Syracuse Crunch

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."

AHL Game Night: 3-11-15 Falcons at Crunch

Division title in peril.

SPR-3
SYR-1

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss in his professional debut.

First Period
SYR Blujus, (3) (Martindale, Gourde), 11:21 (PP)
SPR Tynan, (12) (Pinkston, Vogelhuber), 14:05
SPR Anderson, (7) (Milano, St. Denis), 18:01

Second Period
SPR Tynan, (13) (Collins, Milano), 12:05 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Dylan Blujus was the game's third star.

It wasn't surprising the team struggled to score with Jonathan Marchessault on emergency recall to Tampa with Jonathan Drouin under the weather. Losing Marchessault essentially guts the Crunch of the engine that makes their offense go. The good news is Drouin and a slew of other injured Lightning players will be back when the playoffs start next week, so I would expect Marchessault and Witkowski, at a minimum, to be back with the Crunch for the rest of their run this year.

Syracuse's lead in the division slipped to 2 points over Hartford with the loss.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Marchessault, Crunch Rally Past Sound Tigers


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jonathan Marchessault netted a goal in the first minute and provided the offensive spark late.

The forward had a hand in every goal and the Crunch scored three unanswered goals after the second intermission, as Syracuse rallied past the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-3, in overtime at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"I thought he was the best player on the ice, in fact it wasn't even close in my mind," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler of Marchessault, who finished with a goal and three assists. "He competed, he was really good offensively, he competed defensively, and he was the difference for us."

AHL Game Night: 4-10-15 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Comeback Crunch snap the streak.

BRI-3
SYR-4 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the OT victory.

First Period
SYR Marchessault, (23) , 0:57
BRI Quine, (21) (Pulock, Jeffrey), 11:54 (PP)

Second Period
BRI Langkow, (8) (Jeffrey, Quine), 14:12
BRI Gillies, (5) (Ness, Sundstrom), 17:31

Third Period
SYR Kunyk, (10) (Marchessault, Martindale), 0:26
SYR Point, (1) (Marchessault, Martindale), 3:43 (PP)

Overtime
SYR Martindale, (16) (Marchessault, Blujus), 3:17 (PP)

Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Martindale, and Slater Koekkoek were the game's three stars.

Brayden Point scored his first pro goal in the contest to tie the game early in the Third Period.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Peca Looks to Step Up for Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

In his second professional game, Matthew Peca had some big shoes to fill.

With Crunch captain Mike Angelidis scratched due to an upper body injury, Peca slotted into Syracuse’s third line between Joel Vermin and Justin Courtnall. The center, looking to make an adjustment to the pro game during his tryout with the Crunch, excelled in his increased ice time and registered his first pro point on an assist to briefly tie the game against Bridgeport Saturday.

Peca is looking to become a regular contributor for the Crunch, whose depth is being tested with so many players banged up late in the season.

“He’s got good speed, he is highly competitive, and seems to be a high character guy,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “We’ll get to know more as we move along here, but if Saturday night is any indication, there were no issues with him fitting in or adjusting. He was good.”

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