drouin, Stamkos)

Third Period
9:05 FLA Trocheck (1), (Pirri, Jokinen)(PP)

Matthew Peca, Nikita Kucherov, and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's three stars.

The Lightning may only be 1-1-1 through 3 games of the preseason, but I think the organization has to be pretty elated with everything so far, on balance. Emery and Gudlevskis have both played pretty well in their half game auditions and Wilcox showed potential. The younger guys you would hope will step up in Tampa Bay this coming season (Drouin, Namestnikov, Brown, etc.) have all played pretty well. Condra's seemingly fitting in seamlessly in that lower line equation. Key performers who will be counted on to step up for Syracuse this year like Peca are playing well and the wave of young defensemen who will probably start making their way to Tampa the second half of the year like Koekkoek, DeAngelo, Blujus, and Dotchin have all been pretty solid. Other than Sustr's performance in the second preseason game, I'd say the Lightning have checked off a lot on their to-do list thus far.

Mike Angelidis had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot and was 40% on 10 draws in 11:46.

Anthony DeAngelo had 2 penalty minutes in 18:26.

Slater Koekkoek was +3 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 18:21. He'll be in Tampa Bay by the playoff stretch of the season at the latest, in my opinion.

Joel Vermin had 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 13:48.

Jake Dotchin was +3 with 2 shots in 18:46.

Peca had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 in 14:09. He also had 3 shots and was perfect on the 2 draws he took. It's an interesting question we've had among the Bolt Prospects staff when it comes to Peca: just how good will he be? I think our minimum expectation, based on his body of work at Quinnipiac, is that he'll be an AHL star (call it the Cory Conacher level), but will he go beyond it to become a smallish NHL star (the Tyler Johnson level)? Only time will tell, but he's had a strong start to this season, which is great to see.

Yanni Gourde had 1 hit in 11:43.

Adam Erne had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 13:25.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots, and 3 hits in 19:41. Team high in shots. Wish I could inject that gene in one or two other Lightning players every season.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-29-15 Penguins at Crunch

Too little, too late.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game Three


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wins the Series 3-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 23 shots for the loss. He finishes the playoffs with the ugly 0-3 mark and an .833 save percentage after seeing his regular season save percentage slip to .900 at the finish line. He's a prospect at a crossroads.

First Period
WBS Wilson, (1) (Sheary, Ebbett), 7:53 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (1) (Witkowski, Peca), 16:53

Second Period
WBS Sheary, (1) (Kostopoulos, Pouliot), 2:39

Third Period
WBS Sheary, (2) (Wilson, Dumoulin), 1:59 (PP)
WBS Pouliot, (1) (Kapanen, Chorney), 4:30 (PP)
SYR Richard, (1) (Koekkoek, Gourde), 5:36
WBS Ebbett, (1) (Uher), 18:42 (EN)

Yanni Gourde was the game's second star.

This team accomplished a lot of good things this season, particularly when you look at the development of their young defensemen. It's a shame they just ran out of gas at the end of the season, because they showed amazing resiliency and the ability to really fight above their weight class all season long. There are some reinforcements coming in the way of some top Lightning prospects like Erne and DeAngelo next season, but it'll be critical for the team to find the right mix of veterans and semi-veterans to form the heart of the team next year.

We'll see which prospects go up top to join Tampa Bay as Black Aces. For the ones that do, it'll be a great opportunity to see what the big time is like up close.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 3-15-15 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Weekend sweep (roller coaster goes up)!

SYR- 2

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 29 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. He had 5 last season. He also got his save percentage back to .900 with the victory, just a shade below his .901 of a year ago.

First Period
SYR Gourde, (24) (Koekkoek, Kunyk), 9:31 (PP)

Second Period

Third Period
SYR Courtnall, (5) (Smith, Blujus), 16:25

Yanni Gourde, Gudlevskis, and once (and future?) Bolt Prospect Justin Courtnall were the game's three stars. Yes, quiet acquisition Justin Courtnall, the ex-Lightning pick and son-of-a-Geoff. He's back in our lives. Reunited, and it feels so good.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-13-15 Flames at Crunch

Crunch avenge their most humiliating loss of the year.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 38 shots for the win. Credit him for continuing to battle after allowing 4 goals on his first 20 shots faced.

First Period
SYR Gourde, (23) (Ashton, Cote), 4:28
SYR Martindale, (9) (Marchessault), 5:39
ADK Agostino, (6) (Reinhart), 12:27 (SH)

Second Period
ADK Setoguchi, (2) (Vause, Acolatse), 2:15
SYR Ashton, (6) (Richard), 3:35
ADK Acolatse, (5) (Kulak, Arnold), 6:41 (PP)
ADK Agostino, (7) (Setoguchi, Cundari), 11:16

Third Period
SYR Martindale, (10) (Koekkoek, Broll), 2:52
SYR Witkowski, (2) (Richard, Gourde), 11:45
SYR Richard, (11) (Gourde, Ashton), 14:15
SYR Dotchin, (5) (Martindale), 18:29 (EN)

Gudlevskis, Carter Ashton, and Ryan Martindale were the game's three stars. Yanni Gourde and Tanner Richard each had 3 point nights as well, so lots of Syracuse players got healthy on the stat sheet tonight.

The Crunch have fallen 6 points out of the conference title chase, but are still up 5 points on Springfield in the division. The real question is whether Syracuse can sustain any success if Vladislav Namestnikov stays with Tampa Bay the rest of the season. It's a tough ask, but the team did manage 7 goals tonight, obviously.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Speedy Gourde Develops Into a Top Offensive Threat

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Like many times before, Yanni Gourde turned on the jets.

The Syracuse Crunch forward accepted the relay pass from Vlad Namesntikov in stride at the blue line, stormed in alone on Utica goalie Pat Nagle, and netted the eventual game-winning power play goal in a 4-1 victory Saturday.

Gourde, riding a six game point streak, is using his speed to his advantage to be one of the Crunch's top scoring threats this season.

“(Goalie Kristers Gudlevskis) makes a great play to pass it up to him to give him a breakaway, but no defenseman is going to catch him there because of his speed,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He just needs to continue to use that. When he is successful, that’s what he does.”

AHL Game Night: 2-4-15 Wolf Pack at Crunch

Comeback Crunch find their PP.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 17 shots for the victory. He had light work in his first game as the clear starter since Vasilevskiy's recall, as the team in front of him outshot Hartford by a staggering 45-17 margin.

First Period

Second Period
HFD Haggerty, (8) (Mueller), 2:50
HFD Hrivik, (8) (Allen, Kristo), 10:49 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Dotchin, (3) (Namestnikov, Gourde), 10:18 (PP)
SYR Smith, (10) (Koekkoek, Gourde), 14:39 (PP)
SYR Dodero, (1) (Namestnikov, Gourde), 15:55

Charlie Dodero, Yanni Gourde, and Jake Dotchin were the game's three stars. Syracuse overcame a 2 goal deficit in the Third Period by getting a pair of power play goals from their typically dreadful extra man units. They ended up 2-for-6 on the game.

Syracuse maintains a 1 point lead atop the Eastern Conference over the Manchester Monarchs. They also opened up a 6 point lead on Hartford in the division and hold a 7 point lead over the cratering Springfield Falcons.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-31-15 Crunch at Bears

Vasiy wins the duel.

HER-2 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 32 shots before denying 3 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the win. He's becoming a bit of a legend in the shootout.

First Period

Second Period
SYR Richard, (7) (Gourde, Paradis), 4:22
SYR Gourde, (16) (Angelidis), 6:32 (SH)
HER Newbury, (14) (Byers, Gazley), 17:03

Third Period
HER Cornet, (7) (Galiev, Kundratek), 9:55 (PP)


SYR- Marchessault

Yanni Gourde was the game's third star. Can you tell the Hershey media picked the three stars?

With the victory, Syracuse has climbed to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, 1 point up on the Manchester Monarchs. That's mildly amazing for a team that's 28th in the league on the PP. Imagine how good the Crunch would be if they had one.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-23-15 Phantoms at Crunch

Vasiy and Gourde spook the Phantoms.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the victory. It's a solid stat line, but the real key was making big saves at key junctures of the game, like any really good goaltender does.

First Period
SYR Kunyk, (6) (Lynch, Dodero), 7:21
LV Goumas, (2) (Delisle, Comrie), 17:00
LV Straka, (10) (Goumas, Comrie), 17:24

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (14) , 3:23
SYR Ikonen, (5) (Angelidis, Corrente), 17:45

Third Period
SYR Gourde, (15) (Richard, Vermin), 4:00

Yanni Gourde, Henri Ikonen and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars. Gourde snapped a 9 game goalless streak with his tally. Ikonen, for his part, has 3 goals in the last 6 games.

With Springfield falling to Hartford tonight, Syracuse moves back to just 1 point back in the division with 1 game in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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