Crunch Score Early, Shut Out Bruins, 1-0

By Jeremy Houghtaling

One night after playing 65 scoreless minutes, Syracuse took less than 60 seconds to find the back of the net against Providence Saturday.

Cedric Paquette scored the lone goal 42 seconds in and Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 27 shots for his second-straight shutout, as the Crunch topped the Bruins, 1-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

With Friday's scoreless contest decided by a shootout, Syracuse knew the rematch would be another close game.

"They play tight, it's really hard to penetrate," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "They play well, and they pack it in around the net so it's tough to get there."

But Syracuse capitalized on its first scoring opportunity.

Paquette flew down the right wing and barreled toward the crease to score his 11th goal of the season early in the first period. Dana Tyrell and Dmitry Korobov were credited with the assists.

"Dana made a nice play to me, and I just tried to crash the net and the puck goes in," Paquette said.

With the team coming off a stretch of three games in the past four nights, getting on the board early was a key.

"It's always important to score the first one, but especially when you've played three games in four nights and you don't have as much gas as you normally do," Zettler said.

The goal also provided a cushion for Gudlevskis, who registered his fourth shutout in 16 games with the Crunch this season.

"You feel a little bit more comfortable," Gudlevskis said. "You lead the game, so you're not afraid of a mistake or doing something stupid."

"He shuts out one of the best teams in the league two nights in a row, that's a big deal," Zettler said. "He made key saves when he needed to."

Syracuse (16-14-2-4), which has points in five-straight games to match a season-best, plans to spend the week practicing in Lake Placid this week before hosting Hershey Friday and Binghamton Saturday.

"We're going to have a great week in Lake Placid … Just try to rest a little bit and get ready for two big games," Paquette said.

Pictured: Crunch goalie Kristers Gudlevskis makes a save against the Bruins at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.