Syracuse Crunch

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.


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

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

Returning Players Spark Crunch in Win Over Senators

By Jeremy Houghtaling

During his first shift back from injury, Matthew Peca found the back of the net.

Peca was one of multiple players who contributed in their return to the Syracuse lineup, as the Crunch netted three first-period goals and hung on for a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“I think any time you get a guy that’s a regular in the lineup back, it’s a spark and brings some energy,” said Crunch defenseman Slater Koekkoek. “I thought we had that tonight.”

Gourde Utilizing Speed on Crunch's Top Line

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Yanni Gourde is focused on the results more than his statistics.

One season after piling up a career-high 29 goals, the Syracuse Crunch forward realized his role has has shifted away from being the main triggerman on the ice. Over the last month Gourde has found chemistry with Tanner Richard and Mike Blunden on the first line, and has used his speed to consistently create scoring opportunities.

Gourde may not be on pace for another 29-goal season, but he is pleased someone is scoring them.

“I’m trying to go to the net and do the right thing,” said Gourde, who has seven goals and 22 assists in 48 games this season. “Right now it’s not going in, but I have to keep working on it. Right now (Blunden) is getting the goals and I’m happy.”

AHL Game Night: 2-20-16 Americans at Crunch

Back on the rocks.


Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 17 shots for the loss. Kristers Gudlevskis then entered the game and allowed 1 on 17 shots in relief.

First Period
RCH Schaller, (10) (Carrier, Bailey), 18:57

Second Period
RCH Schaller, (11) (Bailey, Donovan), 1:09 (PP)
RCH Baptiste, (8) (Bowman, Robak), 2:34
RCH Schaller, (12) (Ruhwedel, Akeson), 3:56 (PP)
SYR Blunden, (15) (Taormina, Tambellini), 9:14 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Blunden, (16) (Gourde, DeAngelo), 9:33
RCH Carrier, (7) (Bailey, Schaller), 13:21
RCH Catenacci, (9) (Varone, Akeson), 16:25 (EN)

Mike Blunden was the game's third star.

Box score from

Crunch's Bold Move Fails in Loss to Americans

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Crunch made a bold move with a little less than five minutes remaining.

Down by three goals and needing standing points to stay in the playoff picture, Syracuse head coach Rob Zettler pulled goalie Kristers Gudlevskis for an extra attacker. The tactic went awry a little more than a minute later, as the Americans’ Dan Catenacci scored into the empty net to seal Rochester’s 6-2 win over Syracuse at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

With the loss, the Crunch have dropped 11 out of their last 13 contests.

“We were desperate,” Zettler said. “We had to find a way to try and make something happen, and try and score a goal. We were down by three.”

AHL Game Night: 2-19-16 Comets at Crunch

The streak is over.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Taormina, (11) (Blunden, Richard), 1:14 (PP)
SYR McGinn, (16) (Blujus, Gourde), 2:52 (PP)
UTI Bancks, (8) (Landry, Ehrhardt), 15:08
SYR Tambellini, (17) (McGinn, Witkowski), 17:26
UTI Sautner, (4) (Kenins, Gaunce), 19:36

Second Period
SYR Tambellini, (18) (Martindale), 2:34
UTI Pedan, (4) (Kenins, Grenier), 6:54 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Blunden, (14) (Erne, Richard), 2:33 (PP)
UTI Prust, (1) (Gaunce), 10:26 (SH)

Jeff Tambellini and Mike Blunden were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse snaps a 9-game winless streak. They currently sit at 1 game under .500 for the season.

Box score from

Crunch Use Special Teams to Top Comets, Snap Skid

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch used special teams to snap out of their slide.

The Crunch’s power play struck three times and the penalty kill held the Comets to one 5-on-3 marker, as Syracuse topped Utica, 5-4, at the Onondaga County War Memorial on Friday. The Crunch had lost nine straight coming into the contest.

“I expected our penalty kill to get us out of this slump,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said. “Before tonight, we hadn’t given up a 5-on-5 goal in three games. That’s a big deal. We needed our PK to come up big. That’s what we talked about and they did. They came up big for us tonight.”

Syracuse forward Jeff Tambellini registered two goals, Mike Blunden and Tye McGinn each had one goal and one assist, and Tanner Richard had two helpers. Matt Taormina rounded out the scoring, while Dylan Blujus, Ryan Martindale, Adam Erne, and Luke Witkowski each had one assist.

AHL Game Night: 2-17-16 IceCaps at Crunch

Crunch skid hits 9.

SYR-2 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 31 shots before allowing 1 of 5 to convert in the penalty shot session for the hard luck Shootout loss.

First Period
SYR Walcott, (2) (Taormina, Blunden), 1:43
STJ Scott, (1) (MacMillan, Bartley), 4:31 (PP)
SYR DeAngelo, (5) (Richard, Gourde), 8:19

Second Period

Third Period
STJ McCarron, (15) , 17:26 (PP)


STJ- McCarron

Anthony DeAngelo returned to the lineup after being scratched in 3 consecutive games and had a goal en route to being named the second star of the game.

Box score from

Crunch's Slide Continues With Loss to IceCaps

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite holding a 2-1 lead for more than 49 minutes, the Syracuse Crunch couldn’t hold on.

The IceCaps netted the equalizer on a power play with 2:34 remaining in regulation — and after both teams couldn’t capitalize on the man-advantage in overtime — St. John’s pulled out the 3-2 win over Syracuse in the fifth round of the shootout at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

The Crunch has dropped nine straight.

“I thought we played OK and I thought we were in control of the game,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “It was a 2-1 hockey game and we have a gaffe. It is what it is. … It just seems to be the way it’s going right now. We need to find a way to keep working hard and get out of this thing we’re in.”

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