Syracuse Crunch

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 TheAHL.com.

Crunch Goalie Wilcox Adjusting to Pro Game


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox understands there’s still a lot to learn.

After finishing his junior season at the University of Minnesota, Wilcox played a pair of games between the pipes for the Syracuse Crunch. The 22-year-old goalie, signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning to an entry level contract earlier this month, has begun to make the adjustments necessary to be successful at the professional level.

“We’re looking at two things for the rest of the year, and the first is traffic and screened shots,” Wilcox said of what he was working on with Crunch goaltending and video coach David Alexander. “There are a lot bigger bodies in this league and it goes a lot faster and the shots get off quicker. That’s probably one of the biggest adjustments. Number two is just continuing to have good rebound control so you don’t have so many broken plays and scramble plays.”

AHL Game Night: 4-18-15 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Crunch complete their limp into the playoffs.

BRI-4
SYR-2

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals in 18 shots for the loss. Ugly stat line.

First Period
SYR Peca, (1) (Ikonen, Vermin), 5:11
BRI Jeffrey, (25) (Quine), 6:57

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
BRI Mouillierat, (24) (Pulock, Quine), 9:53 (PP)
BRI Markison, (1) (Sundstrom), 15:19
SYR Blujus, (4) (Dotchin, Marchessault), 19:38 (PP)
BRI Mayfield, (1) , 19:56 (EN)

Matthew Peca, who scored his first professional goal, was the game's first star.

Syracuse outshot Bridgeport 33-19 in the contest, but couldn't turn the tide on the scoreboard. The club finished the regular season 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. Ouch. The team will be the 5th seed in the East and start on the road against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the opening round. It's hard to feel confident, though, given the team's marked swoon over the past 10 games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Look Forward After Loss to Sound Tigers


By Jeremy Houghtaling

After the final horn, the Syracuse Crunch focused on putting their recent struggles behind them.

Matthew Peca scored his first professional goal but the Crunch failed to convert on multiple 5-on-3 opportunities and let the lead slip away, as Syracuse fell to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-2, in the regular season finale at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Syracuse, No. 5 in the Eastern Conference, has lost five straight and nine out of its last 10 heading into the first round playoff series with the No. 4 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

"We've had a tough couple weeks to say the least," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "It's not the finish that we wanted, but this team worked really hard to get to where we are, which is in the playoffs."

Crunch Let Lead Slip Away in Loss to Flames


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite having a two goal lead early in the third period, the Syracuse Crunch couldn't hold on.

The Flames scored twice in the final 14 minutes of regulation and Ken Agostino netted the game-winner 39 seconds into overtime, as Adirondack beat Syracuse, 5-4, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"We lack the discipline to play a tighter game late in the third period," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "They wanted to open up and we seemed like we wanted to go right along with that ride and open it up a little bit. Instead of clamping down and making smart plays throughout he neutral zone, we failed to do that."

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

Snake bitten and still struggling.

ADK-5
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

Overtime
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 TheAHL.com.

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

Sinking ship.

SYR-2
ALB-6

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
NO SCORING

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 TheAHL.com.

Prospect of the Week: 4-14-15


By Jeremy Houghtaling

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for April 14, 2015 is … Jonathan Marchessault, W, Syracuse Crunch (AHL).

The morning after registering a career-high four points in a come-from-behind win over Bridgeport, Jonathan Marchessault was on a plane destined for Tampa Bay.

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

Tight, costly loss.

SYR-1
UTI-2

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
NO SCORING

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 TheAHL.com.

Wilcox Debuts, Crunch Comeback Falls Short Against Falcons


By Jeremy Houghtaling

One night after a come-from-behind win, the Syracuse Crunch just didn't have the same third period magic.

The Crunch, who scored three unanswered goals to top the Sound Tigers in overtime Friday, controlled play throughout most of the first period but went into the intermission trailing by one. Springfield turned the tables in the second and Syracuse's comeback fell short, as the Crunch lost to the Falcons, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"I thought we started the game really well," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "I thought we were skating and generating a lot of chances in the first. In the second, they flipped it on us, and they had most of the momentum and were creating chances. In the third, we held play in their end but weren't generating any chances. For whatever reason there were opportunities but they didn't turn into good scoring chances for us."

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