Syracuse Crunch

With Most Productive Line Out, Crunch Forwards Look to Step Up


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s lines went through a major makeover this week.

With JT Brown and Nikita Kucherov called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vladislav Namestnikov out with a broken hand, the Crunch’s most productive line won’t be available for the foreseeable future. While the trio amassed 55 points over Syracuse’s first 17 games, the remaining 11 healthy forwards at practice Tuesday combined for 22.

Dana Tyrell, set to take over a spot on one of the Crunch's top lines, has also been recalled by the Lightning.

With so much firepower out of the lineup, Syracuse is looking for ways to create more offense.

"We've just got to converge on the front of the net and bang away," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "Obviously, with those guys out, our skill level drops but our work ethic doesn't."

AHL Game Night: 11-23-13 Bulldogs at Crunch

I hate all teams named "Bulldogs".

HAM-3
SYR-0

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
HAM Thomas, (1) (St. Pierre, Beaulieu), 1:29 (PP)
HAM Pateryn, (4) (Schiestel, Leblanc), 7:18 (PP)

Third Period
HAM Beaulieu, (2) (St. Pierre, Thomas), 6:47 (PP)

Nikita Nesterov was the game's third star.

Evidently hell hath no fury like Dusting Tokarski scorned. Tic stopped 43 shots in the blanking of his former teammates.

Syracuse gets Binghamton on Wednesday. They've now dropped to 7th in the Eastern Conference.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Tokarski, Bulldogs Power Past Crunch, 3-0


By Jeremy Houghtaling

While Syracuse failed to convert on six power play chances, the Hamilton Bulldogs cashed in three times to hand the Crunch its fourth-straight loss, 3-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Dustin Tokarski stopped all 43 Crunch shots for his first shutout of the season with Hamilton.

"He played really well," said Syracuse defenseman Matt Taormina of Tokarski. "He did see a lot of shots, but we didn't really get in front to screen him."

AHL Game Night: 11-22-13 Crunch at Bulldogs

Rough result in Montreal.

SYR-1
HAM-4

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
HAM Blunden, (4) (Dumont, Tinordi), 15:55

Second Period
HAM Ellis, (1) (St. Pierre, Nystrom), 11:00
HAM Dumont, (1) (Blunden), 13:06

Third Period
SYR Cote, (2) (Richard, Paradis), 15:13
HAM Blunden, (5) (Ellis), 19:00 (EN)

Tonight was a special game with the Bulldogs playing in front of the big league crowd in Montreal. Between that an Dustin Tokarski's obvious motivation playing against his old organization, Hamilton had some extra juice for this one.

These two clubs square off again tomorrow night, and Syracuse should have Brett Connolly in the lineup.

Update:
Following the game Crunch GM Julien BriseBois confirmed Vladislav Namestnikov broke his hand in tonight's game.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Collegiate Defensemen Making Presence Known at Forward for Syracuse


By Jeremy Houghtaling

With a glut of players occupying the organizational blueline, the Tampa Bay Lightning came up with a new plan for Drew Olson and Carl Nielsen.

Despite spending more than a decade as defensemen, the pair was signed and turned into forwards. A dozen games into their rookie seasons, Olson and Nielsen are getting acclimated with the position change with the Syracuse Crunch.

“At first it was a little different, I wasn’t really sure what to expect or what to think about it,” Nielsen said. “But the more I play it, the more comfortable I feel and actually enjoy playing on the front end -- getting in front of the net and going into the corners as opposed to playing defensively.”

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