Syracuse Crunch

AHL Game Night: 11-1-14 Crunch at Senators

Floodgates.

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BNG-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory. Goal support: Kristers has it, tonight.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (3) (Dotchin, Paquette), 1:38
SYR Koekkoek, (1) (Blujus, Richard), 9:05 (PP)
BNG Pageau, (3) (Wideman, Robinson), 10:23
BNG Puempel, (2) (Dzingel), 12:26

Third Period
SYR Kunyk, (2) (Paradis, Gourde), 3:06
SYR Vermin, (3) , 4:39
BNG Wideman, (7) (Mullen), 6:48 (PP)
SYR Smith, (2) (Dotchin), 12:13
SYR Paquette, (4) (Vermin), 17:05

Joel Vermin and Cedric Paquette were the game's first and second stars. Defenseman Slater Koekkoek scored his first AHL goal in the contest, as well. And, there was #blujuspalooza happening on that goal, too.

They really faced down a hot goaltender last night, which happens, and were unfortunate to get shut out, but the scoreboard wasn't indicative of the team's play. They were doing a lot of the right things to snap their offensive funk, and the floodgates finally came open for them tonight. Hopefully they stay open now even if Paquette has to go back to the Lightning with Alex Killorn getting hurt again up top.

Syracuse gets Norfolk on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Stuggle on Special Teams, Fall to Americans 3-0


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For head coach Rob Zettler, it came down to a couple mental errors early.

The Crunch allowed a shorthanded goal on their first man-advantage and the Americans tallied a power play goal later in the first period, as Syracuse dropped its third-straight game to Rochester, 3-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"Special teams were the difference," Zettler said. "They scored on the power play, we gave up one on our power play. The rest of the game I thought we were all over them."

AHL Game Night: 10-31-14 Americans at Crunch

Makarov bests old tandem-mate.

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SYR-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 25 shots, dropping the decision to Andrey Makarov, who stopped all 38 he faced at the other end.

First Period
RCH Armia, (4) (Leduc, Makarov), 2:58 (SH)
RCH Leduc, (1) (Pysyk, Grigorenko), 19:02 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
RCH Varone, (4) (Adam, Samuels-Thomas), 7:42

It's rough to get shutout, but I'd say there were silver linings. They settled down after a rough First Period and outshot Rochester 25-11 the rest of the way. That's solid. They just couldn't crack Makarov, who can be impenetrable when he's on his game. Rochester is pretty loaded with high draft picks, too, so it's not like they were playing the sisters of the poor. They just really need to get some continuity and some bounces to go their way, and I think they'll be fine.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Dotchin Fights to Improve with Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Six games into his rookie season, Jake Dotchin is all about being a student.

Crunch coach Rob Zettler noticed the defenseman's focus on improvement, comparing the rookie to a sponge.

"First off, a great work ethic and a fun kid to be around," Zettler said of the 20-year-old. "He tries to absorb all of it. He's a bit of a sponge that way."

Dotchin recorded his first pro point and fight last weekend, recording an assist in Syracuse’s loss to Portland Saturday and having a short-but-spirited bout with Matheiu Gagnon in a 5-1 loss to Springfield Saturday.

"There are a lot of firsts for everybody -- the fights, the points," Zettler said. "Just feeling the speed, feeling how quick this league is and how good it is, they still have a long way to go. They have taken some strides, but they're still learning."

Well-traveled Marchessault Refocuses After NHL Appearance


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jonathan Marchessault tallied up the time.

A three hour flight to Minnesota, two hours back to Boston, and another hour and a half drive to Springfield. The three-day excursion was a little more straining on his body than the usual call-up, but the Syracuse Crunch forward was happy to make his Tampa Bay Lightning debut, even if it was just one game.

"It was a helluva ride, but I think it was good for me," Marchessault said. "It was a positive to get called up."

AHL Game Day: 10-26-14 Crunch at Falcons

Weekend ends with a clunker.

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SPR-5

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 5 goals on 30 shots for the loss. Despite the setback, he still sports a respectable .912 save percentage for the season.

First Period
SPR Madaisky, (1) (Gibbons), 0:19
SPR Collins, (1) (Gibbons, Craig), 4:00 (PP)
SPR Rychel, (2) (Sedlak, Collins), 8:32

Second Period
SPR Tynan, (1) (Labrie, Anderson), 13:32

Third Period
SYR Vermin, (2) (Blunden, Marchessault), 2:32
SPR Monardo, (5) , 7:19

Playing 3 games in less than 72 hours is hard enough. Doing so with your entire roster in flux the whole time makes it nearly impossible to have anything resembling continuity or consistency. It's a reality of minor league hockey when you have a rash of injuries up top, and that's what bit Syracuse this weekend. Mike Blunden and Jonathan Marchessault, for their parts, did assist on Syracuse's lone goal, fresh off the plane from Minnesota.

Syracuse heads home to face Binghamton on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-25-14 Crunch at Pirates

Depleted Crunch nearly steal a point.

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POR-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the loss. It was an admirable effort under the circumstances, and he gave his club a chance.

First Period
POR Rieder, (1) (Martinook), 7:23 (SH)

Second Period
POR Rieder, (2) (Bolduc), 6:53 (SH)

Third Period
SYR Kunyk, (1) (Samson, Dotchin), 8:38

Congrats to Jake Dotchin on his first pro point.

Syracuse closes the weekend at Springfield tomorrow afternoon.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-24-14 Crunch at Sharks

No Drouin? No Paquette? No problem.

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WOR-2 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the OT victory.

First Period
WOR Abeltshauser, (1) (Hamilton, Trupp), 7:54 (PP)
SYR Smith, (1) (Samson), 8:27

Second Period
SYR Angelidis, (1) (Paradis), 9:54

Third Period
WOR Haley, (4) (Emanuelsson, Carpenter), 18:49

Overtime
SYR Nesterov, (1) (Marchessault), 5:08 (PP)

Nikita Nesterov and Dalton Smith were the game's first and second stars.

With J.T. Brown and Brett Connolly getting hurt in tonight's Lightning game at Winnipeg, we'll see if a forward like Marchessault or Blunden gets the call for tomorrow's game at Minnesota. The Crunch, for their part, face Portland tomorrow.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Counting on Kunyk for Offense


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Realizing it was his last chance, Cody Kunyk made a case for a contract.

Looking to continue his career past the collegiate level, Kunyk registered more than a point per game in his senior season at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Kunyk earned a deal in March, but now the 24-year-old is the oldest rookie on the Syracuse Crunch roster and is out to prove himself again.

"My last year was definitely my best year," Kunyk said. "Being an older guy, I had to play with a chip on my shoulder. I knew that there wasn't going to be a tomorrow. I had to make my own path. I gave it everything I had every game, and I was fortunate enough to sign a contract."

"I think it adds a little more grit to my game," he added. "I feel like I have a little bit more to prove since I'm an older guy."

Crunch Rookie Koekkoek Eyes NHL


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Slater Koekkoek is confident about his path to the National Hockey League.

Despite a shoulder injury prematurely ending his final junior season, Koekkoek led the Windsor Spitfires' blueline in goals, assists, and points last season. But the Tampa Bay Lightning 2012 first-rounder is focused on rounding out his defensive game as he begins his professional career with the Syracuse Crunch.

"There's always pressure being a first round pick. It's a label and people are going to talk about it," Koekkoek said. "But everybody has their own road to the NHL. There's a lot of guys in the NHL that went after me, and there's some guys still not in the NHL that went before me. There's no timetable. I'll develop as fast as I can, and hopefully get called up whenever they need me."

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