Syracuse Crunch

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.

AHL Game Night: 2-8-14 Falcons at Crunch

No one can call the Syracuse Crunch quitters.

SPR-6
SYR-5 (OT)

ECHL loaner Allen York allowed 6 goals on 23 shots for the OT Loss. I'll let you all speculate on whether Desjardins or Gudlevskis would have performed better under the circumstances.

First Period
SPR Prout, (1) (St. Denis, Miller), 3:19
SYR Paradis, (1) (Rankin, Cote), 5:45
SPR Skille, (6) (Jacques, Chaput), 9:18 (PP)

Second Period
SPR Jacques, (7) (Prout, Bass), 8:50
SPR Aleardi, (6) (Thompson, Chaput), 12:55
SYR Tyrell, (6) (Richard, Korobov), 15:36 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Rankin, (11) (Richard, Sustr), 8:19 (PP)
SPR Miller, (1) (Marchessault), 14:35
SYR Angelidis, (8) (Tyrell, Connolly), 15:46
SYR Mormina, (3) (Richard), 17:28

Overtime
SPR Prout, (2) (Marchessault, Bass), 3:52

Dana Tyrell and Evan Rankin were the game's second and third stars.

Springfield is the top team in the Northeast Division. Syracuse is last in the East Division. Syracuse came into this game with an ECHL loaner goaltender. They came into this game without Namestnikov on top of all the other players they lost due to recalls. They fell behind 4-1 more than halfway through the Second Period. Would've been easy to make an excuse and quit. They battled back and got it to 4-2 headed into the Third Period. Then Springfield cuts the comeback off making it 5-3 with less than 6 minutes to go. "Nice try, better luck next time, boys?" No. They found a way to tie it up with 2 goals late and Panik hit a post in OT before they finally surrendered the OT winner.

Springfield is the top team in the Northeast Division. Syracuse is last in the East Division. The Crunch outshot them 41-23. No one can accuse the Syracuse Crunch of being quitters.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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