Syracuse Crunch

AHL Game Night: 12-18-16 Crunch at Bruins

Crunch drop finale of 3 game weekend set.

SYR-1
PRO-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
13:57 PRO Kuraly (3), (Porter, White)

Second Period
7:24 SYR Halmo (8), (unassisted)
12:43 PRO DeBrusk (5), (Grzelcyk, Grant)

Third Period
18:09 PRO Vatrano (2), (Heinen, Cross)(EN)

Mike Halmo was the game's third star.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-17-16 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Saturday night's alright for fighting.

SYR-5
BRI-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 13 shots before getting booted from the contest for fighting. Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 10 shots the rest of the way in cleanup duty to claim the rare bird that is the backdoor win.

First Period
14:01 SYR Hart (2), (Thomas, Peca)(PP)
14:47 SYR Gourde (8), (Brodeur, Bournival)
15:03 SYR Morin (4), (Dotchin, Taormina)

Second Period
9:24 BRI Gionta (1), (K. Jones, C. Jones)
14:05 BRI Pulock (1), (Toews, Kearns)
17:32 BRI Mayfield (2), (Kearns, St. Denis)
19:56 SYR Halmo (7), (Taormina, Gourde)

Third Period
5:53 SYR Comrie (2), (Taormina, Peca)(PP)

Matt Taormina and Matthew Peca were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse scorched their way to a 3-0 lead in the First Period and looked completely in control until 9:25 of the Second Period when Stephen Gionta scored Bridgeport's first goal and the following insanity broke loose:

Quote:
09:24 SYR Jake Dotchin, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Jake Dotchin, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 SYR Kristers Gudlevskis, Leaving the crease, 2 min
09:24 SYR Kristers Gudlevskis, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Kristers Gudlevskis, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 SYR Daniel Walcott, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Daniel Walcott, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 SYR Luke Witkowski, Slashing, 2 min PP
09:24 SYR Luke Witkowski, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Luke Witkowski, Misconduct - Continuing altercation, 10 min
09:24 BRI Patrick Cullity, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Patrick Cullity, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 BRI Kellen Jones, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Kellen Jones, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 BRI Scott Mayfield, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Stephon Williams, Leaving the crease, 2 min
09:24 BRI Stephon Williams, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Stephon Williams, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min

And a good time was had by all. Syracuse blew the 3 goal lead but were able to eventually regain the winning edge with a late Second Period marker by Halmo.

Syracuse is now 4 points clear of the rest of the North Division in first place and 6 points back of the conference lead with games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-16-16 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Goaltending duel settled in the penalty shot session.

SYR-1
HFD-2 (SO)

Adam Wilcox allowed 1 goal on 29 shots before conceding to both shooters he faced in the Shootout for the loss.

First Period
2:30 SYR Hart (1), (Erne, Thomas)
2:45 HFD Tambellini (4), (Kovacs, Jensen)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- NONE
HFD- Tambellini, Jensen

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Dotchin Working To Be More Than Stay-At-Home Defenseman


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jake Dotchin is adding more facets to his game in his third pro season.

Despite being known more as a physical people-mover than a flashy puck-mover, the Crunch blueliner is coming off a career week statistically. Dotchin registered five points and was a plus-five on Syracuse’s three-game homestand last week.

Dotchin is working to become more than a traditional stay-at-home defenseman.

“I think I’ve come a long way in the defensive zone, and I’m just bringing more aspects to my game now,” Dotchin said. “Bringing more offense will not only help me, but help the team win as well.”

Crunch Top Comets in Shootout, Earn All Six Points on Homestand


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard moved left and right as he slowly approached the net, and then quickly flicked a backhander that beat Michael Garteig’s glove.

The goal — followed by a save by Kristers Gudlevskis at the other end — sealed a 4-3 shootout win for the Syracuse Crunch over the Utica Comets at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. The Crunch captured all six points on the three-game homestand, including two wins against divisional opponents.

“It’s a very good week for us, obviously,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “Tonight we battled hard. It was our fifth game in eight days with some previous travel in St. John’s, so we had to battle hard last night and battle hard again against a very competitive Utica team. My hat’s off to our players.”

AHL Game Night: 12-10-16 Comets at Crunch

Crunch clip their rivals.

UTI-3
SYR-4 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 34 shots before stopping 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win.

First Period
7:45 UTI Pelletier (1), (Kunyk, Subban)(PP)
13:20 SYR Ikonen (1), (Bournival, Gourde)

Second Period
5:03 UTI Virtanen (4), (Billins, Robak)(PP)
7:01 SYR Thomas (1), (Richard, Hart)

Third Period
0:12 SYR Taormina (8), (Dotchin, Peca)(SH)
15:21 UTI Cassels (3), (Kunyk, Grenier)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
UTI- Valk
SYR- Conacher, Richard

Tanner Richard, Henri Ikonen, and Michael Bournival were the game's three stars.

Syracuse, for the moment, moves 6 points clear of second place atop the North Division. They're starting to make up some ground on Lehigh Valley for tops in the conference if they can stay on track.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Rally Past Devils in Third Period


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch found a way to rally late.

After erasing a pair of one-goal deficits, the Crunch pulled ahead late in the third period on a goal by Yanni Gourde, as Syracuse topped the Albany Devils, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“It shows we’ve got some confidence and we’ve got some confidence in this room,” Crunch assistant captain Erik Condra said. “No matter if we’re up a couple or down a couple, we’re going to work the same way. The puck was bouncing a lot out there, especially in the second … in the third we settled it down and played a more simple game. We know what we’ve got in the room. We’ve been rolling a little bit, and when you’re rolling like that you don’t want it to stop.”

AHL Game Night: 12-9-16 Devils at Crunch

Crunch top Devils in key 4 point game atop the division standings.

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SYR-4

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory.

First Period
8:08 ALB Quenneville (8), (Mandat)
14:07 SYR Richard (7), (Condra, Dotchin)

Second Period
11:04 ALB Coleman (6), (Pietila)

Third Period
5:42 SYR Erne (6), (Peca, Thomas)(PP)
14:36 SYR Gourde (7), (Dotchin, Condra)
18:42 SYR Condra (5), (Gourde, Dotchin)(EN)

Yanni Gourde, Adam Erne, and Jake Dotchin were the game's three stars. Dotchin with assists in triplicate is making waves at right side defense with Witkowski shuttling back and forth to the big club and Blujus out injured.

Syracuse pulls 3 points clear atop the North Division.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Wilcox, Penalty Kill Lift Crunch Over Phantoms


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite having to weather the storm from the Phantoms for long stretches in the second and third periods, the Crunch emerged with the win.

Goalie Adam Wilcox made 48 saves, the penalty kill was flawless and Matt Taormina’s goal late in the third lifted Syracuse to a 4-2 win over Lehigh Valley at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

“I think we have to give credit tonight to our goalie, obviously. He was our best player out there,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “Our PK was phenomenal too. I think (Erik) Condra, (Yanni) Gourde, (Michael) Bournival, (Cory) Conacher, (Matthew) Peca, (Adam) Erne with our group defensemen and our best PKer, which is our goalie, were very good. (The Phantoms) have a good power play, and they did an outstanding job at killing penalties.”

AHL Game Night: 12-7-16 Phantoms at Crunch

A goaltender rises...

LV-2
SYR-4

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 50 (not a typo) shots for the victory. Wilcox is now 9-3-0 on the season with 1 shutout, a 2.13 GAA, and a .924 sv%. His 9 wins now matches his total number of victories from all of his rookie pro campaign. Tonight was his statement of intent to take over the starting job in Syracuse permanently. I don't think, ultimately, he's going to lose in his bid.

First Period
11:57 LV Bardreau (3), (Knight)
12:29 SYR Peca (5), (Condra, Erne)
12:50 SYR Dotchin (2), (Gourde, Halmo)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:40 LV Bardreau (4), (Knight, O'Neill)
17:25 SYR Taormina (7), (Erne, Condra)
19:39 SYR Gourde (6), (Condra)(EN)(SH)

Wilcox and Matt Taormina were the game's first and second stars.

When the Lightning organization's farm team last won a championship with the Norfolk Admirals, they did so with a team that was fortunate enough to have two high-quality AHL starting goaltenders in Dustin Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus. Coming into this season, with a Syracuse roster stocked to the gills with veteran firepower, it's always seemed the limiting factor would be goaltending where it wasn't clear the Crunch even had one high-quality AHL starter. Now that we're well past the quarter post of the season, though, it's becoming clear one of the two netminders in Syracuse's tandem has risen up and clearly separated himself from the other. Adam Wilcox doesn't have all the physical gifts that Kristers Gudlevskis does, but goaltending is only partially about pure athleticism. Like boxing, goaltending is also a sweet science of understanding angles, body positioning, reading your opponents, and the ebb and flow of the game. Gudlevskis has struggled to find his calm place in the sweet science of the goaltending game. Adam Wilcox is finding his comfort zone inside the maelstrom around his crease and he's made his move. The numbers don't lie. Wilcox is now 7th in the AHL in GAA and 8th in save percentage.

Syracuse moves 1 point up on Albany for first in the North Division with 2 games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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