Syracuse Crunch

DiSalvatore Makes Instant Impact with Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The way Jon DiSalvatore looks at it, he doesn’t have much time to waste.

The 32-year-old forward, after being the odd-man out due to a restriction on import players with Munich of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany, wasn’t getting the ice time he had hoped for in his first European season.

DiSalvatore didn’t want to wait around, so he chose to return to North America.

"I just felt like the way things were being run out there, it felt like it was becoming a wasted year, a wasted opportunity," said DiSalvatore, a veteran of 10 American Hockey League seasons. "I don't feel like at this point in my career I have any years to waste."

Connolly Nets Hat Trick, But Crunch Fall to Senators 6-3

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Brett Connolly scored three times, but the Syracuse Crunch fell to the Binghamton Senators, 6-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Connolly is the third Crunch player to record a hat trick this season. Although he didn't record any points in his previous three games, Connolly had an eight-game point streak from Dec. 20 to Jan. 8.

"It's obviously a lot better when you have a good game and you win," Connolly said. "We need wins right now, and they're hard to come by in this league."

AHL Game Night: 1-18-14 Senators at Crunch

Syracuse follows suit and wastes a Connolly hat trick.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 11 shots before being lifted at the end of the First Period. Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 on 17 shots the rest of the way for the old back door loss.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (10) (Paquette), 5:59 (PP)
BNG O'Brien, (6) (Schneider), 11:46 (SH)
BNG Petersson, (14) (Wideman, Pageau), 14:26
BNG Puempel, (14) (Da Costa, Hoffman), 15:45 (PP)
SYR Connolly, (11) (Namestnikov), 17:26

Second Period
BNG Prince, (8) (New, Pageau), 15:28 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Connolly, (12) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 4:01 (PP)
BNG Cowick, (7) (Claesson, Hamilton), 9:36
BNG Petersson, (15) (Pageau), 17:40 (EN)

Brett Connolly and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's first and third stars. It's unbelievable the organization had hat tricks at the NHL and AHL levels today and neither team won. That's got to be incredibly rare.

Syracuse is still 3 points back of St. John's for 8th in the Eastern Conference, but the loss allows Hershey and Worcester to jockey for position ahead of the Crunch in the standings. With the hole they've dug, every loss will have that effect from here on out.

Box score from

Richard Registers Two Assists, Crunch Top Bears, 3-2

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Mike Angelidis accepted his teammates' congratulations and then leaned in for a conversation with one of his team's rookies.

The Syracuse Crunch captain, having opened the scoring 9:30 into the first period, wanted to let Tanner Richard know his work on the goal -- battling through a check and making the pass -- wasn't going unnoticed.

"I said 'That's a great second effort, that's all you,'" Angelidis said. "When you see a young guy pulling out a second effort like that, you just try to get him going and give him confidence."

Richard finished with a pair of assists for his first multi-point pro game, as the Crunch topped the Hershey Bears, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"I thought he was moving his feet a little bit more," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "That's the biggest thing for Tanner, when he's stationary he's not effective. When he's moving his feet, he can be really effective."

Prospect of the Week: January 13, 2014

We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Prospect of the Week for January 13, 2014 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

Syracuse goaltender Cedrick Desjardins could find himself in a rare situation. The veteran netminder has been the Crunch’s No. 1 goalie for most of the season, yet he may have just lost his hold on No. 1 after being promoted to the NHL.

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

125 minutes.


Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 27 shots he faced for the shutout victory. If you're keeping track at home, in the last 48 hours the Providence Bruins played 125 minutes of regulation and overtime hockey against Gudlevskis and they got nothing to show for their efforts. Nada. Were it not for the shootout gimmick last night, we might be calling Gudlevskis Providence's daddy. We still might, anyhow. Gudlevskis has 4 shutouts in his 16 appearances this season and a very respectable 2.37 GAA and .915 sv%. He's looking like quite the late round steal for the Lightning, to be sure.

First Period
SYR Paquette, (11) (Tyrell, Korobov), 0:42

Second Period

Third Period

Gudlevskis and Cedric Paquette were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse remains 3 points back of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. They're off until Friday when they face the Hershey Bears.

Box score from

Crunch Score Early, Shut Out Bruins, 1-0

By Jeremy Houghtaling

One night after playing 65 scoreless minutes, Syracuse took less than 60 seconds to find the back of the net against Providence Saturday.

Cedric Paquette scored the lone goal 42 seconds in and Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 27 shots for his second-straight shutout, as the Crunch topped the Bruins, 1-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

With Friday's scoreless contest decided by a shootout, Syracuse knew the rematch would be another close game.

AHL Game Night 1-10-14: Crunch at Bruins

Shutout, loss?

PRO-1 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 22 shots he faced in regulation and overtime, but allowed 3 of 4 to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. That's rough.

First Period

Second Period

Third Period


SYR- Rankin, Connolly
PRO- Khokhlachev, Knight, Griffith

Gudlevskis was the game's second star.

With tonight's result the Crunch pulled within 3 points of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. They'll face Providence again tomorrow night.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-8-14 Crunch at Penguins

Connolly remains on fire.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Namestnikov, (11) (Connolly, DiSalvatore), 13:17 (PP)
SYR DiSalvatore, (1) (Connolly, Mormina), 13:47 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Connolly, (9) (Nesterov, DiSalvatore), 8:04
SYR Paquette, (10) (Richard, Witkowski), 8:59
WBS Samuelsson, (1) (Manderson, Mikkelson), 17:39

Third Period
WBS Samuelsson, (2) (Kuhnhackl, Carman), 15:11

Jon DiSalvatore and Brett Connolly were the game's first and second stars. Connolly, if you're keeping track at home, just posted his 3rd consecutive 3-point night. He now has 9 goals and 23 points in 24 games. A lot of disappointment has been expressed by Lightning fans based on Connolly's ineffective callup earlier this season, but here's a set of fun facts to consider: 1.) Last season Connolly was a 2nd Team AHL All-Star scoring at a pace of .887 points per game. 2.) This season, despite fears Connolly's development has stagnated, Connolly is now scoring at a .958 points per game clip. My point is this: folks giving up on Connolly might be wise to wait until the next time he gets a cup of coffee with Tampa Bay before drawing any final conclusions, because he's still getting better.

With the victory, Syracuse climbs back to within 4 points of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They face Providence on Friday.

Box score from

Connolly Finds Confidence with Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Brett Connolly, the first one was the hardest.

The Syracuse Crunch forward, who posted 74 points in 89 games last season, went 10 games before registering his first American Hockey League goal this year. Still, he knew it was only a matter of time before the goals would start flowing.

Connolly finally broke through with a power play goal against Norfolk Dec. 6, turning months of frustration into relief.

"I knew it would come around," Connolly said. "At the start of the year, things weren't going in for me, but I think, in terms of my stats, I'm right back to where I was in the first 22 games last year. Usually it works itself out."

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