Peca, Matthew

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-25-25 Crunch at Penguins

One of the worst nights in Lightning organization history.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game Two

SYR-0
WBS-4

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Leads the Series 2-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the loss. He played ok, from all indications, but the Crunch really need a goaltender to win a game for them right now.

First Period
WBS Megna, (1) (Ebbett, Sheary), 2:32 (PP)
WBS Rowney, (2) (Archibald, Harrington), 16:32 (PP)
WBS Kostopoulos, (1) , 19:59 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
WBS Kapanen, (3) (Sheary, Ebbett), 16:10

Zettler went with some wholesale lineup changes, but unfortunately that didn't lead to any offensive production. The good news, I suppose, is that the shot totals were nearly even at 29-27 in favor of the Pens. With that said, the Crunch continue to look like a team without much life, and Game Three may only offer an opportunity for players who will need to be key contributors in Syracuse next season, like Matthew Peca to get a little more seasoning.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-24-15 Crunch at Penguins

Can't stop the bleeding.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game One

SYR- 1
WBS- 5

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Leads the Series 1-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss before giving way to Adam Wilcox, who allowed 1 goal on 15 shots the rest of the way. Coach Zettler is tasked with the impossible task of choosing between a streaky goaltender who appears to have gone completely cold and a rookie ATO who has never won a professional game for Game Two. Flip a coin.

First Period
WBS Uher, (1) (Kuhnhackl, Rowney), 16:52

Second Period
WBS Kapanen, (1) (Megna), 6:03
WBS Rowney, (1) (Goers, Uher), 6:34
WBS Kapanen, (2) (Goers, Megna), 7:43
SYR Peca, (1) (Angelidis, Vermin), 14:00

Third Period
WBS Syvret, (1) (Rowney, Sheary), 12:32

Syracuse entered the playoffs having won just 1 of their last 10 down the stretch, and they got dominated tonight. It's not just that they didn't get the goaltending, but they also got outshot 35-23 as well, which gives you an idea of run of play. There's a small silver lining with Matthew Peca getting his first pro playoff goal, but it's super, super small. The Pens pinned a -4 on Syracuse's offensive bell cow, Jonathan Marchessault, and if Marchessault's line can't win their shifts, then Syracuse likely has no prayer.

Honestly, I've got no helpful suggestions or tweaks that I can suggest at this juncture. I kept waiting for this team to gel with all the roster changes and ATO additions down the stretch, and it simply hasn't happened.

Game Two is tomorrow night.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-18-15 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Crunch complete their limp into the playoffs.

BRI-4
SYR-2

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals in 18 shots for the loss. Ugly stat line.

First Period
SYR Peca, (1) (Ikonen, Vermin), 5:11
BRI Jeffrey, (25) (Quine), 6:57

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
BRI Mouillierat, (24) (Pulock, Quine), 9:53 (PP)
BRI Markison, (1) (Sundstrom), 15:19
SYR Blujus, (4) (Dotchin, Marchessault), 19:38 (PP)
BRI Mayfield, (1) , 19:56 (EN)

Matthew Peca, who scored his first professional goal, was the game's first star.

Syracuse outshot Bridgeport 33-19 in the contest, but couldn't turn the tide on the scoreboard. The club finished the regular season 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. Ouch. The team will be the 5th seed in the East and start on the road against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the opening round. It's hard to feel confident, though, given the team's marked swoon over the past 10 games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-17-15 Flames at Crunch

Snake bitten and still struggling.

ADK-5
SYR-4 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 5 goals on 34 shots for the OT loss. After getting his save percentage up as high as .906, Gudlevskis' recent struggles have dropped him back down to the goaltending Mendoza line of .900.

First Period
SYR Vermin, (12) (Peca, Koekkoek), 4:39
ADK Poirier, (18) , Reinhart, 19:16

Second Period
SYR Point, (2) (Marchessault, Kunyk), 0:47
SYR Gourde, (29) (Point, Ikonen), 4:52
ADK Yonkman, (2) (Tousignant, Harris), 16:24

Third Period
SYR Marchessault, (24) (Dotchin, Peca), 3:29
ADK Wolf, (20) (Kulak), 13:43
ADK Elson, (17) , 16:31

Overtime
ADK Agostino, (14) (Kulak, Arnold), 0:39

Jonathan Marchessault and Brayden Point were the game's first and third stars. Throw in that Matthew Peca had his first multi-point night as a pro, and you had a hat trick of important Lightning forward prospects producing. Therein lies the silver lining of tonight's loss: the offense is starting to come around, finally. That doesn't take all the sting out of coughing up a pair of 2 goal leads, but it's something.

Syracuse sits 2 points behind Hartford for the division lead, which will yield the East #3 seed in the playoffs.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-4-15 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Comeback bid comes close to paying off.

SYR-2
BRI-3

Allen York allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss. Again, paging Adam Wilcox?

First Period
BRI Mouillierat, (21) (Halmo, Collberg), 17:49

Second Period
BRI Pulock, (16) (Quine, Ness), 3:47 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Marchessault, (22) (Kunyk, Dotchin), 3:50
SYR Lynch, (2) (Peca, Dodero), 7:34
BRI Sundstrom, (7) (Pulock, Quine), 14:50 (PP)

One thing about the Crunch this year, when changes to the roster have come it's taken a few games for them to adjust. Once they do, though, it's lights out. So, I expect Syracuse to settle in here, soon, and especially when they get Koekkoek and Witkowski back from Tampa Bay. They could be frightening when that happens, especially if they get more good goaltending from Gudlevskis and possibly Wilcox.

Matthew Peca got his first pro point on a fantastic setup on what was, at the time, the tying goal at 2-2 for the Crunch.

Syracuse remains 4 points up on Hartford in the division with both teams having 6 games left on the regular season slate.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-3-15 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Epic Third Period collapse.

SYR-4
HFD-6

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 29 shots before giving way to Allen York who allowed 1 on 2 shots for the back door loss. Looooots of goaltender speculation on the Twitter box tonight. Paging Adam Wilcox.

First Period
SYR Vermin, (11) , 6:56
SYR Gourde, (27) (Mormina, Cote), 7:47

Second Period
HFD Haggerty, (14) , 6:50
SYR Martindale, (14) (Marchessault, Nightingale), 18:47

Third Period
HFD Hrivik, (10) (Haggerty, Kristo), 3:55 (PP)
SYR Martindale, (15) (Gourde), 4:14 (SH)
HFD Vaive, (13) (Bodie, Lindberg), 8:00 (PP)
HFD Bourque, (27) (Crabb, Allen), 9:54
HFD Hrivik, (11) (Hughes, R. Bourque), 15:44
HFD Mueller, (13) , 19:32 (EN/PP)

Ryan Martindale was the game's second star.

Matthew Peca was scoreless in his pro debut in the game.

Syracuse clinched a playoff spot despite the loss, due to Albany's shootout win over Springield.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-1-15 Senators at Crunch

Crunch lose a tight one with reinforcements on the way.

BNG-3
SYR-2 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the OT loss. He made several key stops to allow the Crunch to secure 1 point in the contest.

First Period
BNG Prince, (24) (Camper), 4:05
SYR Angelidis, (20) (Courtnall, Vermin), 12:32
BNG Camper, (14) (Schneider, A. Grant), 17:53 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Martindale, (13) (Marchessault), 1:23

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
BNG Wideman, (17) (Dzingel), 3:06

Gudlevskis was the game's third star.

Syracuse has already lost Namestnikov and three regular defensemen to recall because of various injuries up top in Tampa Bay. They've gotten a little help with the signing of Brayden Point to an ATO and bringing the likes of Jared Nightingale back into the fold for a spell. They're about to get even more reinforcements, though, with today's signing of forward Matthew Peca and the word that goaltender Adam Wilcox is also likely to sign with the Lightning and may be assigned to Syracuse, as well. If they can get Koekkoek and Witkowski, at least, back from Tampa Bay and the likes of Tanner Richard back from injury, this could take a decent Syracuse roster to the level of a reasonable title contender in the playoffs. If one or two other active junior players can also join in the fun, all the better.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-28-15 Americans at Crunch

Makaroved.

RCH-2
SYR-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 24 shots for the hard luck loss. His save percentage has inched up to .906 for the season, despite the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
RCH McPherson, (2) (Catenacci, Ruhwedel), 4:04
RCH Catenacci, (12) , 19:52 (EN)

Gudlevskis was the game's second star. First star Andrey Makarov, who was Andrei Vasilevkiy's tandem-mate with the Russian U20 WJC team once upon a time, stopped 32 shots for the shutout.

ATO signee Brayden Point was -2 with 3 SOG's in his pro debut. As noted yesterday, there are a handful of other potential ATO's which could be added to the Syracuse roster this week, including graduating Quinnipiac senior forward Matthew Peca.

The loss, coupled with Hershey's win, puts Syracuse back into the 3rd seed, 1 point back of the Bears. 9 games remain on the regular season slate.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-27-15 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Peaking at the right time?

BRI-3
SYR-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 41 shots for the victory. Bridgeport made a big push in the Third Period, outshooting Syracuse 19-7 and getting a couple of goals, but Gudlevskis was ultimately able to get Syracuse over the finish line to secure the win.

First Period
SYR Angelidis, (19) (Ashton, Gourde), 2:41 (PP)
BRI Quine, (19) (Mayfield, Pelech), 15:36

Second Period
SYR Martindale, (12) (Kunyk, Marchessault), 3:06
SYR Dotchin, (6) (Mormina, Marchessault), 14:31 (PP)

Third Period
BRI Jeffrey, (22) (Ness), 5:21
SYR Vermin, (10) (Courtnall, Angelidis), 9:48
BRI McMillan, (3) (Sundstrom, Vaughan), 17:26

Joel Vermin, Jake Dotchin, and Mike Angelidis were the game's three stars.

The game got a little nasty in the Second Period, with matching ejections that led to Carter Ashton's early departure from the game for being involved in a secondary altercation.

Note that none of the Crunch's recent ATO signees, including highly touted Brayden Point, made their debuts tonight. More additions could be on the way with goaltender Adam Wilcox and Minnesota already knocked out of the NCAA Tournament tonight and Matthew Peca's Quinnipiac Bobcats down 3-0 early in the Second Period at the time of this posting. Both highly touted prospects could possibly make an immediate contribution at the AHL level.

Syracuse leapfrogs over Hershey into the second seed with the win. They're 4 points behind Manchester for the top spot in the conference (and the league) with the Monarchs holding a game in hand. The Crunch have 10 games left in the regular season, which is a nice time to go on a tear like the current, ongoing 4 game winning streak.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-22-15 Crunch at Falcons

Blujuspalooza continues.

SYR-4
SPR-1

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 14 shots for the victory. Not a typo. Light work for the Yak today.

First Period
SYR Courtnall, (6) (Blujus, Vermin), 10:25
SPR Adam, (14) (Chaput, Hoeffel), 16:52

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (19) (Blujus, Richard), 3:04 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (26) (Ashton, Koekkoek), 19:40 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (18) (Mormina), 14:03

Jonathan Marchessault and Dylan Blujus were the game's first and second stars. Blujus with back-to-back multi-point games for the first time in his pro career.

Justin Courtnall continues to look like another Julien BriseBois trash to treasure conversion.

Things get interesting in the next couple of weeks for Syracuse as the amateur ranks yield some ATO opportunities for the Lightning organization. Specifically, Brayden Point could be a prime addition on an ATO for the Crunch, and an early exit from the NCAA tournament could put Matthew Peca in a Crunch jersey very soon, too. Both would be nice additions to a Crunch team in need of more speed and skill, especially up the middle.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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