Gudlevskis, Kristers

AHL Game Night: 12-7-16 Phantoms at Crunch

A goaltender rises...

LV-2
SYR-4

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 50 (not a typo) shots for the victory. Wilcox is now 9-3-0 on the season with 1 shutout, a 2.13 GAA, and a .924 sv%. His 9 wins now matches his total number of victories from all of his rookie pro campaign. Tonight was his statement of intent to take over the starting job in Syracuse permanently. I don't think, ultimately, he's going to lose in his bid.

First Period
11:57 LV Bardreau (3), (Knight)
12:29 SYR Peca (5), (Condra, Erne)
12:50 SYR Dotchin (2), (Gourde, Halmo)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:40 LV Bardreau (4), (Knight, O'Neill)
17:25 SYR Taormina (7), (Erne, Condra)
19:39 SYR Gourde (6), (Condra)(EN)(SH)

Wilcox and Matt Taormina were the game's first and second stars.

When the Lightning organization's farm team last won a championship with the Norfolk Admirals, they did so with a team that was fortunate enough to have two high-quality AHL starting goaltenders in Dustin Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus. Coming into this season, with a Syracuse roster stocked to the gills with veteran firepower, it's always seemed the limiting factor would be goaltending where it wasn't clear the Crunch even had one high-quality AHL starter. Now that we're well past the quarter post of the season, though, it's becoming clear one of the two netminders in Syracuse's tandem has risen up and clearly separated himself from the other. Adam Wilcox doesn't have all the physical gifts that Kristers Gudlevskis does, but goaltending is only partially about pure athleticism. Like boxing, goaltending is also a sweet science of understanding angles, body positioning, reading your opponents, and the ebb and flow of the game. Gudlevskis has struggled to find his calm place in the sweet science of the goaltending game. Adam Wilcox is finding his comfort zone inside the maelstrom around his crease and he's made his move. The numbers don't lie. Wilcox is now 7th in the AHL in GAA and 8th in save percentage.

Syracuse moves 1 point up on Albany for first in the North Division with 2 games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-4-16 Crunch at Bears

Goaltending betrays Syracuse.

SYR-2
HER-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 12 shots for the loss, and there were questionable goals in those 3.

First Period
15:02 HER Mitchell (2), (unassisted)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
0:23 HER Sanford (1), (Walker, Djoos)
3:38 SYR Conacher (4), (Taormina, Richard)(PP)
5:08 SYR Gourde (5), (Peca, Gudlevskis)(PP)
18:31 HER Ness (3), (Boyd, Lewington)
19:37 HER Sill (3), (Malone)(EN)

It's a hard pill to swallow losing when you outshoot an opponent 37-13. Goaltending remains the limiting factor that has to be questioned when you look at how far this Syracuse team can go. They have most everything else.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-25-16 Marlies at Crunch

Crunch overcome turkey coma to clip Marlies in OT.

TOR-4
SYR-5 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 30 shots for the OT win.

First Period
3:41 TOR Kapanen (9), (Greening, Holl)
12:46 TOR Froese (9), (Leipsic)

Second Period
1:01 TOR Greening (3), (Clune)(SH)
2:10 SYR Morin (1), (Taormina, Comrie)(PP)
5:07 SYR Vermin (4), (Darcy, Peca)(PP)
5:42 SYR Bournival (5), (Masin)
15:00 TOR Rychel (3), (Leipsic, Valiev)(PP)
15:23 SYR Taormina (3), (Bournival, Letourneau-Leblond)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
1:59 SYR Blujus (1), (Walcott, Gourde)

Dylan Blujus and Gudlevskis were the game's first and third stars.

The Crunch having an early Thanksgiving hangover and falling behind 3-0 early at home was predictable but unacceptable. That was the theme of the night throughout the Lightning organization, by the way: the home Thanksgiving hangover. Fortunately, Syracuse showed a lot of resiliency in roaring back to life in the Second Period before Blujus eventually scored the winning goal in his return from injury. It's kind of a shame that Blujus got nicked up when he did given the injuries the Lightning have up top, because looking at his timetable he should be close to earning his first cup of coffee with the Lightning.

Syracuse pulls to within 3 points of the division lead with 2 games in hand on Albany. If they can go on a little run, first place seems there for the taking.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-23-16 Crunch at Comets

Crunch get Demko'ed.

SYR-1
UTI-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on just 15 shots for the loss. He found himself in a goaltending duel and couldn't help covert Syracuse's 32-15 shot surplus into a win.

First Period
8:45 UTI Grenier (6), (Bancks, Valk)(PP)

Second Period
11:15 UTI Hulak (4), (Carcone)
13:58 SYR Richard (6), (Vermin)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Tanner Richard extended his goal scoring streak to four games. So, there was that.

Syracuse dips to 4th in the North Division in points with the loss. They'll get back to it Friday at home against Toronto.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-19-16 Devils at Crunch

Gudlevskis makes good.

ALB-2
SYR-3

Fresh off of last night's shelling, Kristers Gudlevskis allowed just 2 goals on 31 shots for the victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
2:34 SYR Taormina (2), (Peca, Gourde)
4:06 SYR Richard (5), (Gourde, Taormina)
8:44 ALB Gormley (1), (Novak, Straka)(PP)
14:34 ALB Quenneville (5), (Blandisi, Jacobs)(PP)

Third Period
19:58 SYR Condra (3), (Vermin, Walcott)

Erik Condra. Yanni Gourde, and Matt Taormina were the game's three stars, with Condra scoring the game winner dekeing to his backhand off the rush with less than 3 seconds left in the game.

Tanner Richard now has a 3 game goal scoring streak and a 4 game point streak.

Syracuse is now just 2 points back of St. John's for first place in the North Division with a whopping 4 games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-18-16 Crunch at Bears

Crunch strafed in Hershey.

SYR-1
HER-5

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 18 shots for the loss before giving way to Adam Wilcox, who allowed 2 goals on 4 shots the rest of the way. Simply a dreadful night for the entire team, but particularly for the netminders.

First Period
8:03 HER Vrana (8), (Bourque, Djoos)
12:34 HER Thomas (5), (Djoos, Stephenson)(PP)
14:36 HER Bourque (3), (Stephenson, Mitchell)

Second Period
0:33 SYR Richard (4), (Conacher, Taormina)

Third Period
15:49 HER Thomas (6), (O'Brien, Stephenson)(PP)
19:29 HER Bourque (4), (Djoos, Carey)(PP)

With injuries up top in Tampa Bay, there are opportunities to earn call ups on the line. So, it's disappointing to see the team start flat and get run out of the game early. It's frankly not acceptable.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-11-16 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Comeback Crunch steal a point.

BRI-3
SYR-2 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 25 shots before surrendering to 2 of 4 in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
19:38 BRI Jones (3), (Burroughs, Jones)

Third Period
11:31 BRI Jones (2), (Burroughs, Jones)(SH)
16:09 SYR Taormina (1), (Condra, Richard)(PP)
17:09 SYR Dotchin (1), (Gourde)(SH)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
BRI- Kearns, Verhaeghe
SYR- Conacher

Gudlevskis and Ben Thomas were the game's first and third stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-4-16 Crunch at Americans

Crunch and Gudlevskis stage a massive comeback win.

SYR-3
RCH-2

Kristers Gudlevskis peeled himself off the mat to allow 2 goals on 18 shots for his second win of the season.

First Period
13:41 RCH Schneider (5), (Fedun)

Second Period
4:47 RCH Nylander (2), (Rodrigues)

Third Period
1:36 SYR Conacher (3), (Gourde, Halmo)
15:30 SYR Condra (1), (Peca)
18:44 SYR Gourde (3), (Taormina, Thomas)

Yanni Gourde and Erik Condra were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse came from 2 goals down in the Third Period for an emotional win that could be an early season turning point. Syracuse improved to 5-3-0 on the campaign with the victory.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 10-30-16 Crunch at Penguins

Struggling Gudlevskis roughed up in hard-scrabble Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

SYR-1
WBS-6

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 6 goals on 29 shots for the loss. That's not what you want to see from a guy who might be earmarked to move up and be the backup in Tampa Bay later this year.

First Period
3:52 WBS Rowney (2), (Oleksy, Goers)
14:51 WBS Porter (3), (Gaunce, Gardiner)
18:37 WBS Porter (4), (Wilson, Gill)(PP)

Second Period
13:54 WBS Kostopoulos (1), (Guentzel, Prow)

Third Period
4:56 SYR Halmo (2), (Darcy, Koekkoek)
13:50 WBS Dea (2), (McGrath)
16:18 WBS Sundqvist (2), (Dea, Prow)(PP)

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-21-16 Comets at Crunch

Comets strike at Syracuse's potential Achilles heel.

UTI-5
SYR-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 8 shots before being pulled for Adam Wilcox, who allowed 1 goal on 11 shots the rest of the way for the dreaded backdoor loss.

First Period
1:58 UTI Billins (1), (unassisted)(PP)
3:48 UTI Grenier (2), (Chaput)
6:29 SYR Dumont (1), (Koekkoek, Condra)
8:25 SYR Bournival (3), (Dumont)(SH)
8:57 UTI Carcone (1), (Megna, Billins)(PP)
15:37 UTI Valk (2), (Grenier, Chaput)

Second Period
2:38 SYR Dumont (2), (Witkowski)

Third Period
12:35 UTI Megna (1), (Billins)
17:10 SYR Bournival (4), (Blujus, Conacher)(PP)

Gabriel Dumont and Michael Bournival were the game's first and third stars.

Tonight was the first blemish on Syracuse's record and outlined their potential vulnerability. There's little doubt their lineup is significantly deep and talented enough to score a good 3 or 4 goals (at least) a game at the AHL level. The question, particularly when it comes to their goaltending, is whether they have the ability to keep the puck out of their own net. Kristers Gudlevskis has world class athleticism for the goaltending position, but his consistency is still dubious. Can he steadily lead a team on a deep run through the regular season and on toward a championship? Will he even get the chance with cap deals looming up top in Tampa Bay? And, either way, can Adam Wilcox prove a serious option 1A a la Jaroslav Janus during the Norfolk Admirals' championship run not too many moons ago?

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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