Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Comeback Falls Short Against Admirals


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It came down to a couple bad breaks, but the Syracuse Crunch weren't making any excuses.

The Norfolk Admirals opened the scoring on a shorthanded tally 5:26 into the game, when a shot went off the face of Crunch defenseman Matt Taormina and sprung Admirals forward Emerson Etem on a breakaway. It was one of a many bounces that didn't go in Syracuse's favor.

The Crunch battled throughout the latter part of the game -- cutting the Admirals lead to one early in the third period -- but ultimately fell, 6-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. Still, the Syracuse players acknowledged it wasn't luck, it was how they played.

"You can say unlucky break all you want, but at the end of the day, they shouldn't have had those two shorties at the beginning of the game," said Crunch forward Evan Rankin.

AHL Game Night: 12-28-13 Admirals at Crunch

Crunch comeback falls flat.

NOR-6
SYR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 12 shots for the loss before being lifted for Cedrick Desjardins who allowed 2 on 18 shots the rest of the way.

First Period
NOR Etem, (6) (Steckel), 5:26 (SH)
NOR Friberg, (9) (Blacker, Kurtz), 6:32 (SH)

Second Period
NOR Rakell, (8) (Etem), 0:42
NOR Wagner, (5) (Warg, Cramarossa), 4:11
SYR Angelidis, (3) (Rankin, Connolly), 10:30 (PP)
SYR Rankin, (10) (Tyrell, Mormina), 17:59

Third Period
SYR Olson, (2) (Langelier-Parent), 2:17
NOR Etem, (7) , 9:28
NOR Sauve, (5) (Wagner, Whitney), 18:50 (PP)

Evan Rankin was the game's second star.

With Cote and Korobov in Tampa, Syracuse hung Gudlevskis out to dry defensively. They battled back to down 4-3 in the Third before ultimately collapsing in the final frame.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-27-13 Crunch at Bears

Brett Connolly rising up.

SYR-3
HER-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory. 10 games into his AHL career he is a very respectable 6-3-1 with 2 shutouts, a 2.38 GAA, and a .916 sv%.

First Period
HER LeBlanc, (7) (Wellman, Byers), 11:40
SYR Connolly, (4) (Paquette), 11:57

Second Period
SYR Walker, (3) (Richard, Nesterov), 8:15
SYR Connolly, (5) (DiSalvatore, Paquette), 15:07

Third Period
HER Strachan, (2) (Wellman, Taffe), 13:09

Connolly and Gudlevskis were the game's first and second stars. Connolly continues to string together his best statistical output of the season working with Cedric Paquette.

Note that defenseman Dmitry Korobov was recalled to Tampa before the game.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-21-13 Crunch at Penguins

One good period doesn't pay the bills.

SYR-1
WBS-2

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 21 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Torquato, (1) (Goers, D'Agostino), 9:15 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
WBS Mikkelson, (3) (Goers, Zlobin), 1:58 (PP)
SYR Rankin, (9) (Richard, Connolly), 18:17

Syracuse's 13 shots in the Third Period matched their shot total from the previous two periods combined. It's kind of self explanatory from there. The defensive effort was solid, only allowing 21 shots, but you've got to translate that into shots and chances at the other end.

Your silver lining comes from Brett Connolly, who has points in 8 of his last 10 games and 3 goals and 6 assists in that span. Bear in mind he's not exactly playing with the same supporting cast he had last season, so this is a promising development.

Syracuse gets Hershey on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Lose Early Lead, Fall to Senators 5-2


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch netted a pair of power play goals in the first period, but the Binghamton Senators had the last laugh Friday.

The Senators scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods -- including the eventual game-winner on a controversial penalty -- as they topped the Crunch, 5-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

For Syracuse coach Rob Zettler, his team got away from the game plan and what the team did well in the first period.

"We get up by two, and then we think we're a fancy team instead of grinding it out," Zettler said. "We are what we are. We don't have high-end skill on our team. We have to manufacture goals by working hard, getting it deep and trying to plug away down there."

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