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.”
In his first taste of professional hockey last season, Tanner Richard learned the importance of being versatile.
The Syracuse Crunch forward started his first game on the fourth line, but was promoted to the top line after a mid-game injury. The lines shuffled a few more times, and after reinforcements were sent for the team’s Calder Cup run, the 20-year-old fresh out of junior was back to a grinding line to finish out his eight-game stint.
Although he was a playmaking first-line center with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm, Richard has become acclimated with his role changing on a game-to-game or shift-to-shift basis.
Cedrick Desjardins stopped 32 shots during regulation and overtime, as well as three out of four shootout attempts, but the Syracuse Crunch fell to the Albany Devils, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"Cedrick was the reason we got one point tonight," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "We gave up a number of Grade A chances, including breakaways and point blank shots that we normally don't give up...He came up huge for us."
"We battled hard, gave everything we've got," Desjardins said. "But we fell a little short."
CDJ bested in a goaltender's duel.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 33 shots before allowing 1 of 4 shooters to convert to take the shootout loss.
ALB Scarlett, (1) (Whitney, Boucher), 17:55 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (13) (Cote), 18:19
Desjardins was the game's second star.
Both goaltenders played really well and it took a laser from Kucherov to get anything at all on Kincaid. These games happen over the course of the year. The key is to not start cutting it too fine on your chances or overpass just because you've had a little scoring block.
The Crunch are off until Friday when they'll face Hamilton.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins jumped out to an early lead and held on to snap the Syracuse Crunch's three-game win streak, 5-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
The Penguins scored three times in the first period against Crunch goalie Riku Helenius, who played in his first game since being injured Oct. 19.
"I thought we were rolling a little bit in the first period, and I felt good about it," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "Then they had a goal, and boom-boom, they followed it up with a couple more."