Syracuse Crunch

Connolly Finds Confidence with Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Brett Connolly, the first one was the hardest.

The Syracuse Crunch forward, who posted 74 points in 89 games last season, went 10 games before registering his first American Hockey League goal this year. Still, he knew it was only a matter of time before the goals would start flowing.

Connolly finally broke through with a power play goal against Norfolk Dec. 6, turning months of frustration into relief.

"I knew it would come around," Connolly said. "At the start of the year, things weren't going in for me, but I think, in terms of my stats, I'm right back to where I was in the first 22 games last year. Usually it works itself out."

Gudlevskis Puts Olympic Excitement on Hold


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite receiving word that he was selected to represent his country at the Olympics, Kristers Gudlevskis is focusing on the task at hand.

The netminder was included on the Latvia men's national hockey team's preliminary roster for the games in Sochi next month, but after finishing practice with the Syracuse Crunch Tuesday, Gudlevskis reiterated what's important to him now.

"I don't concentrate on (the) tournament yet," the 21-year-old said. "I concentrate on the Crunch and do everything possible to win some games, get some points. When I need to go to the Olympics, then I start concentrating on the Olympics."

AHL Game Night: 1-4-14 Crunch at Senators

Connolly helps Crunch steal a point.

SYR-5
BNG-6 (OT)

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 15 shots before being lifted early in the Second Period. Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 17 shots the rest of the way for the OT loss.

First Period
BNG Da Costa, (11) (Schneider, Hoffman), 3:34
SYR Connolly, (7) (Namestnikov, Olson), 5:40
SYR Walker, (4) (Angelidis), 6:03

Second Period
SYR Mormina, (1) (Rankin, Paquette), 0:26 (SH)
BNG O'Brien, (5) (Hoffman, Hammond), 1:13 (PP)
BNG Prince, (6) (Hoffman, Wideman), 3:23 (PP)

Third Period
BNG Wideman, (4) (Schneider, Puempel), 1:16 (PP)
BNG Da Costa, (12) (New, Schneider), 1:50 (PP)
SYR Connolly, (8) , 8:06 (PP)
SYR Mormina, (2) (Connolly, DiSalvatore), 17:01

Overtime
BNG Wideman, (5) (Hoffman, Prince), 1:26 (PP)

Brett Connolly's game has been simmering nicely the past several weeks in Syracuse, but in his last two games he's gotten white hot. Tonight's 2 goals and 3 points marked the second straight 3 point game for the former first rounder and it included a wonderful individual effort tonight to score a goal to get within 1 and the primary assist on the tying goal. In the last 15 games Connolly has 8 goals and 19 points, and he's starting to close in on a point a game for the season at 20 points in 23 games. After failing to gain traction in his first Tampa Bay cup of coffee this season, Connolly may be making a case for another audition soon.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-3-14 Crunch at Marlies

Syracuse starts to look like Syracuse again.

SYR-6
TOR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 35 shots for the victory.

First Period
TOR Ashton, (10) , 14:24 (SH)

Second Period
TOR Crescenzi, (1) (Bodie, Holzer), 5:03
SYR Namestnikov, (9) (Connolly, Olson), 6:00
SYR Tyrell, (4) (Labrie, Mormina), 19:55

Third Period
SYR Paquette, (9) (Tyrell), 3:06
SYR Connolly, (6) , 5:43
SYR Labrie, (1) (Paquette, Korobov), 6:39
TOR Duco, (1) (Bodie), 6:49
SYR Namestnikov, (10) (Taormina, Connolly), 9:46 (PP)

Vladislav Namestnikov and Brett Connolly were the game's first and second stars. Just what the doctor ordered. Namestnikov, playing in his second game back from the broken hand, was joined in the lineup by Pierre-Cedric Labrie to go along with previous reinforcement like Tyrell and DiSalvatore and tonight it finally started to click for the beleaguered Crunch. Now, perhaps, the road back to the playoffs can begin.

Syracuse's win squares their record at 14-14-1-3, 5 points back of Adirondack for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Crunch head to Binghamton tomorrow night trying to put together a streak.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 12-31-13 Crunch at Penguins

Crunch crumble against the Penguins.

SYR-2
WBS-5

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Thompson, (3) (Samuelsson, Hartzell), 1:11
SYR Taormina, (3) (Connolly, DiSalvatore), 8:53 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (4) (Paquette), 13:03

Second Period
WBS Drazenovic, (5) (Samuelsson, Zolnierczyk), 8:56
WBS Kostopoulos, (12) (Mikkelson, Uher), 10:40 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Zlobin, (1) (Kuhnhackl), 12:20
WBS Sylvester, (2) (Zolnierczyk), 18:31 (EN)

Syracuse is a disgusting 2-6-0-2 in their last 10 games and have fallen to .500 for the season at 13-13-1-3.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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