We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.
However he gets into the lineup, Daniel Walcott wants to make the most of his opportunity.
A natural defenseman, Walcott changed positions last weekend after multiple call-ups left the Syracuse Crunch short a few forwards. The 21-year-old rookie responded by registering his first professional point Friday.
With Syracuse boasting a deep blueline, Walcott is willing to help out on the ice wherever he can.
“I was pretty fortunate that they trusted me to be the extra forward instead of bringing in someone else,” Walcott said. “They could have easily done that, but they take care of their prospects. … I’ve been waiting a while to get back in a game here, so it felt good. I have to work hard and show that I can go wherever they need me.”
Crunch fall just short of their own undermanned triumph.
Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 28 shots for the OT loss.
STJ Andrighetto, (6) (Barberio), 0:50 GIF
Tye McGinn was the game's third star.
The Crunch entered this game with nothing close to a full compliment of forwards due to the rash of injury recalls to Tampa Bay. Hence, you had defensemen taking shifts at forward. Cats living with dogs. Pure pandemonium. And yet, the Crunch managed to outshoot the IceCaps by a pretty impressive 47-28 margin.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
When the Syracuse offense finally got chances, it struggled to convert.
Crunch forward Philippe Paradis scored midway through the third period but Pirates veteran goalie Mike McKenna stopped the other 20 shots on goal, as Syracuse fell to Portland, 4-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.
The Crunch, who had won their last three games, have four of their top nine scorers called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s definitely a part of it, but it’s not an excuse,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “It’s the old saying that other people have an opportunity. I didn’t think we made it hard enough for that team to play against us tonight.”
Depleted Crunch fall to Portland.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss. After seeing Good Kristers in the last start he had, Bad Kristers reared his head tonight. Inconsistency is Gudlevskis' demon.
POR Brickley, (1) (Harper), 1:37
POR Schremp, (7) (Shaw), 12:09
POR Matheson, (2) (Balisy), 13:36
SYR Paradis, (3) (Richard, Gourde), 7:59
POR Olson, (1) (Gaunce, Balisy), 19:25 (EN/PP)
Philippe Paradis was the game's third star.
With 2 of the team's top forwards in Tampa Bay and Gudlevskis not on top of his game, things slid south almost immediately.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Matthew Peca’s goals in back-to-back games looked eerily similar.
The Syracuse Crunch center picked the puck off the half wall, danced through multiple defenders to the slot, and wristed a shot into the back of the net. Peca used his speed and skill to get into prime scoring areas, and was rewarded with three points in his last two games.
Peca is getting more comfortable and consistent as he continues to develop during his rookie season.
“Over the last couple weeks his game has been more consistent,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He’s skating a little more consistently, he’s starting to protect pucks down low, and you see these goals he is scoring off the half wall and moving into the high traffic areas -- that’s where he’s really good. He just needs to get there often and use his speed to his advantage.”
The special teams play proved to be the difference in the third period.
The Crunch took the lead with a power play marker early in the frame, killed off the Comets’ two-minute 5-on-3, and Kristers Gudlevskis finished with 47 saves, as Syracuse topped Utica, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
“To me, the guys tonight had a lot of guts to their game, a lot of battle to their game, and got a little dirtier,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “To me, that stuff gets rewarded when you do those things.”
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.”
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.”
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.”