Syracuse Crunch

Cirelli Brings Big Game Experience to Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Anthony Cirelli is used to the big stage at the junior level.

The center led Oshawa to an Ontario Hockey League championship and won the Memorial Cup with the Generals in 2015. Cirelli won silver with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships last winter, after a trade in January, Cirelli led Erie to another OHL title and trip to the Memorial Cup.

The Syracuse Crunch rookie hopes his experience in big games translates to success at the professional level.

"I've been to the (Memorial Cup) finals a couple times. Losing that second one was kind of hard and losing in the World Junior final there was tough," Cirelli said. "But just being a part of those teams, knowing those guys, playing through long playoff runs and playing those pressure games helped take my development to the next level."

AHL Game Day: 10-15-17 Crunch at Penguins

Crushing road loss caps unsuccessful weekend for Syracuse.

SYR-1
WBS- 6

Connor Ingram allowed 6 goals on 31 shots for the defeat. Welcome to the AHL.

First Period
0:34 WBS Dea (2), (Bengtsson)

Second Period
1:16 WBS Wilson (2), (Sprong, Quinney)
4:16 WBS DiPauli (2), (Blueger, Sestito)
12:04 SYR Conacher (3), (McBain, Joseph)(PP)
16:59 WBS Thomas (1), (Trotman, Kostopoulos)(PP)

Third Period
9:47 WBS Sprong (4), (Quinney, Corrado)
14:42 WBS Quinney (1), (Sprong)

Well, at least Mathieu Joseph got his first pro point.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Lose Special Teams Battle to Comets


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch lost the special teams battle.

The Crunch finished the night 0-for-5 with the man-advantage and allowed a pair of Comets power play goals, as Syracuse fell to Utica, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“They were the best team in the first period. We got better as the game went along,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “Overall, I think your best players are playing on specialty teams, and I think their best players were better than ours today.”

AHL Game Night: 10-14-17 Comets at Crunch

Crunch drop another tightly fought battle.

UTI-3
SYR-2

Michael Leighton allowed 3 goals on 19 shots as the Comets overcame a 26-19 shot disparity to pull out the win.

First Period
7:57 UTI Goldobin (3), (Boucher, Holm)
19:14 SYR Conacher (2), (Bodie, Cirelli)

Second Period
12:41 UTI Holm (1), (Bancks, Goldobin)(PP)

Third Period
3:22 SYR Cernak (1), (Stephens, Walcott)
6:38 UTI Chaput (1), (McEneny, Holm)(PP)

Mitchell Stephens was the game's second star. He assisted on Erik Cernak's first professional goal in the defeat.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Yan Scores First Pro Goals, Crunch Beat Senators


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dennis Yan hit a career milestone, but was more concerned with the final result.

The Crunch rookie netted his first professional goal in the second period and added the eventual game-winner early in the third, as Syracuse beat the Belleville Senators, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“Of course it feels good, but I’m really happy we got the first win of the season because we started with two losses,” Yan said. “So I’m happy for the guys. The first win is important and we still have two games this weekend, so it’s pretty good to have the first win this weekend.”

AHL Game Night: 10-13-17 Senators at Crunch

Yan can cook.

BEL-2
SYR-4

Michael Leighton allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory.

First Period
2:04 SYR McGinn (1), (McBain, Conacher)(PP)

Second Period
9:17 SYR Yan (1), (Cirelli, Akeson)
11:12 BEL DiDomenico (2), (Murray, Blunden)
18:58 BEL McCormick (1), (unassisted)(SH)

Third Period
3:53 SYR Yan (2), (Akeson, Stephens)
19:05 SYR Cirelli (1), (Conacher, Bournival)(EN)

Dennis Yan and Jason Akeson were the game's first and second stars.

Although less hyped and arguably less well-rounded than some of his fellow rookies, Yan does one thing really well. And, if you're going to be good at just one thing, scoring goals might be the one you'd want to pick. He potted the first two goals of his pro career. Fellow rookie Anthony Cirelli also got his first pro goal on the insurance empty netter.

Syracuse grabbed their first win of the campaign to even their record at 1-1-1-0.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Cernak's Work Ethic Impresses Crunch's Groulx


By Jeremy Houghtaling

After Erik Cernak’s first weekend with the Syracuse Crunch, head coach Benoit Groulx’s assessment was nothing but positives.

Strong skater. Big body. Good shot.

Most importantly, Groulx believes Cernak’s work ethic is what could eventually earn the 20-year-old defenseman a spot in the NHL.

“I like the package, now I think it’s about more maturity in his game,” Groulx said of the 6-3, 221-pounder. “He’s got a lot of qualities as a person and a player, and he’s probably one of the hardest working guys we have here. That’s a compliment, because we have many guys that are working hard.

“He’s played well so far in the two games. He has to bring more consistency, but I think he’s got a lot of room to develop and become a very good player.”

Crunch Fall to Americans in Home Opener


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch came into the night shorthanded on the blue line.

The Crunch iced a lineup with just five defensemen after one player was hurt and another had a family issue arise. Syracuse held Rochester to 18 shots on goal, but the Crunch fell to the Americans, 3-2, in overtime in the homer opener at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“My hat’s off to our D. The five of them were outstanding (in their) second game in two nights,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “It’s very demanding and my hat’s off to them because they hung in there and they did a fantastic job.”

AHL Game Night: 10-7-17 Americans at Crunch

Ex-Lightning prospect bests new Lightning prospect.

RCH-3
SYR-2 (OT)

Connor Ingram allowed 3 goals on 18 shots for the OT loss in his pro debut.

First Period
10:33 RCH Smith (1), (Fedun, Redmond)(PP)
16:16 SYR Conacher (1),(Thomas, Peca)

Second Period
1:49 RCH Criscuolo (1), (Smith, Nelson)

Third Period
11:51 SYR Lynch (1), (Stephens, Thomas)

Overtime
0:39 RCH Porter (1), (unassisted)

Cory Conacher and Ben Thomas were the game's second and third stars.

Ex-Lightning prospect Adam Wilcox helped Rochester overcome a 26-18 shot deficit to pull out the win for the Americans.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-6-17 Crunch at Americans

Syracuse fails to unlock Linus Ullmark.

SYR-1
RCH-3

Michael Leighton allowed 3 goals on 20 shots for the loss.

First Period
18:32 RCH Bailey (1), (Redmond)

Second Period
1:06 RCH Moses (1), (Criscuolo, Smith)(PP)

Third Period
14:37 RCH Bailey (2), (unassisted)
17:34 SYR Stephens (1), (Erne, Bodie)

Syracuse drops their opener despite outshooting Rochester 29-20.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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