Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Use Big Third Period, OT to Top Senators

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox received some reassurance from a teammate before the start of the third period.

The goalie had multiple highlight reel saves to keep the game close despite Syracuse being outshot 25-11 over the first 40 minutes. The Crunch tied the score with two power play goals in the third, Jeff Tambellini netted the game-winner in overtime and Wilcox held the Senators scoreless the rest of the way, as Syracuse rallied past Binghamton, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“(David) Broll looked at me in the locker room and ‘The boys got ya,’” Wilcox said. “I said ‘I’ll hold you guys to it.’ I shut the door for the rest of the period, and the guys sold out … The guys came out and it showed the character of the locker room.”

Wilcox Looks Ahead After First Pro Win

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox is moving on after his milestone victory.

The Crunch rookie netminder turned aside 25 shots to lift Syracuse to a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for his first professional win Saturday, but was back to the regular grind at practice on Monday.

Wilcox is continuing to refine his technique as he progresses at the pro level.

“Obviously, it was a good feeling,” Wilcox said. “I was excited about it and it’s one of the hardest wins to get. It’s just getting over that, and now that the first one is out of the way, hopefully I can keep rolling here.”

Marchessault, Wilcox Lift Crunch Over Phantoms

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse took an early lead and buckled down on defense.

Jonathan Marchessault scored twice in the first 15 minutes and Adam Wilcox recorded 25 saves for his first professional win, as the Crunch topped the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“He was calm,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said of Wilcox. “I thought he was square to all the pucks and he saw everything, which is a good sign. It’s good for him. The games he has played so far, I actually thought he has played well but we haven’t played well in front of him. It’s nice to give him somewhat of a light workload and a W. He’s earned it.”

Crunch Battle Back Twice, But Fall to Devils

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Rob Zettler summed it up in just a few words: very frustrating.

The Crunch battled back from a pair of deficits but the Devils’ third period goal proved to be the difference, as Syracuse fell to Albany, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“I think it was frustrating for our players,” the Crunch head coach said. “I thought the guys played hard. It wasn’t a beautiful game by any stretch, but the guys played hard, they battled, and came back from 2-0 and 3-2. Then we had a turnover in front of our net with seven or eight minutes left and it’s in the back of the net. It is what it is.”

The Crunch’s Jonathan Marchessault and Yanni Gourde each finished with a goal and an assist. Nikita Nesterov rounded out the scoring, Tanner Richard added a pair of helpers, and Anthony DeAngelo and Joel Vermin each had one assist.

AHL Game Night: 11-6-15 Devils at Crunch

Crunch comeback dissolves into Third Period disappointment.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss. That's not exactly the kind of triumphant return one might've hoped for in Gudlevskis first action back from Tampa Bay. Then again, some rust due to inaction was probably inevitable.

First Period
ALB Thomson, (2) (Scarlett), 16:40

Second Period
ALB Blandisi, (3) (Lorito, Sislo), 1:41 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (2) (Marchessault, Richard), 11:41
SYR Nesterov, (1) (DeAngelo, Vermin), 17:45 (PP)

Third Period
ALB Blandisi, (4) (Lorito, Sislo), 4:03 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (4) (Gourde, Richard), 8:21
ALB Kujawinski, (2) (Mozik, McKelvie), 14:38

Yanni Gourde and Mike Blunden were the game's second and third stars.

It's a shame the Crunch spend all game crawling out of their initial 2 goal deficit only to relent the winner after getting the even footing for the second time in the game. Nikita Nesterov paid instant dividends in his return to the club by potting a power play goal that was the first equalizer toward the end of the Second Period. That's good news. Nesterov's regressed a bit early this year in Tampa Bay due to lack of action and a loss of confidence. Getting the chance to get more minutes, especially on the power play, is a good way for Nikita to get his swagger back. In the mean time, I'd expect a recall on the blueline to Tampa Bay for tomorrow's game against Minnesota (Slater Koekkoek?).

Box score from

Vermin Making Strides With Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Joel Vermin has continued to evolve as a player.

In his second full season in North America, the Syracuse Crunch forward is finding a way to harness his speed and skill, as well as making a habit of going to the hard areas of the ice. The 23-year-old has registered one goal and three assists in the first eight games with Syracuse this season, and is steadily improving many facets of his game.

“I feel really comfortable, I feel really good on the ice,” Vermin said. “I think I’ve made a big step forward from last year. I hope it keeps going like that.”

Vasilevskiy, Special Teams Play Lead Crunch Over Bears

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse got a boost in net and with the man-advantage.

The Crunch rode the momentum from their power play work and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 27 saves on 28 shots, as Syracuse cruised past the Hershey Bears, 4-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial on Friday.

“He’s there when you need him, that’s for sure,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said of Vasilevskiy. “He was there for us early there for us, he was there late for us. I thought our middle part was really good, but he made some big saves for us.”

AHL Game Night: 10-30-15 Bears at Crunch

No Marchessault? No problem.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. Syracuse is off until next Friday now, and in the absence of anymore games this weekend the logical conclusion is that Vasilevskiy will find his way back up to Tampa Bay pretty soon with Gudlevskis coming back down by Friday's contest. We'll see if that's how it pans out. 2-0 with a 1.04 GAA and a .965 save percentage is a pretty nice conditioning stint for a goaltender, from where I sit.

First Period
HER Gazley, (2) (Bowey), 2:46

Second Period
SYR Taormina, (2) (Gourde, Tambellini), 11:36 (PP)
SYR DeAngelo, (3) (Peca, Taormina), 11:52

Third Period
SYR Tambellini, (3) (Taormina), 2:28
SYR Blunden, (3) (Blujus, DeAngelo), 6:43 (PP)

Matt Taormina, Jeff Tambellini, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

Don't look now, but Anthony DeAngelo's got 7 points in his first 8 pro games. He's also averaging over 3 SOG's a game, which is symptomatic of fancy stat magic, from what I understand. Will his offensive game immediately translate from junior to pro? It appears so. Tonight was his first multi-point game with the Crunch.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-28-15 Crunch at Marlies

Vasiy returns.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 30 shots for the victory.

First Period
TOR Clune, (2) (Soshnikov, Gauthier), 5:29 (PP) GIF
SYR Vermin, (1) (McGinn, Witkowski), 14:55 GIF

Second Period
SYR DeAngelo, (2) (Angelidis, Ikonen), 6:56 GIF

Third Period
SYR Taormina, (1) (Marchessault, Tambellini), 15:31 GIF

Anthony DeAngelo, Vasilevskiy GIF, and Joel Vermin were the game's three stars.

Box score from

Rookie Defenseman DeAngelo Contributing Offense for Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Anthony DeAngelo picked up the loose puck, swooped down the edge of the right wing circle, and picked his spot over the goalie’s glove.

The Syracuse defenseman’s first professional goal during the third period Sunday in Rochester sent the game to overtime and secured a point in the standings for the Crunch. Six games into his rookie season, DeAngelo is showing he can chip in on the scoresheet, but is working on improving his defensive game to take the next step to the National Hockey League.

“It was a little bit of a broken offensive play, but he gathered the puck around the half wall and was patient enough with it to wait and allow their defense to bite a little before he took the shot,” said Syracuse Head Coach Rob Zettler. “He got himself into the prime scoring area, and it was a helluva shot. It went short side high and it was a big goal for us.”

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