Richard, Tanner

AHL Game Night: 2-28-15 Comets at Crunch

Gudlevskis gets his groove back.

UTI-1
SYR-4

One night removed from allowing 7 goals, Kristers Gudlevskis allowed just 1 goal on 39 shots to lead the Crunch to the win. Streakiness, thy name is Kristers Gudlevskis.

First Period
SYR Richard, (8) (Deschamps, Koekkoek), 6:24
UTI Shinkaruk, (7) (Blain, Huskins), 14:01 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (21) (Namestnikov, Gudlevskis), 7:45 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Richard, (9) (Blujus, Ashton), 8:27
SYR Marchessault, (16) (Koekkoek, Namestnikov), 17:49 (EN)

Gudlevskis, Tanner Richard, and Kevin Lynch were the game's three stars.

Don't look now, but first rounder Slater Koekkoek is starting to pick up some steam with 6 helpers in his last 5 games, including back-to-back 2 helper nights. He's also +6 over that span.

Syracuse sits 1 point behind Hershey now for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-19-14 Crunch at Wolf Pack

The yak is still on the loose.

SYR-2
HFD-0

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 24 shots he faced for the victory and his first shutout of the campaign. He's won his last 4 starts allowing just 3 total goals in the last 3 of those starts, while running his season save percentage back up to .906 in the process. Now things get very interesting in Syracuse, once Vasilevskiy returns, because this is what we expected coming into the year. These are two of the best prospect netminders around, and they'll be in a knock-down, drag-out for starts all season long. The competition is going to push both guys to play better than they ever thought possible. It's going to be great to see unfold.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Richard, (5) (Koekkoek), 2:12
SYR Namestnikov, (3) (Nesterov, Marchessault)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Gudlevskis and Tanner Richard were the game's first and second stars. As of this posting, Richard's +18 mark is second best in the AHL behind the +21 of Manchester's Nick Shore. I should also point out that, on top of the game winning helper he had tonight, Nikita Nesterov hasn't had a minus game in a full month, when he had a -1 outing on 11/19 against Hartford. He's been +9 since that game, taking him up to +9 for the year. He was -2 last year and the 13 points he has in 28 games this season is 3 off the 16 he posted as a rookie in 54 games last season. So, like Richard, here's a player who had some holes in his game who seems to be rounding the corner a bit. Nice to see. Slater Koekkoek, oh by the way, has helpers in 3 of the last 4 games.

Tomorrow, Syracuse draws Albany at home.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-17-14 Crunch at Americans

The Killer G's.

SYR-3
RCH-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory. That's two straight quality starts for Kristers since Vasilevskiy started to show his Latvian tandem-mate his tail lights, and he squared his save percentage away at exactly .900 with his effort tonight.

First Period
SYR Paradis, (7) (Mormina, Gourde), 1:19
RCH Ellis, (7) (McCabe, Pysyk), 18:20 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (12) (Richard, Koekkoek), 5:24
RCH Ruhwedel, (6) (Irwin), 11:28 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Blunden, (4) (Angelidis, Kunyk), 2:14

Yanni Gourde and Mike Blunden were the game's first and second stars. Gourde, who along with Gudlevskis was the other Killer G in tonight's contest, is now tied for 3rd in the league in goals, as of this posting. He's just 2 back of the league leader right now and is doing his best to be the next diminutive, undrafted Lightning gem, following in the footsteps of Conacher and Johnson before him.

Here's a stat that you could've won a lot of money with before this season: Tanner Richard is tied for second in the league in +/- right now at +17. His point tonight helped him match his scoring totals from all of last season (17 points) in 38 less games, and his +/- has improved dramatically from the -9 mark he posted last year. The light has come on for the pesky Richard, who looks to fit a future role as a two-way third liner who can create as a playmaker and has a little bit of instigator's edge to him, too.

Syracuse's win moves them into a tie with Springfield for the division lead at 37 points and they currently sit at second in the Eastern Conference by virtue of this 7-game winning streak/magic carpet ride they're on. Although they don't yet have the ridiculously good defensive stats and goal differential, this is starting to take on the appearance of one of the old Jon Cooper teams: long winning streaks, plenty of goals, and also, at this moment, tied for second in the league in penalty minutes, too. Fast, talented, and rough and tough when they need to be.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-26-14 Crunch at Comets

Oh Vasya...

SYR-4
UTI-5

After his Frozen Dome brilliance, Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on 35 shots for the loss. Still waiting for that one cathartic moment when it all clicks for the big Russian.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (9) (Paradis), 1:23
UTI DeFazio, (8) (Archibald), 5:37
UTI Archibald, (2) (DeFazio, Acton), 11:27
UTI Grenier, (6) (Jensen, Biega), 15:42 (PP)
SYR Paradis, (2) (Dotchin, Gourde), 16:09
UTI Kenins, (4) (Tommernes, Shinkaruk), 18:34 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Marchessault, (7) (Nesterov), 11:29 (PP)
SYR Richard, (4) (Gourde, Cote), 12:44
UTI Archibald, (3) (Jensen, Acton), 15:48

Unfortunately, after climbing all the way back into the 4-4 tie, the team promptly coughed up the lead goal to Utica, erasing any hope at moral victories. At least Yanni Gourde, Tanner Richard, and Philippe Paradis continue to raise holy hell for the Crunch. That trio has 33 points in 11 games in the month of November. Kind of a Modin/Richards/St. Louis-esque trio there in how the line works.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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.

Richard Looks to Bounce Back in Sophomore Season 


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard doesn’t fit easily into a single category.

The Crunch forward, a top point producer in junior, turned into a grinder during his rookie campaign with Syracuse last season. With more opportunity on a scoring line this year, Richard has a shootout winner and six points — four of which came in the last three games — and 32 penalty minutes in his first 13 games this season.

Richard is hoping his versatility makes him a mainstay in the Crunch lineup — no matter what line he’s assigned.

“That’s what I was drafted as, a point producer,” the 21-year-old center said. “My numbers were nowhere near where they needed to be and where I wanted them to be last year, so that was frustrating. I’m just hoping I can produce and provide secondary scoring for the team and contribute that way. At the same time, be gritty in front of the net and stand up for teammates.”

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: 11-9-14 Crunch at Penguins

Comeback Crunch craft a point.

SYR-4
WBS-5 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on 35 shots for the loss. Patience is the word of the hour with Vasya. Patience. It'll come.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Smith, (5) (Cote, Blujus), 2:06
WBS Megna, (5) (Ebbett, Bennett), 4:25
SYR Richard, (2) (Gourde, Blujus), 12:24
WBS Chorney, (2) (Bennett, Rust), 16:11 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Pouliot, (2) (Bennett, Ebbett), 0:57 (PP)
WBS Megna, (6) (Bennett, Dumoulin), 5:04
SYR Richard, (3) (Gourde, Nesterov), 12:07
SYR Smith, (6) (Nesterov, Marchessault), 17:41 (PP)

Overtime
WBS Dea, (4) (Dumoulin, Pouliot), 3:21

Syracuse had a strong 2 goal comeback in the Third Period to steal a point on the road, keyed by the play of Dalton Smith and Tanner Richard. Richard has 2 goals and 4 points in the last 2 games, and Smith has 4 goals over the same span to take the Syracuse team lead in goals. People forget Smith is a former 2nd round, 34th overall pick. He has always had some power forward potential and upside greater than that of just a lumberjack.

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.

2014 Development Camp - Day 4

I finally had the chance to make it out to the Ice Sports Forum to catch up with some of the attendees and observe a good chunk of the 3v3 action. Following are some brief impressions and takeaways from my time at the rink:

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