Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Fall in OT, Miss Chance to Clinch Playoff Spot


By Jeremy Houghtaling

With a chance to clinch a playoff berth, the Syracuse Crunch came up just short.

Albany lost in Manchester and Syracuse battled back from a pair of deficits, but the Crunch couldn't convert on five power play opportunities -- including one in overtime -- as they fell to the Binghamton Senators, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

"There were significant opportunities both ways," said Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler. "At the end of the day, we couldn't get one on the power play. We had a chance 4-on-3 in overtime and we couldn't get it past him. We definitely had our chances to win it, we just couldn't. I was happy with the effort and I was happy with the chances, we just couldn't finish it off."

AHL Game Night: 4-1-15 Senators at Crunch

Crunch lose a tight one with reinforcements on the way.

BNG-3
SYR-2 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the OT loss. He made several key stops to allow the Crunch to secure 1 point in the contest.

First Period
BNG Prince, (24) (Camper), 4:05
SYR Angelidis, (20) (Courtnall, Vermin), 12:32
BNG Camper, (14) (Schneider, A. Grant), 17:53 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Martindale, (13) (Marchessault), 1:23

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
BNG Wideman, (17) (Dzingel), 3:06

Gudlevskis was the game's third star.

Syracuse has already lost Namestnikov and three regular defensemen to recall because of various injuries up top in Tampa Bay. They've gotten a little help with the signing of Brayden Point to an ATO and bringing the likes of Jared Nightingale back into the fold for a spell. They're about to get even more reinforcements, though, with today's signing of forward Matthew Peca and the word that goaltender Adam Wilcox is also likely to sign with the Lightning and may be assigned to Syracuse, as well. If they can get Koekkoek and Witkowski, at least, back from Tampa Bay and the likes of Tanner Richard back from injury, this could take a decent Syracuse roster to the level of a reasonable title contender in the playoffs. If one or two other active junior players can also join in the fun, all the better.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Point Looks to Contribute While Learning With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Brayden Point is in a position to chip in immediately.

After averaging more than a point with Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League over the past three-plus seasons, Point has a chance to step in and contribute offensively with the Syracuse Crunch. The center, who is getting a taste of the pro game in his stint with Syracuse, was flanked by Crunch leading goalscorer Yanni Gourde and former Tampa Bay Lightning first round pick Carter Ashton during his American Hockey League debut against Rochester Saturday.

“Obviously the coaching staff has given me a good opportunity to play with some real talented players that have had success at this level,” Point said. “It’s definitely an opportunity for me, and I’m trying to make the most of it.”

Point Makes Pro Debut, But Crunch Fall to Americans


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Brayden Point understands it's a learning experience.

The 19-year-old center was admittedly nervous but settled in during his professional debut with the Crunch, but Syracuse fell to the Rochester Americans, 2-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"There are definitely some shifts where our line was able to control the puck down low for a bit, but, like I said, there's a lot to learn," Point said. "I'm just going to try to soak up as much as I can from my linemates and the guys on the bench, and hopefully keep getting better."

AHL Game Night: 3-28-15 Americans at Crunch

Makaroved.

RCH-2
SYR-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 24 shots for the hard luck loss. His save percentage has inched up to .906 for the season, despite the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
RCH McPherson, (2) (Catenacci, Ruhwedel), 4:04
RCH Catenacci, (12) , 19:52 (EN)

Gudlevskis was the game's second star. First star Andrey Makarov, who was Andrei Vasilevkiy's tandem-mate with the Russian U20 WJC team once upon a time, stopped 32 shots for the shutout.

ATO signee Brayden Point was -2 with 3 SOG's in his pro debut. As noted yesterday, there are a handful of other potential ATO's which could be added to the Syracuse roster this week, including graduating Quinnipiac senior forward Matthew Peca.

The loss, coupled with Hershey's win, puts Syracuse back into the 3rd seed, 1 point back of the Bears. 9 games remain on the regular season slate.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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