Syracuse Crunch

Witkowski Focusing on Play Instead of Promotion


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Luke Witkowski isn't sitting idly by waiting for the phone to ring.

The Syracuse defenseman, one of the last players cut from Tampa Bay Lightning training camp who earned a short call-up in October but didn't play, isn't worried about when he will have the opportunity to make his NHL debut. Even with the Lightning's blueline being banged up, Witkowski is focused on his game and doing what he can to help the Crunch.

"I'm not really worried about that right now," Witkowski said of the possibility of a promotion.

Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler has seen progress in Witkowski's second professional season.

AHL Game Night: 1-3-15 Crunch at Senators

Crunch rally to avoid meltdown.

SYR-5
BNG-4 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 28 shots for the OT win.

First Period
SYR Kunyk, (5) (Neilson, Mormina), 2:40
SYR Blunden, (7) , 15:40 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Blunden, (8) (Marchessault, Mormina), 1:49 (PP)
BNG McCormick, (5) (Mills), 5:49 (SH)

Third Period
BNG Schneider, (12) (Puempel), 4:14
BNG Puempel, (8) (Mills, A. Grant), 9:25 (PP)
BNG Camper, (4) , 16:45
SYR Blunden, (9) (Namestnikov), 18:50

Overtime
SYR Marchessault, (9) , 6:48

Mike Blunden (with the hat trick) and Jonathan Marchessault (with the OT winner) were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse coughs up the 3 goal lead, falls behind late in the Third Period, and still manages to squeak out the victory in Overtime. Thank goodness.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-2-15 Crunch at Devils

Vasiy en fuego.

SYR-2
ALB-1 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 36 shots before stopping 10 of 10 shooters in the penalty shot session for the SO victory. His save percentage rises to .923 and I don't know how he wasn't named all three of the game's stars after helping his team to overcome a 36-26 shot deficit.

First Period
SYR Namestnikov, (7) (Marchessault, Mormina), 8:09
ALB Thomson, (4) (Burlon, Thompson), 10:40

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING[/b]

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Lynch
ALB- NONE

Vasilevskiy and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's first and second stars.

Such a sloppy effort by the Crunch tonight, but Vasilevskiy was the ultimate eraser for the odd man rushes the team surrendered, helping them to snap a 3 game losing streak in the process.

The Crunch scrambled back into a tie with Springfield atop the division at 46 points heading into tomorrow's matchup with Bingo.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 12-31-14 Crunch at Americans

A power play worse than Tampa Bay's.

SYR-1
RCH-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss. The number looks ugly, but I can't be mad about any of the three goals. The first was a clean faceoff loss and a seeing eye point shot through a ton of traffic. Second goal was a breakaway after an awful Gourde turnover where Kristers got the first shot but got beat on the rebound. Third goal was a 2-on-1 where Blujus failed to block the pass across and Blunden couldn't catch up to the goal scorer.

First Period
SYR Koekkoek, (2) (Kunyk, Gourde), 7:58
RCH Leduc, (2) (Varone), 16:41

Second Period
RCH Reid, (5) , 7:42
RCH Dalpe, (6) (Schaller, Bagnall), 11:34 (SH)

Third Period
RCH Irwin, (4) (Ellis), 18:40 (EN)

Syracuse was 0-for-8 on the power play. Unlike Tampa Bay, though, which has plenty of finishers, I think the Crunch suffer from having only 1 or 2 pure finishers like Marchessault. As a consequence, they should be playing more of a shot/rebound style of basic PP, but that's not what they seemed interested in doing today.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 12-28-14 Crunch at Falcons

The beasts of the Northeast square off.

SYR-2
SPR-3 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the loss.

First Period
SPR Adam, (10) (Labrie, Tyrell), 0:39
SYR Namestnikov, (6) (Mormina, Smith), 14:48

Second Period
SYR Angelidis, (12) (Gourde, Marchessault), 17:32
SPR Adam, (11) (Sifers, St. Denis), 18:17

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
SPR Urban, (2) (Madaisky, Adam), 3:10 (PP)

Mike Angelidis was the game's third star.

Springfield now holds a 2 point lead on Syracuse in the Northeast Division after the victory. Syracuse does, however, hold a game in hand on the Falcons.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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