Syracuse Crunch

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."

Prospect of the Week: December 3, 2013

We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Prospect of the Week for November 25 – December 1, 2013 is … Cedric Paquette, C, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

Rookie pro Cedric Paquette played superhero last week, rescuing the injured, falling Syracuse Crunch by swooping in at the last moment to lead the club to two needed wins.

The Crunch entered last weekend banged up, short on players due to injuries in Tampa, and on a season-long 5-game losing streak.

Nesterov Takes Next Step Toward NHL Dream


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Nikita Nesterov, this season is his first away from home.

The Syracuse Crunch defensemen, who spent the last four seasons in his hometown of Chelyabinsk with the junior MHL team or with Traktor of the Kontinental Hockey League, is still getting acclimated to his new surroundings. While his homeland is halfway around the world, the ultimate goal -- to play in the National Hockey League -- is one step away.

"It was pretty tough, I won two medals with my KHL team, third and second place in the past two years, but I wanted to learn something new," Nesterov said through a translator.

AHL Game Night: 11-30-13 Crunch at Phantoms

Dump Truck delivers (again).

SYR-1
ADK-0

Cedrick Desjardins stopped all 28 shots he faced for the shutout victory. Goaltending will be extra important if Syracuse is going to ride out this stretch at less than full strength, and Desjardins gave them that goaltending tonight.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Paquette, (6) (Gauthier, Connolly), 12:00 (PP)

Desjardins and Cedric Paquette were the game's first and second stars. Paquette (Dump Truck!) had the game winning goal for the second straight game. Coming out of quite the scoring slumber, Brett Connolly also had an assist for the second straight game. That's a welcome sign from last year's 2nd Team AHL All-Star.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-29-13 IceCaps at Crunch

Dump Truck delivers.

STJ-2
SYR-4

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Kaunisto, (1) (Langelier-Parent, Neilson), 18:10

Second Period
SYR Walker, (2) (Paquette, Korobov), 12:10 (PP)
STJ Jaffray, (7) (Gordon, Redmond), 13:52 (PP)
STJ Lipon, (4) (Lowry), 14:15

Third Period
SYR Paquette, (5) (Devos, Gauthier), 15:36
SYR Gauthier, (3) (Connolly), 19:05 (EN)

Cedric Paquette (Dump Truck!) and Ray Kaunisto were the game's first and third stars.

I don't know what it is about the IceCaps, but the Lightning organization could stick cardboard cutouts in jerseys and still beat them. SyraNo has just had their number - big time - and tonight was a win Syracuse really needed to right the ship even though, when you look up and down the roster, it's very hard to find familiar names.

Syracuse faces Adirondack tomorrow as they attempt to put a little unlikely streak together here.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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