After skating in a red practice jersey Tuesday, Richard Panik reiterated his intentions -- he came to play.
In his first game of the season with the Syracuse Crunch Saturday, the 6-3 Slovakian winger posted an assist before absorbing a thundering check by the Hershey Bears’ Tyson Strachan. Panik quickly got up from the hit, and instead of taking the game off Sunday to rest and recuperate an apparent upper body injury, he was back on the ice against the Sound Tigers Sunday.
“He gamed it out against Bridgeport,” said Crunch coach Rob Zettler.
Was this weekend Syracuse's 2013-2014 swan song?
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 6 goals on 23 shots for the loss.
BRI Lee, (17) (Strome, Ness), 13:19 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (6) (Rankin, Tyrell), 15:44
BRI Persson, (7) (Mayfield, Bouchard), 18:15
BRI Vaughan, (3) (Wetmore, Langkow), 3:02
SYR Namestnikov, (13) (Connolly, DiSalvatore), 8:54
BRI Clark, (3) (Diamond), 9:32
SYR Angelidis, (7) (Tyrell, Rankin), 19:00
SYR Taormina, (4) (Namestnikov, Connolly), 8:00 (PP)
BRI Persson, (8) (Wetmore, Clark), 9:09
SYR Nesterov, (3) (Paquette), 13:58 (PP)
BRI Persson, (9) (Bouchard, Ness), 15:54 (PP)
Mike Angelidis was the game's second star.
Syracuse had a 3 game in 3 night scenario this weekend, and they managed to get 0 points out of the 3 games. Syracuse has fallen to second to last in the Eastern Conference, 10 points out of 8th place. At the end of the season, this may well be the weekend the Crunch point to as the moment when the season was finally beyond repair.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Jordan Henry is no stranger to Syracuse.
The 27-year-old defenseman spent parts of six seasons in the American Hockey League, including three with the Crunch’s rival, the Rochester Americans. For Henry, the Onondaga County War Memorial has been the site of plenty of fight-filled rivalry games.
“We played a million games here it seems like,” Henry said, then motioning to the opposing team’s entrance. “I played a lot of games from that side and coming out that door.”
But now, Syracuse is Henry’s home. The 6-2 Alberta native, who played two games on a tryout deal with the Crunch in November, was signed to a standard players contract Jan. 8.
Syracuse's playoff hopes continue to dim.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss. At least 1 of those goals was one he might like to have back. Now's a tough time not to get your best goaltending.
HER Brouillette, (6) (Stoa, Strachan), 16:43
SYR Paquette, (12) (Panik, Witkowski), 17:22
SYR Richard, (1) (Paquette), 6:13 (PP)
HER Latta, (5) (Schilling, Oleksy), 17:09
HER Latta, (6) , 12:28
Richard Panik made his season debut for Syracuse and was fairly dangerous throughout. Unfortunately, he also got his clock cleaned on a hit crossing the opposing blueline in the Second Period, which led to the game devolving into a pretty nasty brawl-fest. One silver lining is that Tanner Richard scored his first pro goal in the process.
Unfortunately, for the moment, Syracuse has fallen 9 points out of 8th in the Eastern Conference. Things do not look good right now, and they could not afford to give 4 points to Hershey like they have the past 2 nights. The Bears are currently in 9th in the conference 8 points ahead of the Crunch and are one of the teams Syracuse needs to climb over.
Bridgeport is next up tomorrow.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
After a 4-1 loss to the Hershey Bears, Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler was searching for answers.
The Crunch defense had lapses that hung goalie Kristers Gudlevskis out to dry and the offense -- despite having a 30-25 advantage in shots -- struggled to find traction against the Bears at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
"Maybe it was four or five days between games, I don't know what it was," Zettler said. "We seemed flat. Maybe it was practices. I don't know, I have to look at it and I need to do a better job of getting these guys prepared."