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."
Syracuse loses a tight one.
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.
NOR Rakell, (8) (Blacker, Gagne), 15:14 (PP)
SYR Neilson, (1) (Langelier-Parent, Korobov), 4:47
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.
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."
Crunch fail to protect an early 3 goal lead.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 24 shots before allowing 2 of 4 to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss.
SYR Olson, (1) (Paquette), 3:23
SYR Angelidis, (1) (Paquette), 14:56
SYR Connolly, (1) (Witkowski, Korobov), 7:13
NOR Rakell, (7) (Sarault, Gagne), 9:52 (PP)
NOR Whitney, (7) (Wagner, Gagne), 2:21 (PP)
NOR Painchaud, (1) (Rakell, Exelby), 6:19
NOR- Rakell, Sarault
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.
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.