Gourde, Yanni

AHL Game Night: 11-22-14 Comets at Crunch

Vasilevskiy shines on the big stage in the Frozen Dome.

UTI-1
SYR-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy had his finest start of the year, turning aside 26 of 27 shots for the victory. He made big saves at big moments to preserve the margin of victory for the Crunch, and he did it in front of 30,000+ people. The young man's got some swagger, no doubt. I could see his season taking off like a rocket ship from here on out.

First Period
UTI Friesen, (2) (Kenins, Jensen), 3:12
SYR Vermin, (5) (Richard), 16:00

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (8) (Marchessault, Nesterov), 0:49

Third Period
NO SCORING

Vasilevskiy, Yanni Gourde, and Tanner Richard were the game's three stars.

Utica is a fine club, entering the night atop the Western Conference. This was a measuring stick game coming off of a loss that snapped an 8 game point streak for the Crunch. The win will put Syracuse back into a tie for the top spot in their division and continues to reinforce that this Syracuse team is going to be a real player in the AHL hunt this season.

Attendance at tonight's game at the Carrier Dome was 30,715, which breaks the all-time indoor record set by the crowd in Tampa Bay for Game Six of the Lightning and Flyers series of 28,138 way back in 1996 (I was there) at Thunderdome in St. Petersburg.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-21-14 Crunch at Flames

All good things...

SYR-1
ADK-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
ADK Wolf, (3) (Vause, Wotherspoon), 0:13

Second Period
SYR Witkowski, (1) (Richard, Kunyk), 17:42
ADK Vause, (1) (Poirier, Wolf), 19:58

Third Period
ADK Reid, (2) (Cundari), 11:56 (PP)
ADK Poirier, (4) (Cundari, Reid), 16:56 (PP)

Syracuse's points streak is snapped at 8 games. Hard to believe Adirondack could withstand deployment of the secret weapon, Luke Witkowski, but the goal allowed with 2 seconds left in the Second Period ended up being a killer. Goals early and late in periods...

Yanni Gourde's point streak was also snapped at 6 games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-19-14 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Syracuse on fire, with room still to grow.

SYR-5
HFD-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the victory. Ugly stat line, and yet the Crunch are still tied for the top spot in their division. Imagine when the defense and Vasilevskiy show more improvement.

First Period
SYR Angelidis, (5) (Ikonen), 0:16
HFD Kostka, (1) (Allen, Mueller), 0:43
HFD Vaive, (4) , 6:01
SYR Gourde, (6) (Vermin, Marchessault), 6:34 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (6) (Paradis), 10:40
SYR Gourde, (7) (Richard), 16:01

Second Period
HFD Allen, (3) (Vaive, Crabb), 8:06
HFD Miller, (6) (Hrivik, Allen), 19:19

Third Period
SYR Paradis, (1) (Witkowski, Richard), 4:00

Mike Angelidis and Yanni Gourde were the game's first and second stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-15-14 Crunch at Penguins

Syracuse movin' on up.

SYR-3
WBS-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory. He kept his team in the game and gave them the opportunity to make, and complete, the comeback bid.

First Period
WBS Sheary, (4) (Rowney, Dumoulin), 12:33
WBS Ebbett, (4) (Wilson, Pouliot), 13:38 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (4) (Koekkoek, Paradis), 16:41

Third Period
SYR Gourde, (5) (Nesterov, Marchessault), 2:16 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (4) (Dotchin), 10:11

Yanni Gourde and Mike Angelidis were the game's first and third stars. Gourde now has 5 goals and 9 points in 7 games this month.

The Pens held the top spot in the Northeast Division coming into the game, 2 points ahead of Syracuse. So, the Crunch move into a tie with Wilkes-Barre Scranton at 19 points, and with Albany losing tonight the Crunch will hold a share of the division lead at the end of the night. They'll also have another key divisional matchup Wednesday in Hartford.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 11-12-14 Crunch at Devils

The Gourde and Richard Show rolls on.

SYR-3
ALB-2 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 22 shots and stopped 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win.

First Period
ALB Timmins, (5) (Thompson), 1:06
SYR Gourde, (3) , 4:49

Second Period
SYR Vermin, (4) (Dotchin, Marchessault), 2:52

Third Period
ALB Sestito, (3) (Scarlett), 2:44

Overtime
NONE

Shootout
SYR- Gourde, Richard
ALB- Thompson

Joel Vermin and Tanner Richard were the game's first and third stars. After posting just 1 point in 8 games in the month of October, Yanni Gourde had 3 goals and 6 points in 5 games in November. Richard, who faced the same futility at the scoresheet in October, has 2 goals and 5 points in 5 games this month, and obviously had the shootout winner tonight.

I also remain pleasantly surprised by the production of some of the Lightning's middle-tier rookie blueliners. Both Dylan Blujus and Jake Dotchin continue to hover around a half a point a game and are on the plus side of the ledger for the year.

With the win, Syracuse climbs into 8th place in the Eastern Conference, just 2 points back of division leaders Hartford and Bridgeport. Syracuse faces Hershey next on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-8-14 Admirals at Crunch

Turning point of the early season?

NOR-4
SYR-5

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the win. He wasn't good, and gave up a couple of questionable goals. But, the Crunch had his back in the Third Period tonight.

First Period
NOR Theodore, (2) (Wagner, Sarault), 5:47 (PP)
NOR Theodore, (3) (Winchester), 15:10 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (5) , 6:15 (PS)
NOR Leblanc, (2) (Sarault, Kerdiles), 15:32
NOR Blacker, (1) (Steckel, O'Brien), 17:29

Third Period
SYR Smith, (3) (Angelidis, Koekkoek), 3:51
SYR Gourde, (1) (Richard), 4:32
SYR Smith, (4) (Cote, Blujus), 14:38
SYR Gourde, (2) (Richard, Paradis), 15:23

Yanni Gourde, Dalton Smith, and Jonathan Marchessault were the game's three stars. Gourde gets the monkey off his back in a big way after not potting a goal all season by getting 2, including the game winner.

Being down 3 goals in the Third Period in pro hockey is supposed to be a death sentence. Teams in that position seem to lose 98-99% of the time. It's a rare and sometimes galvanizing thing if a team can come back against those odds, and a hugely demoralizing thing to the team that blows that kind of lead. So, for Syracuse to overcome those odds tonight is no small thing, and is likely to give them some momentum as a team that they can carry forward from here on out into the season. Big, big win.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't point out the role Tanner Richard played in the comeback, as the next wave of Lightning prospects starts to step it up.

#blujuspalooza

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-11-14 Penguins at Crunch

Playing out the string, Crunch still sorting out themselves for next season.

WBS-3
SYR-2 (SO)

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 31 shots before allowing 2 of 5 to convert in the penalty shot session for the Shootout loss.

First Period
WBS Kobasew, (9) (Ebbett, Dumoulin), 4:46 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (19) (Korobov, Connolly), 8:18 (PP)
SYR DiSalvatore, (11) (Marchessault, Mormina), 16:09 (PP)

Second Period
WBS Kobasew, (10) (Machacek, Dumoulin), 7:28 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
WBS- Zlobin, Machachek
SYR- NONE

Yanni Gourde and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's second and third stars. Henri Ikonen made his North American pro debut with 2 shots and he was also unsuccessful in his shootout attempt.

Syracuse remains stuck at 1 game under .500 with 5 games left in their season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-28-14 Phantoms at Crunch

Roller coaster Crunch back on the uphill slope.

ADK-4
SYR-6

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the victory. Goal support remains a beautiful thing.

First Period
ADK Cousins, (9) (Eddy, Manning), 9:31
ADK Noebels, (3) (Akeson, Lamarche), 17:43

Second Period
SYR Walker, (5) (Marchessault, Gourde), 7:49 (PP)
ADK Akeson, (21) , 11:54
SYR Paquette, (17) (DiSalvatore, Connolly), 14:46 (PP)
SYR Paquette, (18) (Sustr, Cote), 15:56

Third Period
ADK Holmstrom, (12) (Delisle, Noebels), 0:59 (PP)
SYR Smith, (6) (Marchessault, Langelier-Parent), 3:35
SYR Langelier-Parent, (2) (Gourde, Witkowski), 9:16
SYR Marchessault, (16) (Connolly, Witkowski), 14:03

Cedric Paquette, Jonathan Marchessault, and Yanni Gourde were the game's three stars.

Andrej Sustr also returned from injury tonight after missing over a month on the shelf, and he was joined in the lineup by J.P. Cote who has only been healthy enough to see game action in 1 game in the last month. Both defensemen had assists in the game, and both add to the list of reasons to believe this 3 game winning streak the Crunch are on might be sustainable. Also, if Sustr can finish the AHL season strong, he might give the Lightning defensive corps a shot in the arm in the depth department once he goes back up to to Tampa Bay.

The opportunity to make the playoffs is long gone for Syracuse, but they improved to 2 games under .500 with tonight's result. With everything that's happened, if the team can post a record over .500 this year, that's going to be a moral victory at least, and will help lay a foundation for success next season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-15-14 Bulldogs at Crunch

Legendary goaltending by Gudlevskis, but no dice in the shootout.

HAM-2
SYR-1 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis sparkled, allowing 1 goal on 29 shots before allowing 1 of 9 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. That's a shame.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Connolly, (15) (Namestnikov), 6:42
HAM Leblanc, (12) (Ellis), 10:36

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
HAM- Blunden
SYR- NONE

Gudlevskis was the game's second star. He was bested in the goaltending duel by counterpart Robert Mayer, whose performance included stopping Yanni Gourde on a penalty shot.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-14-14 Bears at Crunch

Syracuse unleashes the secret weapon.

HER-2
SYR-3 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory. The Latvian rookie is now 4 games over .500 for the season and has inched his save percentage up to .901 for the campaign.

First Period
HER Brown, (15) (Newbury, Byers), 9:50 (PP)
SYR Landry, (1) (Paradis, Gourde), 14:04

Second Period
SYR Smith, (5) (Rankin, Langelier-Parent), 2:48

Third Period
HER Watkins, (10) (Kolomatis, Byers), 9:13

Overtime
SYR DiSalvatore, (10) (Connolly), 1:50

Jon DiSalvatore and Gudlevskis were the game's first and second stars. But, who cares about that? After nearly 3 seasons in the organization, finally Charles Landry was let loose upon the league. Tonight the young defenseman finally scored his first ever AHL goal. Congratulations.

Also, as advertised, new signee Yanni Gourde had a helper in his Syracuse debut, keeping the forward at his point a game pace for the season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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