Syracuse Crunch

With Most Productive Line Out, Crunch Forwards Look to Step Up

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s lines went through a major makeover this week.

With JT Brown and Nikita Kucherov called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vladislav Namestnikov out with a broken hand, the Crunch’s most productive line won’t be available for the foreseeable future. While the trio amassed 55 points over Syracuse’s first 17 games, the remaining 11 healthy forwards at practice Tuesday combined for 22.

Dana Tyrell, set to take over a spot on one of the Crunch's top lines, has also been recalled by the Lightning.

With so much firepower out of the lineup, Syracuse is looking for ways to create more offense.

"We've just got to converge on the front of the net and bang away," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "Obviously, with those guys out, our skill level drops but our work ethic doesn't."

AHL Game Night: 11-23-13 Bulldogs at Crunch

I hate all teams named "Bulldogs".


Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the loss.

First Period

Second Period
HAM Thomas, (1) (St. Pierre, Beaulieu), 1:29 (PP)
HAM Pateryn, (4) (Schiestel, Leblanc), 7:18 (PP)

Third Period
HAM Beaulieu, (2) (St. Pierre, Thomas), 6:47 (PP)

Nikita Nesterov was the game's third star.

Evidently hell hath no fury like Dusting Tokarski scorned. Tic stopped 43 shots in the blanking of his former teammates.

Syracuse gets Binghamton on Wednesday. They've now dropped to 7th in the Eastern Conference.

Box score from

Tokarski, Bulldogs Power Past Crunch, 3-0

By Jeremy Houghtaling

While Syracuse failed to convert on six power play chances, the Hamilton Bulldogs cashed in three times to hand the Crunch its fourth-straight loss, 3-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Dustin Tokarski stopped all 43 Crunch shots for his first shutout of the season with Hamilton.

"He played really well," said Syracuse defenseman Matt Taormina of Tokarski. "He did see a lot of shots, but we didn't really get in front to screen him."

AHL Game Night: 11-22-13 Crunch at Bulldogs

Rough result in Montreal.


Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
HAM Blunden, (4) (Dumont, Tinordi), 15:55

Second Period
HAM Ellis, (1) (St. Pierre, Nystrom), 11:00
HAM Dumont, (1) (Blunden), 13:06

Third Period
SYR Cote, (2) (Richard, Paradis), 15:13
HAM Blunden, (5) (Ellis), 19:00 (EN)

Tonight was a special game with the Bulldogs playing in front of the big league crowd in Montreal. Between that an Dustin Tokarski's obvious motivation playing against his old organization, Hamilton had some extra juice for this one.

These two clubs square off again tomorrow night, and Syracuse should have Brett Connolly in the lineup.

Following the game Crunch GM Julien BriseBois confirmed Vladislav Namestnikov broke his hand in tonight's game.

Box score from

Collegiate Defensemen Making Presence Known at Forward for Syracuse

By Jeremy Houghtaling

With a glut of players occupying the organizational blueline, the Tampa Bay Lightning came up with a new plan for Drew Olson and Carl Nielsen.

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.”

Richard's Versatility an Asset for Syracuse

By Jeremy Houghtaling

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.

Crunch Fall to Devils in Shootout, 2-1

By Jeremy Houghtaling

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."

AHL Game Night: 11-16-13 Devils at Crunch

CDJ bested in a goaltender's duel.

SYR-1 (SO)

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 33 shots before allowing 1 of 4 shooters to convert to take the shootout loss.

First Period

Second Period
ALB Scarlett, (1) (Whitney, Boucher), 17:55 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (13) (Cote), 18:19

Third Period


ALB- Boucher

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

Penguins Snap Crunch's Win Streak, 5-3

By Jeremy Houghtaling

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."

AHL Game Night: 11-15-13 Penguins at Crunch

Callups/blueline injuries help crush Crunch.


Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 27 shots for the loss in his first start back from injury.

First Period
WBS Despres, (3) (Mikkelson), 2:26
WBS Megna, (4) (Despres, Gibbons), 11:23
WBS Conner, (6) (Despres, Gibbons), 19:44 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Namestnikov, (8) (Kucherov, Cote), 7:29
WBS Kostopoulos, (5) (Harrington, Ebbett), 12:55
SYR Rankin, (5) (Paquette), 19:41

Third Period
WBS Gibbons, (6) (Conner, Zolnierczyk), 1:41
SYR Gauthier, (2) (Namestnikov), 10:38

Vladislav Namestnikov was the game's third star. It was kind of a perfect storm against Syracuse with Korobov up in Tampa and Taormina and Nesterov out, along with the top line auditioning a new winger with Brown up and Helenius possibly a little rusty in his first start back. Life in the minors. They'll build off the fact they won the final 40 minutes of the game 3-2. They face Albany tomorrow.

Box score from

Syndicate content