The way Jon DiSalvatore looks at it, he doesn’t have much time to waste.
The 32-year-old forward, after being the odd-man out due to a restriction on import players with Munich of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany, wasn’t getting the ice time he had hoped for in his first European season.
DiSalvatore didn’t want to wait around, so he chose to return to North America.
"I just felt like the way things were being run out there, it felt like it was becoming a wasted year, a wasted opportunity," said DiSalvatore, a veteran of 10 American Hockey League seasons. "I don't feel like at this point in my career I have any years to waste."
Brett Connolly scored three times, but the Syracuse Crunch fell to the Binghamton Senators, 6-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
Connolly is the third Crunch player to record a hat trick this season. Although he didn't record any points in his previous three games, Connolly had an eight-game point streak from Dec. 20 to Jan. 8.
"It's obviously a lot better when you have a good game and you win," Connolly said. "We need wins right now, and they're hard to come by in this league."
Syracuse follows suit and wastes a Connolly hat trick.
SYR Connolly, (10) (Paquette), 5:59 (PP)
BNG O'Brien, (6) (Schneider), 11:46 (SH)
BNG Petersson, (14) (Wideman, Pageau), 14:26
BNG Puempel, (14) (Da Costa, Hoffman), 15:45 (PP)
SYR Connolly, (11) (Namestnikov), 17:26
BNG Prince, (8) (New, Pageau), 15:28 (PP)
SYR Connolly, (12) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 4:01 (PP)
BNG Cowick, (7) (Claesson, Hamilton), 9:36
BNG Petersson, (15) (Pageau), 17:40 (EN)
Brett Connolly and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's first and third stars. It's unbelievable the organization had hat tricks at the NHL and AHL levels today and neither team won. That's got to be incredibly rare.
Syracuse is still 3 points back of St. John's for 8th in the Eastern Conference, but the loss allows Hershey and Worcester to jockey for position ahead of the Crunch in the standings. With the hole they've dug, every loss will have that effect from here on out.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Mike Angelidis accepted his teammates' congratulations and then leaned in for a conversation with one of his team's rookies.
The Syracuse Crunch captain, having opened the scoring 9:30 into the first period, wanted to let Tanner Richard know his work on the goal -- battling through a check and making the pass -- wasn't going unnoticed.
"I said 'That's a great second effort, that's all you,'" Angelidis said. "When you see a young guy pulling out a second effort like that, you just try to get him going and give him confidence."
Richard finished with a pair of assists for his first multi-point pro game, as the Crunch topped the Hershey Bears, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
"I thought he was moving his feet a little bit more," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "That's the biggest thing for Tanner, when he's stationary he's not effective. When he's moving his feet, he can be really effective."
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 January 13, 2014 is … Kristers Gudlevskis, G, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).
Syracuse goaltender Cedrick Desjardins could find himself in a rare situation. The veteran netminder has been the Crunch’s No. 1 goalie for most of the season, yet he may have just lost his hold on No. 1 after being promoted to the NHL.