Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Goalie Wilcox Finds Groove in Consecutive Starts


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox has run with the opportunity given to him.

Coming off a recent slide, the Crunch turned to the rookie netminder to take over between the pipes. With a chance to show what he can do, Wilcox has registered 117 saves and backstopped Syracuse to seven out of eight points in the last four games.

Wilcox hopes the consistent starts helps him find the groove that made him a standout at the University of Minnesota.

“I’m feeling really confident and I’m feeling really good, and now I feel like I can play well in this league on a nightly basis,” Wilcox said.

Drouin Returns to Crunch Practice


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jonathan Drouin didn’t want to sit out any longer.

The 20-year-old forward returned to Syracuse Crunch practice on Tuesday, nearly two months after leaving the team on a game day in Toronto. After Drouin’s trade demand went public in January, he was assigned to the Crunch and played seven games before heading home to await a move.

Not dealt by the NHL trade deadline, Drouin just wants to get back to playing hockey.

“Obviously, I’m a hockey player and I wanted to play hockey,” Drouin said. “Sitting at home is not what I wanted to do. I wanted to play hockey with the Crunch. We’ll deal with that stuff when the summer comes.”

AHL Game Night: 3-6-16 Crunch at Falcons

Syracuse pulls away at the end.

SYR-6
SPR-3

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 35 shots for the victory. He's gotten points out of his last 4 starts and has evened his record at .500 for the campaign.

First Period
SPR Shinnimin, (4) (Grant, P. Samuelsson), 3:31 (PP)
SYR Vermin, (4) (Peca, McGinn), 10:43
SPR Bunting, (8) (Reese, Dauphin), 15:47

Second Period
SYR Blunden, (20) (Richard, DeAngelo), 10:46 (PP)

Third Period
SYR DeAngelo, (6) (McGinn, Peca), 4:29
SPR Cunningham, (18) (Szwarz, Shinnimin), 5:47
SYR Richard, (9) (Blunden, DeAngelo), 10:06 (PP)
SYR Blunden, (21) (Gourde, Richard), 16:57
SYR McGinn, (19) (Blujus, Witkowski), 18:49 (EN/PP)

Mike Blunden and Tanner Richard were the game's first and second stars. Both had 3 point games, as did Tye McGinn and Anthony DeAngelo. DeAngelo is now riding a 7 game points streak and has points in 10 of his last 11.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-4-16 Crunch at Pirates

Crunch score 3 unanswered to make Portland walk the plank.

SYR-3
POR-1

Adam Wilcox allowed 1 goal on 30 shots for the victory.

First Period
POR Brickley, (5) (Weegar, Gaunce), 4:57 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (8) (Walcott, Richard), 15:28

Second Period
SYR Richard, (8) (DeAngelo, McGinn), 17:55

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (7) , 19:55 (EN)

Tanner Richard and Wilcox were the game's first and second stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-2-16 Phantoms at Crunch

53 shots were still not enough for the Crunch.

LV-3
SYR-2 (SO)

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 30 shots before allowing 1 of 3 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
LV Martel, (20) (Lamarche, Palushaj), 3:15
SYR Blunden, (19) (Tambellini, DeAngelo), 11:39 (PP)

Third Period
LV Bardreau, (10) (McDonald, Straka), 9:30
SYR McGinn, (18) (Erne, Blunden), 19:30

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
LV- Leier
SYR- NONE

Wilcox and Mike Blunden were the game's second and third stars.

Syracuse outshot the Phantoms 48-30 in regulation, but it still took a Tye McGinn goal with just 30 seconds to go in the Third Period just for the Crunch to salvage a point from the game. The final shot advantage was 53-31 on a frustrating night where the Crunch probably deserved better.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Phantoms' Stolarz Stymies Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch seemed to throw everything they could at the net.

The Crunch registered 53 shots on goal and controlled the play for long stretches, but needed a goal with the extra attacker on in the final minute of regulation to send the game to overtime. Led by Phantoms goalie Anthony Stolarz, Lehigh Valley prevailed over Syracuse in a shootout, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

“I wish we would have gotten the two points tonight. We sorely need them,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said. “I’m happy with our guys’ effort. The process was good, the details were good, but the outcome was not what we wanted.”

Syracuse’s Mike Blunden finished with a goal and an assist. Tye McGinn added one goal, and Jeff Tambellini, Anthony DeAngelo, and Adam Erne each had one assist.

Peca Makes Immediate Impact in Return to Crunch Lineup


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Matthew Peca knew exactly how much time he missed.

One day shy of five weeks on the shelf with an upper body injury, the Syracuse Crunch forward was counting the days until he could return. The 22-year-old scored on his first shift and finished with two points in a 3-2 win over Binghamton Friday, and added the game-winner in the shootout in a 5-4 victory over the Senators Sunday during a three-game weekend.

Peca made an immediate impact with his return and now he’s hoping to be a regular contributor as the Crunch make a push for the playoffs.

"I was just excited," Peca said of returning. "I felt in shape, I felt comfortable, and I knew my injury had healed so I was ready to get back. It didn't feel like I missed any time really."

AHL Game Night: 2-28-16 Crunch at Senators

Crunch steal a wild, improbable win.

SYR-5
BNG-4 (SO)

Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 32 shots before stopping 4 of 5 in the penalty shot session for the 5-4 SO win.

First Period
BNG Puempel, (14) (Varone, Kostka), 1:19 (PP)
BNG Leduc, (8) , 3:46

Second Period
BNG Puempel, (15) (Akeson), 8:53

Third Period
SYR Blunden, (17) (Richard, DeAngelo), 5:42 (PP)
SYR Blunden, (18) (DeAngelo, Richard), 9:32 (PP)
SYR Vermin, (4) (Blujus, Dotchin), 15:26
BNG Kostka, (5) (Varone, Akeson), 19:11
SYR McGinn, (17) (Richard, Tambellini), 19:51

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Blunden, Peca
BNG- Akeson

Mike Blunden and Tanner Richard were the game's first and third stars.

A 3 goals deficit in pro hockey SHOULD be a death sentence. Syracuse improbably erased a 3 goal deficit after 40 minutes only to see ex-Lightning property Mike Kostka put Bingo ahead with under a minute to go. Not to be deterred, Tye McGinn tied the game with under 10 seconds to go before Matthew Peca eventually put it away in the Shootout. When you cough up a 3 goal lead like that, it's emotionally devastating. When you come back and win a game by erasing one, it can be emotionally galvanizing. We'll see if the Crunch get a bounce off of this win.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Allow Five Unanswered Goals in Loss to IceCaps


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s early lead lasted a little more than 10 minutes.

Crunch forward Adam Erne opened the scoring but the IceCaps rattled off five unanswered goals, as St. John’s skated to a 5-1 win over Syracuse at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“In the first 10 minutes … there was a lot of O zone play, a lot of O zone time, and a lot of chances,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said. “Then — I don’t know — we faded. I don’t know if it was our energy. They were certainly executing better than we were and certainly more tenacious than we were.”

Anthony DeAngelo registered the lone assist on Erne’s goal, while Syracuse goalie Kristers Gudlevskis finished with 40 saves in the loss.

“He was under siege all night,” Zettler said of Gudlevskis. “They had 45 shots, 33 or 34 after two periods. There’s certainly no fault on his shoulders.”

AHL Game Night: 2-26-16 Senators at Crunch

Peca and hope return.

BNG-2
SYR-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the victory, in a one game cameo performance before heading back to Tampa Bay.

First Period
SYR Peca, (5) (McGinn, Tambellini), 1:04
BNG Hobbs, (2) (McCormick, Robinson), 5:39
SYR Koekkoek, (5) (Peca), 9:58
SYR Angelidis, (6) (DeAngelo, McGinn), 13:13

Second Period
BNG Robinson, (13) (Kostka, Fraser), 9:28

Third Period
NO SCORING

Matthew Peca, Vasilevskiy, and Tye McGinn were the game's three stars. Peca, playing in his first game in a little over a month due to injury, had 1 goal and 1 assist in the First Period alone. I don't want to overplay Peca like he's the second coming, but he's the type of player that Syracuse doesn't have much of: a skilled playmaking centerman. They've got lots of grit, but not guys that are creators who put pressure on the opposing defense. That's why Peca's so important to Syracuse and why I have a sneaking suspicion their nosedive over the last month and Peca's injury were highly related.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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