Despite being sent to Syracuse for more ice time, Andrej Sustr hasn't seen much game action.
The 6-8 defenseman, hurt on his second shift since being reassigned by the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this month, practiced with the Crunch Tuesday. After missing five games, he is nearing a return to the lineup.
“It’s been pretty good,” Sustr said of working his way back into game shape Tuesday. “I’m aiming for this weekend.”
With Syracuse on a five-game losing streak, the addition of Sustr is a major shot in the arm to a struggling Crunch defense that has surrendered 23 goals in the past five games.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss. It's not a great stat line, but it's irrelevant if the team in front of your goaltender can't get any goals.
WBS Thompson, (4) (Carman, Letourneau-Leblond), 2:11
WBS Kostopoulos, (16) (Samuelsson, Despres), 12:23
WBS Zolnierczyk, (14) (Dumoulin, McNeill), 1:31
WBS Manderson, (1) (Kostopoulos, Despres), 7:51
Right now this team can't consistently score goals and they really, really can't keep it out of the back of their own net. What Zettler needs to sell his team on is that if they focus on the latter the former will come to them. That's a hard thing to get straightened out, though, when you just can't seem to get the positive result to give you the right feedback for your work.
Syracuse remains 10 points out of 8th in the Eastern Conference, 14th out of 15 teams.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
After skating in a red practice jersey Tuesday, Richard Panik reiterated his intentions -- he came to play.
In his first game of the season with the Syracuse Crunch Saturday, the 6-3 Slovakian winger posted an assist before absorbing a thundering check by the Hershey Bears’ Tyson Strachan. Panik quickly got up from the hit, and instead of taking the game off Sunday to rest and recuperate an apparent upper body injury, he was back on the ice against the Sound Tigers Sunday.
“He gamed it out against Bridgeport,” said Crunch coach Rob Zettler.
Was this weekend Syracuse's 2013-2014 swan song?
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 6 goals on 23 shots for the loss.
BRI Lee, (17) (Strome, Ness), 13:19 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (6) (Rankin, Tyrell), 15:44
BRI Persson, (7) (Mayfield, Bouchard), 18:15
BRI Vaughan, (3) (Wetmore, Langkow), 3:02
SYR Namestnikov, (13) (Connolly, DiSalvatore), 8:54
BRI Clark, (3) (Diamond), 9:32
SYR Angelidis, (7) (Tyrell, Rankin), 19:00
SYR Taormina, (4) (Namestnikov, Connolly), 8:00 (PP)
BRI Persson, (8) (Wetmore, Clark), 9:09
SYR Nesterov, (3) (Paquette), 13:58 (PP)
BRI Persson, (9) (Bouchard, Ness), 15:54 (PP)
Mike Angelidis was the game's second star.
Syracuse had a 3 game in 3 night scenario this weekend, and they managed to get 0 points out of the 3 games. Syracuse has fallen to second to last in the Eastern Conference, 10 points out of 8th place. At the end of the season, this may well be the weekend the Crunch point to as the moment when the season was finally beyond repair.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Jordan Henry is no stranger to Syracuse.
The 27-year-old defenseman spent parts of six seasons in the American Hockey League, including three with the Crunch’s rival, the Rochester Americans. For Henry, the Onondaga County War Memorial has been the site of plenty of fight-filled rivalry games.
“We played a million games here it seems like,” Henry said, then motioning to the opposing team’s entrance. “I played a lot of games from that side and coming out that door.”
But now, Syracuse is Henry’s home. The 6-2 Alberta native, who played two games on a tryout deal with the Crunch in November, was signed to a standard players contract Jan. 8.