Syracuse Crunch

Americans Power Past Crunch, 5-3


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler was happy with the effort, but not the result.

The Crunch allowed a pair of power play goals and empty-netters, as they fell to the Rochester Americans, 5-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"I thought our guys played well tonight," Zettler said. "I thought they competed hard, I thought they played well and I thought they deserved a better fate."

Syracuse's Vlad Namestnikov opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal a little more than five minutes into the second, but the Crunch didn't stay ahead long.

AHL Game Night: 3-8-14 Americans at Crunch

Syracuse falls short in a tight one.

RCH-5
SYR-3

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 18 shots for the loss. This was one of the rare games where you had an opponent getting 2 EN goals sandwiched around a 6th attacker goal. Putting that tidbit aside, 3 goals on 18 shots is an ugly stat line for a goaltender.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Namestnikov, (16) (Connolly), 5:13 (SH)
RCH Larsson, (13) (Varone, MacKenzie), 9:59
RCH Adam, (25) , 10:57 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Paquette, (15) (DiSalvatore, Henry), 1:55
RCH Larsson, (14) (Tardif, Varone), 5:12 (PP)
RCH Varone, (13) , 18:34 (EN)
SYR Rankin, (12) (Paquette, Connolly), 19:36 (PP)
RCH Zigomanis, (11) , 19:42 (EN)

Cedric Paquette had the 7th multi-point night of his rookie campaign as the Dump Truck is closing in on a haul of about 20 goals. That'd be a nice number to get to in his maiden voyage in professional hockey.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Fall Behind Early, Lose to Americans 4-1


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler will look at the tape, but he already knows what it will show.

The Crunch allowed three first period goals and struggled to get sustained pressure, as they fell to the Americans, 4-1, at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester Friday.

"All of our chances came from getting it deep and then going from there," Zettler said. "We have some good size and we have some guys that can grind it out down low, but we weren't committed to doing that."

AHL Game Night: 3-7-14 Crunch at Americans

Thin Crunch defense ad rusty goaltending exposed.

SYR-1
RCH-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 26 shots for the loss. After the game, Head Coach Rob Zettler said Gudlevsis might've wanted a couple of those goals back. That's perhaps unsurprising considering tonight was Kristers' first game action in a couple of weeks since standing on his head against Canada in the Olympics. Rust and readjustment were perhaps to be expected.

First Period
RCH Larsson, (12) (Catenacci, Armia), 11:29
RCH Tardif, (18) (Varone, Ruhwedel), 14:41 (PP)
RCH Schaller, (4) (Pysyk, Lieuwen), 17:51

Second Period
RCH Armia, (6) (Gillies, Ruhwedel), 14:05

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (10) (Namestnikov, Nesterov), 8:56

With injuries and the recent trade of Matt Taormina leaving the Crunch thin on the backline, they had to press some of their more fringe prospects into service. The result was Rochester swiftly racing out to a 4-0 lead. Follow the minuses and you'll see exactly who Rochester was picking on. Couple a green D with shaky goaltending, and that's the end result.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Sergeev Thrives With Increased Ice Time


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Artem Sergeev saw his opportunity and responded.

With three significant injuries to the Crunch blueline, Sergeev has thrived with increased ice time. The 20-year-old rookie defenseman has averaged close to 20 minutes a night and played in all situations, as Syracuse has gone 4-2 to snap out of a recent slide.

For Syracuse Crunch coach Rob Zettler, Sergeev has elevated his play in the last few weeks.

"I've really liked his physical play," Zettler said. "He's been smart. He uses his body well. He's a big, thick guy and he's strong. He's starting to understand how he can best use it to his advantage, and he's done that lately."

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