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.
Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 27 shots he faced for the shutout victory. If you're keeping track at home, in the last 48 hours the Providence Bruins played 125 minutes of regulation and overtime hockey against Gudlevskis and they got nothing to show for their efforts. Nada. Were it not for the shootout gimmick last night, we might be calling Gudlevskis Providence's daddy. We still might, anyhow. Gudlevskis has 4 shutouts in his 16 appearances this season and a very respectable 2.37 GAA and .915 sv%. He's looking like quite the late round steal for the Lightning, to be sure.
SYR Paquette, (11) (Tyrell, Korobov), 0:42
Gudlevskis and Cedric Paquette were the game's first and second stars.
Syracuse remains 3 points back of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. They're off until Friday when they face the Hershey Bears.
Box score from TheAHL.com.