Gudlevskis, Kristers

AHL Game Night: 10-10-15 Crunch at Phantoms

Crunch hang on for opening night win.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the victory. He didn't have a ton of work in the first half of the game, but made a handful of key stops at key moments in the second half of the contest to preserve the win, including a big glove stop at the end of the Third Period.

Click on any of the goals listed to see a GIF of the play.

First Period
SYR Blunden, (1) (Angelidis, Ikonen), 9:00
LV Palushaj, (1) (Leier, Gostisbehere), 11:39 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (1) (Vermin, Blujus), 14:31
SYR Paradis, (1) (Richard, DeAngelo), 18:38

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (2) (Blujus, Tambellini), 6:07
LV Conner, (1) (Padakin, Parks), 9:17

Third Period
LV Martel, (1) (Conner, Cousins), 16:31

Jonathan Marchessault and Dylan Blujus were the game's first and second stars.

It was kind of a tale of two games tonight, with Syracuse looking dominant in the first part of the game, only allowing the Phantoms chances on the odd unforced turnover and on the man advantage. They established a 4-1 lead in the Second Period and it had the look of a laugher, but they allowed Lehigh Valley to stick around and eventually spent the bulk of the Third Period protecting the dreaded 2 goal lead. They had a handful of very good forechecking shifts in the final frame to take some of the pressure off, but in the end it was a lot closer than it should have been.

Snap decision on this iteration of the Crunch is that they're very similar to last year's edition. Not surprising. They have decent speed but didn't look terribly threatening off the rush. Their bread and butter is still going to be the cycle and manufacturing those greasy goals, punctuated by the occasional laser beam from Marchessault (who was lethal tonight from the slot). With only one PP opportunity on the night, it's too early to judge if their extra man unit will be better than the travesty they called a power play last season.

As for the key newcomers, I thought Matthew Peca played a nice, responsible two-way game. He wasn't able to flash on the rush as I'd have expected, but I'm sure that'll come. Anthony DeAngelo got a helper for his first AHL point, but didn't get a chance to flash his offensive skill much in the game. Defensively, he reminds me a bit of Paul Ranger when Ranger was a rookie pro. That is to say, he's in the right zip code positionally, and even though he's not in perfect spots he's mobile enough to close the gap quickly. If he's anything like Ranger, he'll get sharper in that aspect as time goes on. Adam Erne had one very poor tripping penalty, but also showed a lot of the qualities that make him a valued prospect. He hits to hurt and he was very good on the cycle and on the forecheck in the Third Period as Syracuse was nursing the lead.

Box score from

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

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

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-25-25 Crunch at Penguins

One of the worst nights in Lightning organization history.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game Two


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Leads the Series 2-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the loss. He played ok, from all indications, but the Crunch really need a goaltender to win a game for them right now.

First Period
WBS Megna, (1) (Ebbett, Sheary), 2:32 (PP)
WBS Rowney, (2) (Archibald, Harrington), 16:32 (PP)
WBS Kostopoulos, (1) , 19:59 (PP)

Second Period

Third Period
WBS Kapanen, (3) (Sheary, Ebbett), 16:10

Zettler went with some wholesale lineup changes, but unfortunately that didn't lead to any offensive production. The good news, I suppose, is that the shot totals were nearly even at 29-27 in favor of the Pens. With that said, the Crunch continue to look like a team without much life, and Game Three may only offer an opportunity for players who will need to be key contributors in Syracuse next season, like Matthew Peca to get a little more seasoning.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-24-15 Crunch at Penguins

Can't stop the bleeding.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game One

SYR- 1
WBS- 5

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Leads the Series 1-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss before giving way to Adam Wilcox, who allowed 1 goal on 15 shots the rest of the way. Coach Zettler is tasked with the impossible task of choosing between a streaky goaltender who appears to have gone completely cold and a rookie ATO who has never won a professional game for Game Two. Flip a coin.

First Period
WBS Uher, (1) (Kuhnhackl, Rowney), 16:52

Second Period
WBS Kapanen, (1) (Megna), 6:03
WBS Rowney, (1) (Goers, Uher), 6:34
WBS Kapanen, (2) (Goers, Megna), 7:43
SYR Peca, (1) (Angelidis, Vermin), 14:00

Third Period
WBS Syvret, (1) (Rowney, Sheary), 12:32

Syracuse entered the playoffs having won just 1 of their last 10 down the stretch, and they got dominated tonight. It's not just that they didn't get the goaltending, but they also got outshot 35-23 as well, which gives you an idea of run of play. There's a small silver lining with Matthew Peca getting his first pro playoff goal, but it's super, super small. The Pens pinned a -4 on Syracuse's offensive bell cow, Jonathan Marchessault, and if Marchessault's line can't win their shifts, then Syracuse likely has no prayer.

Honestly, I've got no helpful suggestions or tweaks that I can suggest at this juncture. I kept waiting for this team to gel with all the roster changes and ATO additions down the stretch, and it simply hasn't happened.

Game Two is tomorrow night.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4-17-15 Flames at Crunch

Snake bitten and still struggling.

SYR-4 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 5 goals on 34 shots for the OT loss. After getting his save percentage up as high as .906, Gudlevskis' recent struggles have dropped him back down to the goaltending Mendoza line of .900.

First Period
SYR Vermin, (12) (Peca, Koekkoek), 4:39
ADK Poirier, (18) , Reinhart, 19:16

Second Period
SYR Point, (2) (Marchessault, Kunyk), 0:47
SYR Gourde, (29) (Point, Ikonen), 4:52
ADK Yonkman, (2) (Tousignant, Harris), 16:24

Third Period
SYR Marchessault, (24) (Dotchin, Peca), 3:29
ADK Wolf, (20) (Kulak), 13:43
ADK Elson, (17) , 16:31

ADK Agostino, (14) (Kulak, Arnold), 0:39

Jonathan Marchessault and Brayden Point were the game's first and third stars. Throw in that Matthew Peca had his first multi-point night as a pro, and you had a hat trick of important Lightning forward prospects producing. Therein lies the silver lining of tonight's loss: the offense is starting to come around, finally. That doesn't take all the sting out of coughing up a pair of 2 goal leads, but it's something.

Syracuse sits 2 points behind Hartford for the division lead, which will yield the East #3 seed in the playoffs.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4-16-15 Crunch at Devils

Sinking ship.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 6 goals on 24 shots. Ugly.

First Period
SYR Gourde, (28) , 3:41
ALB Whitney, (21) (Lorito, Scarlett), 16:51

Second Period

Third Period
ALB Helgeson, (2) (Whitney, Lorito), 1:03
ALB Thomson, (8) , 1:57
ALB Whitney, (22) (Burlon, Lorito), 7:33 (PP)
ALB Lorito, (3) (Sislo, Scarlett), 13:30 (PP)
ALB Matteau, (11) (Lorito, Hrabarenka), 16:16
SYR Richard, (13) (Ashton), 18:52 (PP)

The team just dissolved in the Third Period. What a catastrophe.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4-12-15 Crunch at Comets

Tight, costly loss.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the hard luck loss, as Syracuse continues to struggle to manufacture any goal support.

First Period
SYR Lynch, (3) (Point), 7:55

Second Period
UTI Shinkaruk, (16) (O'Reilly, Sanguinetti), 4:45 (PP)
UTI Conacher, (10) (O'Reilly, Shinkaruk), 15:21 (PP)

Third Period

Stabbed in the back by ex Bolt Prospect Cory Conacher. Say it ain't so.

With Hartford winning again today, the Wolf Pack have tied Syracuse for the division lead in points, pushing the Crunch down to the 5th seed (hopefully temporarily). Presumably, the team will start to get some roster stability starting this week once the Lightning start returning to full strength for the playoffs. That may just mean that Witkowski gets returned to Syracuse, but hopefully it means no more shuttling of players back and forth for a little while and the offense can begin to rebuild some continuity.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4-10-15 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Comeback Crunch snap the streak.

SYR-4 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the OT victory.

First Period
SYR Marchessault, (23) , 0:57
BRI Quine, (21) (Pulock, Jeffrey), 11:54 (PP)

Second Period
BRI Langkow, (8) (Jeffrey, Quine), 14:12
BRI Gillies, (5) (Ness, Sundstrom), 17:31

Third Period
SYR Kunyk, (10) (Marchessault, Martindale), 0:26
SYR Point, (1) (Marchessault, Martindale), 3:43 (PP)

SYR Martindale, (16) (Marchessault, Blujus), 3:17 (PP)

Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Martindale, and Slater Koekkoek were the game's three stars.

Brayden Point scored his first pro goal in the contest to tie the game early in the Third Period.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4-3-15 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Epic Third Period collapse.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 29 shots before giving way to Allen York who allowed 1 on 2 shots for the back door loss. Looooots of goaltender speculation on the Twitter box tonight. Paging Adam Wilcox.

First Period
SYR Vermin, (11) , 6:56
SYR Gourde, (27) (Mormina, Cote), 7:47

Second Period
HFD Haggerty, (14) , 6:50
SYR Martindale, (14) (Marchessault, Nightingale), 18:47

Third Period
HFD Hrivik, (10) (Haggerty, Kristo), 3:55 (PP)
SYR Martindale, (15) (Gourde), 4:14 (SH)
HFD Vaive, (13) (Bodie, Lindberg), 8:00 (PP)
HFD Bourque, (27) (Crabb, Allen), 9:54
HFD Hrivik, (11) (Hughes, R. Bourque), 15:44
HFD Mueller, (13) , 19:32 (EN/PP)

Ryan Martindale was the game's second star.

Matthew Peca was scoreless in his pro debut in the game.

Syracuse clinched a playoff spot despite the loss, due to Albany's shootout win over Springield.

Box score from

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