Yanni Gourde took the ice Tuesday as determined as ever.
The 5-9 left-winger signed a new deal -- an American Hockey League contract with the Syracuse Crunch for the rest of this season and a two-way deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning over the next two years -- last weekend. But Gourde, who spent time with three teams over the past two years, isn’t completely satisfied with his new found stability.
"It's awesome to feel that type of security right now," Gourde said. "But hockey is day-by-day. Every practice is important, and every time I step on the ice I need to improve myself to get better."
With the score tied late in the third period, Vlad Namestnikov shook his defender and posted up in the slot.
When the pass arrived on his tape, the Syracuse Crunch forward wasted no time shooting it past Binghamton Senators netminder Andrew Hammond. The goal with 2:42 remaining capped a three-goal third period, as the Crunch topped the Senators, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Sunday afternoon.
The pieces start to fit together?
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the victory. He gave his team a chance, holding them to within 2 of the Sens going into the final frame before the offense ramped up and delivered him some precious goal support.
BNG Prince, (17) , 3:15 (PP)
BNG Puempel, (22) (Da Costa), 14:35 (PP)
SYR Paquette, (16) (Namestnikov, Gudlevskis), 8:18 (PP)
BNG Da Costa, (14) (Puempel, Stone), 12:40
SYR Paradis, (3) (Sergeev, Angelidis), 7:42 (PP)
SYR Connolly, (14) (Labrie, Angelidis), 12:59
SYR Namestnikov, (17) (Marchessault, Connolly), 17:18
Vladislav Namestnikov, Brett Connolly, and Mike Angelidis were the game's three stars. Today also marked the first point for new acquisition Jonathan Marchessault and the team also announced the signing of 22 year old left wing Yanni Gourde, who was a point a game player for Worchester in 25 games this season before being cut loose by the Sharks. Gourde and Marchessault, like Conacher and Johnson before them, fit the mold of undersized, skilled, and inexpensive prospects the Lightning have had huge success cultivating. Both should figure prominently into the rebuilding of the Crunch next season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler was happy with the effort, but not the result.
The Crunch allowed a pair of power play goals and empty-netters, as they fell to the Rochester Americans, 5-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"I thought our guys played well tonight," Zettler said. "I thought they competed hard, I thought they played well and I thought they deserved a better fate."
Syracuse's Vlad Namestnikov opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal a little more than five minutes into the second, but the Crunch didn't stay ahead long.
Syracuse falls short in a tight one.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 18 shots for the loss. This was one of the rare games where you had an opponent getting 2 EN goals sandwiched around a 6th attacker goal. Putting that tidbit aside, 3 goals on 18 shots is an ugly stat line for a goaltender.
SYR Namestnikov, (16) (Connolly), 5:13 (SH)
RCH Larsson, (13) (Varone, MacKenzie), 9:59
RCH Adam, (25) , 10:57 (PP)
SYR Paquette, (15) (DiSalvatore, Henry), 1:55
RCH Larsson, (14) (Tardif, Varone), 5:12 (PP)
RCH Varone, (13) , 18:34 (EN)
SYR Rankin, (12) (Paquette, Connolly), 19:36 (PP)
RCH Zigomanis, (11) , 19:42 (EN)
Cedric Paquette had the 7th multi-point night of his rookie campaign as the Dump Truck is closing in on a haul of about 20 goals. That'd be a nice number to get to in his maiden voyage in professional hockey.
Box score from TheAHL.com.