Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Capture Late Momentum, But Can't Complete Comeback


By Jeremy Houghtaling

In the first five minutes of the third period, the Syracuse Crunch seized the momentum.

With Cedric Paquette serving a five-minute major penalty for boarding, the Syracuse penalty killers turned tide on Norfolk and scored the game-tying goal with less than 18 minutes remaining in regulation.

The Crunch searched for the go-ahead goal throughout the third period and overtime, but couldn't complete the comeback, falling to the Admirals in a shootout, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday afternoon.

"I thought our penalty killers were outstanding tonight," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "I thought those guys were gaming it out, played hard, blocked shots and got us a game-tying goal, which is huge."

AHL Game Night: 1-31-14 Crunch at Comets

Have you heard the one about a Latvian and a French Canadian who walk into a diner on the way from Utica to Montreal?

SYR-1
UTI-3

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the loss. After the game, Desjardins and tandem-mate Kristers Gudlevskis were summoned to join the Lightning in Montreal for tomorrow night's came against the Canadiens with Bishop's head injury and Lindback's sprained ankle.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
UTI DeFazio, (6) (O'Reilly), 3:24
UTI Pelletier, (8) (Grenier, Archibald), 13:31

Third Period
UTI Archibald, (7) (Grenier, Pelletier), 14:46
SYR Sustr, (1) (Angelidis, Panik), 18:55

I suppose the good news is that at least Andrej Sustr was able to get on the board. Sadly, though, the Crunch will be going into tomorrow night with a loaned ECHL goaltender between the pipes, in all likelihood. They've reportedly suspended Riku Helenius tonight for breach of contract. So, things don't appear to be on the way to getting a whole lot better for the Crunch. Perhaps there's a silver lining that there's no recall for Valtteri Filppula's spot as of this posting. It's not exactly something worth throwing a parade over, but Crunch fans have to take what they can get these days.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Sustr Focuses on Big Picture After Reassignment to Syracuse


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite being sent to Syracuse for more ice time, Andrej Sustr hasn't seen much game action.

The 6-8 defenseman, hurt on his second shift since being reassigned by the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this month, practiced with the Crunch Tuesday. After missing five games, he is nearing a return to the lineup.

“It’s been pretty good,” Sustr said of working his way back into game shape Tuesday. “I’m aiming for this weekend.”

With Syracuse on a five-game losing streak, the addition of Sustr is a major shot in the arm to a struggling Crunch defense that has surrendered 23 goals in the past five games.

AHL Game Night: 1-29-14 Crunch at Penguins

Nothing.

SYR-0
WBS-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss. It's not a great stat line, but it's irrelevant if the team in front of your goaltender can't get any goals.

First Period
WBS Thompson, (4) (Carman, Letourneau-Leblond), 2:11
WBS Kostopoulos, (16) (Samuelsson, Despres), 12:23

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
WBS Zolnierczyk, (14) (Dumoulin, McNeill), 1:31
WBS Manderson, (1) (Kostopoulos, Despres), 7:51

Right now this team can't consistently score goals and they really, really can't keep it out of the back of their own net. What Zettler needs to sell his team on is that if they focus on the latter the former will come to them. That's a hard thing to get straightened out, though, when you just can't seem to get the positive result to give you the right feedback for your work.

Syracuse remains 10 points out of 8th in the Eastern Conference, 14th out of 15 teams.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Panik Plans to Work His Way Back to Tampa Bay


By Jeremy Houghtaling

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.

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