Less than a minute and a half after a Springfield goal, Syracuse found an answer.
The Mike Blunden tip-in on a Luke Witkowski point shot cut the Falcons' lead to one but penalties limited the Crunch's opportunities to tie the game, as Syracuse fell to Springfield, 3-1, in the season opener at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"We were hurt offensively because we had to kill eight penalties," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "We were undisciplined, and that in the end was the difference. When we tried to play 5-on-5 and play our game, we were starting to get chances. Then people take bad penalties and took away our momentum. We wasted a lot of energy killing those penalties."
Syracuse comes ever so close in its season opener.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the loss. He has his own rebound control to blame for one of those goals, but honestly, on most nights he did well enough in net to win.
SPR Hoeffel, (1) (Urban), 17:50
SPR Urban, (1) (Tyrell, Collins), 2:19 (PP)
SYR Blunden, (1) (Witkowski, Nesterov), 3:48
SPR Craig, (1) (Sedlak), 19:59 (EN/SH)
Mike Blunden was the game's second star.
Syracuse nearly tied the game late at 2-2 when a Jonathan Marchessault goal was disallowed. Bolt Prospects Alumni Ryan Craig then twisted the knife with an empty netter to seal it for Springfield. Fellow Bolt Prospects Alumni Dana Tyrell also had a helper in the contest to stick it to his old organization.
Syracuse faces Hartford tomorrow.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Nearly six months have passed since the last Syracuse Crunch regular season game.
One season removed from a Calder Cup playoff run that lasted well into June, the offseason began after the final horn at the Onondaga County War Memorial April 19. For Crunch coach Rob Zettler, who coached in the 2013 finals and spent the bulk of the ensuing offseason hiring a new coaching staff, the extended summer gave him time to reflect.
"This year it was too much time," Zettler said. "A lot of time to think about it."
One day removed from a 3-1 victory over French league club team in Lyon, France, Syracuse fell 6-0 to the Binghamton Senators today. Kristers Gudlevskis was in net for Syracuse. The team awaits final Lightning roster cuts expected to come down Monday or Tuesday before they head into the regular season.