Syracuse Crunch

Gudlevskis, Crunch Shut Out Americans, 1-0


By Jeremy Houghtaling

After getting pulled from a game earlier this week, Kristers Gudlevskis was eager to step back into the crease.

The Syracuse Crunch goalie looked at a few pucks hitting the pipes behind him as a positive omen, and finished with a 27-save shutout in a 1-0 win over the Rochester Americans at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. The victory snaps a four-game losing streak for Syracuse.

"When you get those pipes, you start to feel comfortable," the Latvian netminder said. "You start to feel like it's your day. It's a lucky moment, it's help."

AHL Game Night: 12-14-13 Americans at Crunch

From Latvia with love.

RCH-0
SYR-1

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 27 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. That's a slump buster, right there. Well done.

First Period
SYR Connolly, (2) (Korobov, Witkowski), 14:18

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Gudlevskis and Brett Connolly were the game's first and second stars. In the last 7 games, Connolly has 2 goals and 5 points as he continues to come out of his early season funk. It's a good thing.

Syracuse is 3 points out of the #8 spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on Norfolk after the Admirals' loss to Springfield tonight. Syracuse faces Hershey on Wednesday as they try to maintain contact for a playoff spot while the organization gets healthy and they have the opportunity to reload. Every win right now is a little life line.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-11-13 Crunch at IceCaps

Still sinking.

SYR-1
STJ-5

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 5 goals on 36 shots for the loss.

First Period
STJ Kichton, (5) (O'Dell), 12:47

Second Period
STJ Redmond, (4) (Jaffray), 2:37
STJ MacKinnon, (1) (O'Dell), 3:00

Third Period
STJ MacKinnon, (2) (O'Dell, Chiarot), 0:24
SYR Devos, (1) (Korobov), 3:37
STJ Jaffray, (9) , 17:58 (SH)

I wouldn't expect this to go on too much longer before some roster changes are made to try to snap Syracuse out of this funk.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-10-13 Crunch at IceCaps

St. John's finally solves SyraNo.

SYR-2
STJ-6

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss before being lifted for Cedrick Desjardins, who allowed 2 on 27 shots the rest of the way.

First Period
STJ Jaffray, (8) (Kichton, Redmond), 8:23 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (2) (Paquette), 11:10
STJ Lowry, (2) (Lipon), 18:03

Second Period
STJ Fredheim, (1) (Samson, Mouillierat), 7:05 (PP)
STJ Schnell, (1) (Redmond), 7:17
STJ O'Neill, (2) (Redmond, Gordon), 19:50

Third Period
SYR Paquette, (7) (Langelier-Parent, Connolly), 9:07
STJ Klingberg, (7) (MacKinnon, Riley), 19:29

There's not much to feel positive about from this contest. Syracuse was dominated on the shot board 47-15 and dominated on the scoreboard 6-2. The two teams square off again tomorrow when the Crunch will have a chance at redemption. As an old hockey hand once told me, it's really hard to paste the same team two nights in a row.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Fall to Admirals for Second-Straight Night, 2-1


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jesse Blacker broke a tie with less than nine minutes remaining, lifting the Norfolk Admirals over the Syracuse Crunch for a second-straight night, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

The Crunch, who fell in the shootout to the Admirals Friday, spent most of the game rotating through five defensemen, after Jean-Philippe Cote was ejected for an illegal hit to the head at the 11:41 mark of the first period.

"Cote is a valuable guy," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "One, just having him out of the lineup period is just tough. But playing five D is tough too, especially in back-to-back games."

AHL Game Night: 12-7-13 Admirals at Crunch

Syracuse loses a tight one.

NOR-2
SYR-1

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the loss. It's his first AHL loss and it comes in his 7th AHL decision.

First Period
NOR Rakell, (8) (Blacker, Gagne), 15:14 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Neilson, (1) (Langelier-Parent, Korobov), 4:47

Third Period
NOR Blacker, (4) (Friberg, Yonkman), 11:48

Eric Neilson was the game's second star.

There are no moral victories in professional sports, but it's interesting to note that as depleted as Syracuse is they played pretty much even with a decent Norfolk team. That speaks to the character and coaching of the team, in my opinion. Syracuse faces St. John's next on Tuesday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Admirals Sink Crunch in Shootout


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Norfolk Admirals took advantage of a penalty-filled game with a pair of power play goals, as they topped the Syracuse Crunch in a shootout, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

The Admirals began their rally in the second period amidst multiple post-whistle altercations, five misconducts and a combined 106 penalty minutes.

"Having those guys in the box for 10 minutes really hurt us at the end of the second and beginning of the third," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "It hurt our energy. They are some of our best players sitting in the box for 10 or 12 minutes, so that hurt."

AHL Game Night: 12-6-13 Admirals at Crunch

Crunch fail to protect an early 3 goal lead.

NOR-4
SYR-3 (SO)

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 24 shots before allowing 2 of 4 to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss.

First Period
SYR Olson, (1) (Paquette), 3:23
SYR Angelidis, (1) (Paquette), 14:56

Second Period
SYR Connolly, (1) (Witkowski, Korobov), 7:13
NOR Rakell, (7) (Sarault, Gagne), 9:52 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Whitney, (7) (Wagner, Gagne), 2:21 (PP)
NOR Painchaud, (1) (Rakell, Exelby), 6:19

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NOR- Rakell, Sarault
SYR- Connolly

Drew Olson was the game's second star.

It's awesome that, depleted as they are, Syracuse managed to build an early 3 goal lead. That's what it's equally as heartbreaking they couldn't hold on to get the 2 points. Cedric Paquette (Dump Truck!) continued his strong play and now has 2 goals and 5 points in the last 3 games. Brett Connolly also has a modest 3 game point streak now with 1 goal and 3 points over that span. It's fairly shocking that tonight's goal was just the first of Connolly's AHL season, but you hope that opens the flood gates for him moving forward. He did wash down his regulation goal with a conversion on his shootout attempt, so that's a positive sign, too.

These two teams square off again tomorrow. As it stands, Syracuse is 1 point behind Norfolk for the 8th and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Korobov Climbing Organizational Ladder


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dmitry Korobov got the call he had been waiting for -- from teammate Vlad Namestnikov.

Korobov, the hard-hitting Belarusian on the Syracuse Crunch blueline, was having phone troubles, so the message from Crunch coach Rob Zettler about Korobov's first National Hockey League call-up arrived through Namestnikov.

"I was a little shocked, happy, and nervous at the same time," Korobov said through Namestnikov, who helped translate. "Mostly happy."

After playing one game with the Tampa Bay Lightning, being sent back to the Crunch, and making the round trip again, Korobov got a taste of what he came to North America for. Now he’s working to earn more of those calls -- no matter who they’re from -- and eventually a permanent role in the NHL.

Crunch Look to Limit Opposition Opportunities


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Rob Zettler, it all comes down to being in the right position.

With the offensive lines lacking their normal scoring punch, the Syracuse Crunch coach knows the margin for error is slim. But his defense has keyed in on limiting the opposition’s offensive opportunities, and Syracuse grinded out wins last weekend by holding St. John’s to a pair of goals Friday and shutting out Adirondack Saturday.

"We really limited both teams' chances because we were in good position," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "We didn't have the high-end skill we've had in the past, but we made up for it in position and hard work."

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