Syracuse Crunch

AHL Game Night: 11-3-17 Crunch at Rocket

Wins still eluding Crunch.

SYR-5
LAV-6 (SO)

Michael Leighton allowed 5 goals on 25 shots and 2 of 4 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
7:27 SYR Thomas (1), (Volkov, Cirelli)(PP)
12:06 LAV Froese (3), (Taormina)(PP)
17:29 SYR Joseph (1), (Thomas, McGinn)

Second Period
4:53 SYR Thomas (2), (Cirelli, Joseph)(PP)
6:24 LAV Gelinas (2), (Jerabek, Holland)
9:55 LAV Taormina (2), (Audette)(PP)
10:11 LAV Jerabek (1), (Gregoire, Petti)

Third Period
9:30 SYR Masin (2), (McGinn, Conacher)
11:24 LAV Audette (4), (Carr, Froese)(PP)
11:29 SYR Joseph (2), (unassisted)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Conacher
LAV- Holland, Froese

Mathieu Joseph was the game's third star. His 2 goals and 1 assist were matched by fellow prospect Ben Thomas.

Syracuse is only 5 points back of division leading Toronto, so it's not as if the hill to climb is insurmountable. But, the Crunch need to start putting together some wins pretty soon here. Close isn't enough after a subpar first 10 games of the year.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-1-17 Crunch at Senators

Wins continue to elude young Crunch.

SYR-3
BEL-4 (SO)

Michael Leighton allowed 3 goals on 20 shots and 1 of 3 to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
5:41 SYR Conacher (4), (Peca, Akeson)(PP)
19:13 BEL Perron (1), (Gagne)
19:59 SYR Masin (1), (Conacher, Peca)

Second Period
3:51 BEL Chlapik (2), (Lajoie, Burgdoerfer)(PP)
5:18 SYR Conacher (5), (Akeson, Bodie)(PP)
14:46 BEL Werek (4), (O'Brien, Paul)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYE- NONE
BEL- Gagne

Cory Conacher was the game's second star.

Syracuse remains in the North Division basement. There's time to get the ship righted, but the team needs to start collecting some wins over the next 10 games or so to get themselves on better footing.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-28-17 Crunch at Americans

Comeback Crunch get a desperately needed W.

SYR-3
RCH-2

Veteran Michael Leighton allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory.

First Period
9:40 RCH Gill (3), (Goers, Fedun)(PP)
16:53 SYR Bournival (4), (Lynch)

Second Period
15:25 RCH Criscuolo (3), (Smith)

Third Period
9:12 SYR Cirelli (2), (Erne, Thomas)(PP)
18:57 SYR Lynch (2), (Peca, Bournival)

Kevin Lynch and Anthony Cirelli were the game's first and third stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Volkov Scores First Pro Goal, But Crunch Fall to Marlies


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Alexander Volkov received the drop pass and quickly fired it from the top of the right wing circle past Garrett Sparks.

The rookie’s first professional goal brought the Crunch to within one midway through the second period but the Marlies goalie finished with 29 saves, as Syracuse was topped by Toronto, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“I scored my first goal, but I’m not happy because my team lost the game,” Volkov said. “I scored a goal, but it’s a bonus for me.”

AHL Game Night: 10-27-17 Marlies at Crunch

Young Crunch's growing pains continue.

TOR-4
SYR-2

Connor Ingram allowed 2 goals on 5 shots before giving way to veteran Michael Leighton who allowed 1 goal on 19 shots for the dreaded backdoor loss.

First Period
0:48 SYR Stephens (2), (Yan, Cernak)
4:21 TOR Aaltonen (1), (unassisted)
10:27 TOR Greening (2), (Dermott, Liljegren)

Second Period
3:28 TOR Greening (3), (Mueller, Timashov)
8:57 SYR Volkov (1), (Erne)

Third Period
17:26 TOR Johnsson (3), (Smith, Rosen)

Alexander Volkov was the game's second star after scoring his first pro goal.

Maybe it shouldn't be surprising the Crunch have struggled to produce wins with the amount of roster turnover that happened over the offseason and the number of veterans that have been replaced by rookie pros. That doesn't make it sting any less, though.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch's Thomas Looks to Be Impact Player at Both Ends of the Ice


By Jeremy Houghtaling

A deep playoff run last season was key to Ben Thomas’ development.

The defenseman went from earning a regular shift to more duties, including special teams, during his rookie season with the Syracuse Crunch. Each step of the way to the Calder Cup Finals added to Thomas’ confidence, and he frequently looked to join and support the rush.

Thomas looks to become more an impact player at both ends of the ice in his second pro season.

“I think it’s a part of my game. I like to jump in the rush and help create offense,” Thomas said. “I think now I definitely have the confidence to do that and get back into my position to be a good defender. It’s been one thing I’ve always liked to implement in my game, and I’m going to try and continue to do it.”

AHL Game Night: 10-21-17 Thunderbirds at Crunch

Crunch finally break through with a big win.

SPR-1
SYR-4

Connor Ingram allowed 1 goal on 23 shots for the victory. He played well in relief against the Devils and followed it up with another solid effort.

1st
17:45 SYR McGinn (2), (Conacher, Lynch)

Second Period
14:44 SYR Akeson (1), (Erne)

Third Period
3:19 SYR Bournival (2), (Erne, Masin)
4:42 SPR Valk (1), (Hawryluk, Wittchow)(PP)
19:57 SYR Bournival (3), (Lynch, Cirelli)(EN)

Ingram, Jason Akeson, and Adam Erne were the game's three stars.

After a healthy dose of one goal losses, the Crunch finally picked themselves off the mat against the 0-6-0 Thunderbirds. Is the win impressive given the quality of opponent? Who cares. It was necessary, and the team got it.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Thump Winless Thunderbirds


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx believes his team took a big step forward.

The Crunch created significantly more scoring chances and held the Thunderbirds off the board until the third period, as Syracuse beat winless Springfield 4-1 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“I thought tonight was pretty good. We were a second effort hockey club,” Groulx said. “Many blocked shots by many different players. They’re driving the net. That demands a second effort. I thought we played well in the three zones and we moved the puck quick.

“They had a push late in the game, but overall I thought we controlled that game pretty well.”

AHL Game Night: 10-20-17 Devils at Crunch

The struggle continues.

BNG-3
SYR-2

Michael Leighton allowed 2 goals on 2 shots before being lifted quickly in the First Period. Connor Ingram allowed 1 goal on 20 shots for the injustice of the backdoor loss.

First Period
0:11 BNG Quenneville (4), (Bastian, Strait)
3:57 BNG Speers (1), (Pietila, Rooney)
11:49 BNG Lappin (4), (Erixon, Kapla)

Second Period
11:54 SYR Bournival (1), (unassisted)(SH)
13:26 SYR Cernak (2), (Bodie)(SH)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Michael Bournival and Erik Cernak were the game's second and third stars.

Syracuse sits alone in the North Division basement at a dismal 1-4-1-0. That said, they've only really been run off the rink in one of the losses (against the Penguins) and there's probably an alternate dimension where Syracuse could just as easily be 4-1-1-0. There's no such thing as moral victories, though, and Syracuse needs to figure out how to get on the right side of these 1 goal decisions quickly.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

PK Provides Spark, But Crunch Can't Overcome Rough Start vs. Devils


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s penalty kill provided a spark in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a rough start.

Syracuse allowed goals on the first two shots and trailed 3-0 after the first 20 minutes. The Crunch netted a pair of shorthanded markers on the same penalty, but their rally came up short in a 3-2 loss to the Binghamton Devils at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“Obviously, when you have a rough start like we did tonight, you only can get better,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “When you’re down 3-0 after the first period, you have a choice. You battle back or you quit. I like the fact tonight we battled back. We had our chances. We manufactured more chances on the power play. Their goalie was good and they blocked shots.

“Other than the first period, I thought we got much better. It’s a work in progress I guess.”

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