Syracuse Crunch

AHL Game Night: 10-22-16 Crunch at Penguins

Crunch offense shut down for the first time this season.


Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the loss.

First Period

Second Period
8:11 WBS Porter (1), (Archibald, McNeill)(SH)
10:30 WBS Porter (2), (unassisted)(SH)
10:51 SYR Conacher (2), (Thomas, Erne)(PP)

Third Period
15:45 WBS Simon (1), (Porter, Gardiner)

Needless to say, when you give up a pair of shorthanded goals as a team you probably deserve to lose. For a team this stacked to be sitting at .500 now is a little bit of a splash of cold water. We'll see how the team responds.

Box score from

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

Comets strike at Syracuse's potential Achilles heel.


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

Crunch Fall Behind Early in Loss to Comets

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s sluggish start cost them.

The Crunch allowed two Comets goals in the first 3:48 and played from behind most of the game, as Syracuse fell to Utica, 5-4, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“When you start the game and you’re down by two goals as quickly as tonight, it’s tough,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “I thought we battled hard to come back in that game. I just believe they were a better team than us tonight.”

Gabriel Dumont paced the Syracuse offense with two goals and one assist, while Michael Bournival scored twice. The duo, who both came over from the Montreal Canadiens organization over the summer, have clicked early in the season.

Peca Off to Fast Start in Second Pro Season

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Matthew Peca’s second goal looked like a replay of his first.

The center darted toward the crease and fired off a quick snap shot on a feed from behind the net to give Syracuse the lead late in the first period and added the eventual game-winner on a similar play midway through the second. Peca finished with three points on the weekend, as Syracuse swept a home-and-home series against Rochester to open the season.

Off to a fast start, Peca is looking to become more of an offensive threat in his second professional season.

“I think that’s the key in any situation,” Peca said. “You want to get the puck on and off your stick. We all work on that in practice. It’s good to see the first two go in. They were good plays — nice passes from (Cory) Conacher — and just one-touches.”

AHL Game Day: 10-16-16 Crunch at Americans

Goals! Goals! Goals!


Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 21 shots for the win, and then thanked Jobu for the sweet elixir of goal support.

First Period
5:31 RCH Rodrigues (1), (unassisted)
16:11 SYR Gourde (1), (Richard, Halmo)
19:14 SYR Peca (1), (Conacher)

Second Period
0:39 SYR Bournival (2), (Dotchin, Walcott)
10:26 SYR Peca (2), (Conacher, Erne)(PP)
13:31 RCH Strachan (1), (Bennett, Nylander)
15:14 SYR Conacher (1), (Vermin, Taormina)

Third Period
9:34 RCH Nylander (1), (O'Reilly)
16:06 SYR Vermin (2), (Condra, Richard)(PP)

Cory Conacher and Matthew Peca were the game's first and second star.

It's hard to lose when you're averaging 5 goals a game. Benoit Groulx must feel like he won the lottery after being tapped to coach this team.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-15-16 Americans at Crunch

The new AHL website is bad, and they should feel bad.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the victory. Life is good when you have low shot totals to face and sweet, sweet goal support.

First Period

Second Period
3:55 SYR Erne (1), (Blujus, Peca)(PP)
13:01 SYR McGinn (1), (Erne, Witkowski)
17:05 SYR Vermin (1), (Conacher, Dumont)
17:27 SYR Bournival, (Dumont, Dotchin)

Third Period
6:55 RCH Bailey (1), (Fedun)

Adam Erne, Gabriel Dumont, and Cory Conacher were the game's three stars.

Syracuse's depth at forward this season is obscene, on paper, and it will only get better when Ryan Callahan gets healthy and (possibly/probably) pushes young Brayden Point down to the Crunch to learn to play center as a pro. With that in mind, Syracuse's ceiling this year may be defined by if/when the Lightning resolve their goaltending situation up top, and if/when Gudlevskis moves up because of it. Syracuse is likely to have everything else, so they just need the goaltending to potentially make an epic run this year.

Box score from

Crunch Defeat Americans in Season Opener

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch dominated in the second period and cruised to a win on opening night.

The Crunch scored four times and held the Americans to four shots on goal in the middle frame, as Syracuse defeated Rochester, 4-1, in the season opener at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“I’m happy for them,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “I thought they played the way they wanted to play. We had energy and we had some legs tonight. We made some plays tonight. It was a good start.”

Crunch Push the Pace Early, Beat Comets in Preseason Opener

By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch pushed the pace early and racked up the goals.

The Crunch scored three times in the first seven minutes and held on against the Comets, as Syracuse defeated Utica, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial in the preseason opener Saturday.

“We were skating hard and playing with pace,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “The second effort was there and we had great habits. That was the difference in the first period overall.”

Syracuse’s Adam Erne, Cameron Darcy and Gabriel Dumont each scored once, Michael Bournival recorded a pair of assists, and Dylan Blujus and Brian Hart each had one helper.

“That’s the way our team wants to play this year,” Erne said. “We want to be ready from the start. It’s not slow hockey. … It’s moving the puck fast, playing forward and playing with speed. I think if everybody’s on the same page, it’s going to be tough to stop.”

Walcott Returns to Old Number, Regular Position With Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Daniel Walcott is returning to his old number and his regular position.

The second-year pro will wear No. 85, a number he wore as the captain of Blainville-Boisbriand of the QMJHL, and go back to full-time duty as a defenseman for the Syracuse Crunch this season.

While splitting time at forward and defense was a learning experience and kept him in the lineup, Walcott believes he is ready to shine on the Crunch blue line.

"I think I performed well up in Tampa and I got my confidence at D, and I just want to keep building on it," Walcott said. "A fresh number, a new start and a steady position."

Morin's Winding Career Path Brings Him to Syracuse

By Jeremy Houghtaling

One season after being traded twice, Jeremy Morin is looking to settle in.

The forward has called five cities and four organizations his home over the past six seasons in the AHL and the NHL, but now his winding path has taken him closer to where he grew up.

Morin, who is from Auburn, NY, participated in the first practice of the 2016-17 season as a member of the Syracuse Crunch at the Onondaga County War Memorial Tuesday.

"It's definitely been kind of a whirlwind, but I'm looking to make a home in this organization and get off to a good start," Morin said. "I think I'll have a good opportunity here. The coaching staff and the organization has been great."

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