Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Sets Attendance Record in Win Over Utica

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite knowing there would be a record-breaking crowd in attendance, the Syracuse Crunch focused on the task at hand.

The Crunch battled back from an early deficit, took the lead in the second period and held on in the third, as Syracuse topped the Utica Comets, 2-1, in front of 30,715 people at the Frozen Dome Classic Saturday. The total sets a new United States professional hockey attendance record, which was previously held by the Lightning.

"In the beginning, when we were standing on the goal line, you look around and it's really impressive to see all those people in that building," said Crunch forward Joel Vermin. "After one or two shifts, it's a game and you've got to execute."

AHL Game Night: 11-22-14 Comets at Crunch

Vasilevskiy shines on the big stage in the Frozen Dome.


Andrei Vasilevskiy had his finest start of the year, turning aside 26 of 27 shots for the victory. He made big saves at big moments to preserve the margin of victory for the Crunch, and he did it in front of 30,000+ people. The young man's got some swagger, no doubt. I could see his season taking off like a rocket ship from here on out.

First Period
UTI Friesen, (2) (Kenins, Jensen), 3:12
SYR Vermin, (5) (Richard), 16:00

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (8) (Marchessault, Nesterov), 0:49

Third Period

Vasilevskiy, Yanni Gourde, and Tanner Richard were the game's three stars.

Utica is a fine club, entering the night atop the Western Conference. This was a measuring stick game coming off of a loss that snapped an 8 game point streak for the Crunch. The win will put Syracuse back into a tie for the top spot in their division and continues to reinforce that this Syracuse team is going to be a real player in the AHL hunt this season.

Attendance at tonight's game at the Carrier Dome was 30,715, which breaks the all-time indoor record set by the crowd in Tampa Bay for Game Six of the Lightning and Flyers series of 28,138 way back in 1996 (I was there) at Thunderdome in St. Petersburg.

Box score from

Lynch Adds Depth, Versatility to Syracuse

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Kevin Lynch’s goal was to catch on with an American Hockey League team.

Lynch, a former Columbus Blue Jackets second-rounder, split his rookie season between Toledo and Evansville of the ECHL, but believed he could make the next step. After posting six points in nine games with Florida, Lynch got the call saying he had been offered a professional tryout with the Syracuse Crunch last week.

“You have some idea in your head ‘Maybe if I play well at the beginning of the season, I’ll get called up this month or this month,’ but you have no idea how the season is going to go,” Lynch said. “I was surprised and really happy at the same time.”

AHL Game Night: 11-21-14 Crunch at Flames

All good things...


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
ADK Wolf, (3) (Vause, Wotherspoon), 0:13

Second Period
SYR Witkowski, (1) (Richard, Kunyk), 17:42
ADK Vause, (1) (Poirier, Wolf), 19:58

Third Period
ADK Reid, (2) (Cundari), 11:56 (PP)
ADK Poirier, (4) (Cundari, Reid), 16:56 (PP)

Syracuse's points streak is snapped at 8 games. Hard to believe Adirondack could withstand deployment of the secret weapon, Luke Witkowski, but the goal allowed with 2 seconds left in the Second Period ended up being a killer. Goals early and late in periods...

Yanni Gourde's point streak was also snapped at 6 games.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 11-19-14 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Syracuse on fire, with room still to grow.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the victory. Ugly stat line, and yet the Crunch are still tied for the top spot in their division. Imagine when the defense and Vasilevskiy show more improvement.

First Period
SYR Angelidis, (5) (Ikonen), 0:16
HFD Kostka, (1) (Allen, Mueller), 0:43
HFD Vaive, (4) , 6:01
SYR Gourde, (6) (Vermin, Marchessault), 6:34 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (6) (Paradis), 10:40
SYR Gourde, (7) (Richard), 16:01

Second Period
HFD Allen, (3) (Vaive, Crabb), 8:06
HFD Miller, (6) (Hrivik, Allen), 19:19

Third Period
SYR Paradis, (1) (Witkowski, Richard), 4:00

Mike Angelidis and Yanni Gourde were the game's first and second stars.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 11-15-14 Crunch at Penguins

Syracuse movin' on up.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory. He kept his team in the game and gave them the opportunity to make, and complete, the comeback bid.

First Period
WBS Sheary, (4) (Rowney, Dumoulin), 12:33
WBS Ebbett, (4) (Wilson, Pouliot), 13:38 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (4) (Koekkoek, Paradis), 16:41

Third Period
SYR Gourde, (5) (Nesterov, Marchessault), 2:16 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (4) (Dotchin), 10:11

Yanni Gourde and Mike Angelidis were the game's first and third stars. Gourde now has 5 goals and 9 points in 7 games this month.

The Pens held the top spot in the Northeast Division coming into the game, 2 points ahead of Syracuse. So, the Crunch move into a tie with Wilkes-Barre Scranton at 19 points, and with Albany losing tonight the Crunch will hold a share of the division lead at the end of the night. They'll also have another key divisional matchup Wednesday in Hartford.

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Crunch Power Past Bears, 5-1

By Jeremy Houghtaling

It took two minutes for the Syracuse Crunch to find the answer.

After a defensive lapse allowed Hershey to take an early lead, the Crunch roared back for five-straight goals in a 5-1 win over the Bears at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. Syracuse has registered a point in the standings in each of the last six games.

"Real good teams find a way to get back into the game quick," said Crunch captain Mike Angelidis, who netted the goal to tie the game in the first period. "You always want to be the first team to score, it's a huge momentum booster. They got the first one, but I thought we were putting pressure on them the whole time."

AHL Game Night: 11-14-14 Bears at Crunch

Putting it all together.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 22 shots for the victory. It's Vasya's first regulation win in nearly a month, and while his save percentage still languishes below the .900 line, he did manage to even his record at 2-2-3 with the win tonight. So, you hope he's been through the worst of it and now we're going to see him really start to live up to his potential from hereon out.

First Period
HER Newbury, (9) (Wellman, Walker), 5:58
SYR Angelidis, (3) (Gourde), 7:58
SYR Lynch, (1) (Samson, Smith), 14:11

Second Period
SYR Ikonen, (1) (Angelidis, Smith), 4:19

Third Period
SYR Nesterov, (2) (Marchessault, Samson), 9:18 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (6) , 17:38 (EN)

Mike Angelidis, Jonathan Marchessault, and Dalton Smith were the game's three stars. It's been a while since Syracuse absolutely smashed a team like this, and it's a beautiful thing to see the depth of this team come to the forefront and to see such a solid defensive effort limiting a team to 22 shots on goal.

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Richard Looks to Bounce Back in Sophomore Season 

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Tanner Richard doesn’t fit easily into a single category.

The Crunch forward, a top point producer in junior, turned into a grinder during his rookie campaign with Syracuse last season. With more opportunity on a scoring line this year, Richard has a shootout winner and six points — four of which came in the last three games — and 32 penalty minutes in his first 13 games this season.

Richard is hoping his versatility makes him a mainstay in the Crunch lineup — no matter what line he’s assigned.

“That’s what I was drafted as, a point producer,” the 21-year-old center said. “My numbers were nowhere near where they needed to be and where I wanted them to be last year, so that was frustrating. I’m just hoping I can produce and provide secondary scoring for the team and contribute that way. At the same time, be gritty in front of the net and stand up for teammates.”

AHL Game Day: 11-12-14 Crunch at Devils

The Gourde and Richard Show rolls on.

ALB-2 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 22 shots and stopped 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win.

First Period
ALB Timmins, (5) (Thompson), 1:06
SYR Gourde, (3) , 4:49

Second Period
SYR Vermin, (4) (Dotchin, Marchessault), 2:52

Third Period
ALB Sestito, (3) (Scarlett), 2:44


SYR- Gourde, Richard
ALB- Thompson

Joel Vermin and Tanner Richard were the game's first and third stars. After posting just 1 point in 8 games in the month of October, Yanni Gourde had 3 goals and 6 points in 5 games in November. Richard, who faced the same futility at the scoresheet in October, has 2 goals and 5 points in 5 games this month, and obviously had the shootout winner tonight.

I also remain pleasantly surprised by the production of some of the Lightning's middle-tier rookie blueliners. Both Dylan Blujus and Jake Dotchin continue to hover around a half a point a game and are on the plus side of the ledger for the year.

With the win, Syracuse climbs into 8th place in the Eastern Conference, just 2 points back of division leaders Hartford and Bridgeport. Syracuse faces Hershey next on Friday.

Box score from

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