Syracuse Crunch

Richard Learning Lessons in Rookie Season


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard remembers the view of the bench as much as the goal.

After accepting a pass from Cedric Paquette on a 2-on-1 and burying it for his first professional goal last month, the Syracuse Crunch center felt joy and relief. It took 46 games, but the drought was over.

“It definitely took a while - a lot longer than I hoped for,” Richard said. “It was pretty special for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team so excited for a guy like that. After the first 20 games, everyone was pulling for me and trying to get me that goal.”

Like many players, Richard’s rookie season has been full of firsts.

Namestnikov Adds NHL Experience to Development Path


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Vlad Namestnikov received the unexpected news earlier this month.

The Syracuse Crunch center went through a range of emotions when he learned he would be making his National Hockey League debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning Feb. 8.

“It was an unbelievable feeling,” Namestnikov recalled. “Nerves, excitement -- everything together.”

During the first 31 games of his sophomore season, Namestnikov accumulated 13 goals and 30 points to earn the look from the Lightning. Despite already eclipsing his rookie season output of 28 points in 62 games, the first step onto the NHL ice seemed imposing.

“The first period I just couldn’t believe I was there,” Namestnikov said. “Everything seemed so fast and everyone was so big.”

AHL Game Night: 2-15-14 Crunch at Admirals

John Gibson holds off the Crunch.

SYR-1
NOR-2

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the loss. He probably deserved better.

First Period
NOR Wagner, (7) (Exelby), 3:08 (SH)
NOR Etem, (12) (Smith-Pelly, Grant), 12:56 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Korobov, (2) (Paquette, Mormina), 11:33 (PP)

Desjardins was the game's third star. Norfolk goaltender John Gibson allowed just 1 goal on 46 shots over the 2 games this weekend. Last night was mostly a product of Syracuse's offensive ineptitude, but this time they applied more pressure and Gibson stood up to the task.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-14-14 Crunch at Admirals

Crunch find no love in Norfolk.

SYR-0
NOR-2

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the loss. It's impossible to win a game if the team in front of you doesn't score for you.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Rakell, (11) (Smith-Pelly, Etem), 4:01

Third Period
NOR Smith-Pelly, (17) (Etem), 6:41

Norfolk outshot Syracuse 26-17 in the contest. 17 shots on goal simply won't get it done against a quality opponent like the Norfolk Admirals.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Comeback Spoiled By Falcons in Overtime


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Trailing 4-2 heading into the final period, the Syracuse Crunch started to play desperate hockey.

The Crunch, who dropped eight out of the nine contests coming into the game, needed a rally. Syracuse outshot Springfield 19-2 in the third period and scored three times to force overtime.

But a shot tipped in front of goalie Allen York spoiled the Syracuse comeback, as the Falcons topped the Crunch, 6-5, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

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