Syracuse Crunch

Lightning Organization Confident in Rookie Pro Paquette

By Jeremy Houghtaling

When Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler first made the decision to put Cedric Paquette in the lineup, he relied on what he had heard from scouts.

The Tampa Bay Lightning organization, which drafted Paquette in the fourth round in 2012, knew what they could expect from the gritty 6-1 forward fresh out of junior hockey, and knew he would able to jump right into the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Finals.

AHL Game Night: 10-30-13 Crunch at Devils

Tonight's win is brought to you by the letter V.

SYR-4
ALB-1

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 25 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Kucherov, (7) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 13:51 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (8) , 15:00 (PP)

Second Period
ALB Boucher, (3) (Timmins, Whitney), 9:23

Third Period
SYR Brown, (2) (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 6:44
SYR Brown, (3) (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 10:14

Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown were the game's first and second stars. Kucherov now leads the AHL in PP goals. Vladislav Namestnikov had assists in triplicate.

As great as the top line has played, there is reason for concern. The team was outshot 25-19 in tonight's game and reigning AHL Second Team All-Star Brett Connolly has just 1 helper in 6 games this year. So, the second line has yet to get loose this year.

The Crunch get Rochester next on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Superstitious Gudlevskis Making Most of Opportunities

By Jeremy Houghtaling

A few days after registering a shutout in his American Hockey League debut, Kristers Gudlevskis returned to the ice with a different look.

The mask emblazoned with blue stripes and the outline of a lightning bolt that he wore in his first three wins of the season was nowhere in sight as Gudlevskis dawned a more comfortable plain white helmet for Syracuse Crunch practice Tuesday.

Like his mask, Gudlevskis is back to a blank slate. His 22-save shutout over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers is history, and it's time to move forward.

Defenseman Taormina a Valuable Asset for Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It’s tough for Matt Taormina to sit out.

The Syracuse Crunch defenseman, who battled an injury throughout the team’s run to the Calder Cup Finals last season, was not pleased that he had to be scratched from the lineup earlier this month.

"I probably could have waited another week or so (to return), because that's what the doctors had said," Taormina said. "But after the first game, and being around the guys in practice and stuff like that, I felt that I could get back at it earlier than they thought."

Seeing Taormina sit out was equally as difficult for Crunch coach Rob Zettler. Taormina has become an integral part of the blue line for Syracuse since his arrival last season, and the 27-year-old veteran's calm, patient demeanor comes in handy in all situations.

Big Second Period, Gudlevskis' Shutout Lift Crunch Over Tigers


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 22 shots in his American Hockey League debut and the Crunch surged ahead with five goals in the second period, lifting Syracuse to a 5-0 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Eleven players recorded a point in the Crunch's third-straight win. Jean-Philippe Cote registered a goal and an assist, while Nikita Kucherov and Luke Witkowski each added two assists.

Matt Taormina, Evan Rankin, Cedric Paquette and Vladislav Namestnikov each registered a goal. JT Brown, Dana Tyrell, Dmitry Korobov and Nikita Nesterov chipped in a helper apiece.

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