Rob Zettler's first win allows Syracuse to keep pace in the East.
Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 20 shots for the big win. Once again, he's eased his season save percentage up to .900.
SYR Cote, (3) (Devos, Hutchings), 10:07
HER Crabb, (2) (Taffe, Schmidt), 19:05
SYR Palat, (12) (Richard, Sexton), 3:50
Ondrej Palat and J.P. Cote were the game's first and second stars.
This is how Syracuse has to scratch out wins with their finishers called up to Tampa Bay. It's got to be low scoring games and finding a way to get key goals at key times. Providence and Springfield won tonight, and Binghamton is going down late to Norfolk. If that holds, that will leave Syracuse 2 points behind Providence for tops in the East and 2 points clear of Binghamton for the East Division lead. Syracuse's last road game of the regular season is Tuesday against Lake Erie. They'll end with 5 straight at home, which might be edge they need to take the top spot in the East.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Rob Zettler kept his attention on the task at hand.
The Syracuse Crunch coach, despite hearing his team had clinched a playoff spot with a pair of Eastern Conference teams losing, focused on his team's comeback attempt late in the third period. But the 3-1 deficit turned to 4-1 with an empty-netter, and the Hershey Bears provided the rain for the Crunch clinching party at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday night.
"We're in, but it didn't feel very good," Zettler said.
Still seeking win one under Zettler.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss.
HER Kane, (14) (Orlov, Wellman), 9:18
SYR Jacques, (6) (Angelidis), 17:08
HER Kundratek, (14) (Potulny, Kane), 19:21
HER LeBlanc, (10) , 10:06
HER Kundratek, (15) , 19:51 (EN)
Time is slipping away for the Crunch to regain their footing. They will end the night 2 points out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference and tied inside their division. They have a rematch with Hershey in Hershey tomorrow night, which starts a 2 game road trip that will be the final roadie of the regular season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
As he waits for his first win behind the Syracuse Crunch bench, Rob Zettler has gone through a range of emotions.
He’s excited and energetic, and comfortable yet anxious. Although his tenure has started with three straight losses, he knows it hasn’t stemmed from a lack of trying.
“These guys all want to win as much as I do,” Zettler said of his team. “I'm not worried about their effort. I'm not worried about how they played. We just have to find a way to get the W."
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forwards Dana Tyrell and Brett Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Additionally the team has reassigned forwards Mike Angelidis and Ondrej Palat, along with defenseman Andrej Sustr and goaltender Cedrick Desjardins to the Crunch.