Tanner Richard remembers the view of the bench as much as the goal.
After accepting a pass from Cedric Paquette on a 2-on-1 and burying it for his first professional goal last month, the Syracuse Crunch center felt joy and relief. It took 46 games, but the drought was over.
“It definitely took a while - a lot longer than I hoped for,” Richard said. “It was pretty special for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team so excited for a guy like that. After the first 20 games, everyone was pulling for me and trying to get me that goal.”
Like many players, Richard’s rookie season has been full of firsts.
Syracuse's playoff hopes continue to dim.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss. At least 1 of those goals was one he might like to have back. Now's a tough time not to get your best goaltending.
HER Brouillette, (6) (Stoa, Strachan), 16:43
SYR Paquette, (12) (Panik, Witkowski), 17:22
SYR Richard, (1) (Paquette), 6:13 (PP)
HER Latta, (5) (Schilling, Oleksy), 17:09
HER Latta, (6) , 12:28
Richard Panik made his season debut for Syracuse and was fairly dangerous throughout. Unfortunately, he also got his clock cleaned on a hit crossing the opposing blueline in the Second Period, which led to the game devolving into a pretty nasty brawl-fest. One silver lining is that Tanner Richard scored his first pro goal in the process.
Unfortunately, for the moment, Syracuse has fallen 9 points out of 8th in the Eastern Conference. Things do not look good right now, and they could not afford to give 4 points to Hershey like they have the past 2 nights. The Bears are currently in 9th in the conference 8 points ahead of the Crunch and are one of the teams Syracuse needs to climb over.
Bridgeport is next up tomorrow.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Crunch on the comeback trail.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the victory. It says something about how well he's performed this season that a +.900 sv% and a win is still a bit subpar by his standards, stat-wise.
SYR Angelidis, (5) (Richard, Neilson), 9:30
HER Genoway, (2) (Segal), 17:36
SYR Namestnikov, (12) (Korobov, Witkowski), 2:38 (SH)
SYR DiSalvatore, (2) (Richard, Rankin), 11:12
HER Latta, (4) (Genoway, Taffe), 5:32
Mike Angelidis, Tanner Richard, and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's three stars. Of note: tonight was Richard's first multi-point game of the season (all assists, naturally). As a junior, he couldn't look in the general direction of a rink without getting a couple of helpers. Hopefully this is a sign Tanner is going to have a big stretch run for the Crunch.
Syracuse has gotten points out of each of their last 6 games, going 4-0-2 in that span. They jumped over the Bears in the standings with the win tonight and are now 3 points back of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. So, as it stands right now, this retooled and suddenly much healthier Syracuse club looks poised to make a serious climb in the East. They'll look to keep momentum tomorrow night against Binghamton.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
In his first taste of professional hockey last season, Tanner Richard learned the importance of being versatile.
The Syracuse Crunch forward started his first game on the fourth line, but was promoted to the top line after a mid-game injury. The lines shuffled a few more times, and after reinforcements were sent for the team’s Calder Cup run, the 20-year-old fresh out of junior was back to a grinding line to finish out his eight-game stint.
Although he was a playmaking first-line center with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm, Richard has become acclimated with his role changing on a game-to-game or shift-to-shift basis.
The teams will square off again Saturday night.
Game recap from Syracusecrunch.com.