Syracuse Crunch

Drouin Nets Two, But Crunch Fall to Americans


By Jeremy Houghtaling

One night after returning to the Crunch lineup, Jonathan Drouin found the back of the net. Twice.

The 20-year-old forward notched a pair of early goals, but Syracuse let the lead slip away in a 7-4 loss to the Rochester Americans at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“I thought we had a few turnovers in the second period that led to some goals, but I didn’t think it was anything outrageous,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said. “Then I thought we took some penalties in the third that hurt us. That was the difference.”

AHL Game Night: 3-12-16 Americans at Crunch

Third Period meltdown ruins Druinsanity.

RCH-7
SYR-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots before being lifted at 5:06 of the Third Period. Adam Wilcox allowed 1 goal on 5 shots the rest of the way for the dreaded back door loss.

First Period
SYR Drouin, (3) (Peca), 19:27

Second Period
SYR Drouin, (4) (Taormina, Richard), 9:48 (PP)
RCH O'Dell, (22) (Austin), 13:49
RCH Bailey, (12) (Austin), 17:24

Third Period
RCH Rodrigues, (9) (Sanguinetti, Mormina), 0:40
SYR Vermin, (5) (Peca, McGinn), 0:54
RCH Ruhwedel, (7) (Donovan, Schneider), 5:11 (PP)
RCH Carrier, (13) (Bailey, Austin), 11:51
SYR Dotchin, (1) (Blujus, Darcy), 16:46 (PP)
RCH Guptill, (2) (D'Amigo), 18:33 (EN)
RCH Baptiste, (9) (Guptill), 19:22 (EN)

Jonathan Drouin was the game's second star after opening up the game with a pair of goals. At a minimum, he's repairing his trade value with this early production for Syracuse.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Witkowski Scores Twice, Crunch Top Sound Tigers


By Jeremy Houghtaling

In a game that featured the return of Jonathan Drouin, the offense was generated from a more unlikely source.

Luke Witkowski, a stay-at-home defenseman who had one goal in 53 previous games, registered a pair of goals to lead the Syracuse Crunch to a 5-2 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. With the win, Syracuse has points in five consecutive games.

“I’d say luck,” Witkowski said of his goals. “Most of my goals are bouncing in off guys or just gritty goals. That last one happened to be me driving the net. I’ll take them when I can get them.”

AHL Game Night: 3-11-16 Sound Tigers at Crunch

The return of Drouinsanity overshadowed by the wizardry of Witkowski.

BRI-2
SYR-5

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory. Zettler continues to ride the hot hand after Wilcox has gone 4-0-1 in his last 5 starts. He's got a sporty .934 save percentage thus far in his four starts in March.

First Period
SYR Witkowski, (2) , 13:15
SYR Tambellini, (19) (Vermin, Dotchin), 13:49
BRI Kearns, (22) (Halmo, Lafranchise), 19:42

Second Period
SYR Witkowski, (3) (Drouin, Peca), 11:14

Third Period
SYR Gourde, (9) (Richard, Taormina), 14:23
BRI Fritz, (2) (Quine, Finn), 18:17
SYR Gourde, (10) (Richard), 19:42 (EN)

Luke Witkowski, Jeff Tambellini, and Tanner Richard were the game's three stars.

Oh, and Jonathan Drouin had a helper in his return to active duty.

Syracuse is starting to put a little stretch run together, having earned points in those 5 straight games. They draw Rochester Saturday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Goalie Wilcox Finds Groove in Consecutive Starts


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox has run with the opportunity given to him.

Coming off a recent slide, the Crunch turned to the rookie netminder to take over between the pipes. With a chance to show what he can do, Wilcox has registered 117 saves and backstopped Syracuse to seven out of eight points in the last four games.

Wilcox hopes the consistent starts helps him find the groove that made him a standout at the University of Minnesota.

“I’m feeling really confident and I’m feeling really good, and now I feel like I can play well in this league on a nightly basis,” Wilcox said.

Drouin Returns to Crunch Practice


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jonathan Drouin didn’t want to sit out any longer.

The 20-year-old forward returned to Syracuse Crunch practice on Tuesday, nearly two months after leaving the team on a game day in Toronto. After Drouin’s trade demand went public in January, he was assigned to the Crunch and played seven games before heading home to await a move.

Not dealt by the NHL trade deadline, Drouin just wants to get back to playing hockey.

“Obviously, I’m a hockey player and I wanted to play hockey,” Drouin said. “Sitting at home is not what I wanted to do. I wanted to play hockey with the Crunch. We’ll deal with that stuff when the summer comes.”

AHL Game Night: 3-6-16 Crunch at Falcons

Syracuse pulls away at the end.

SYR-6
SPR-3

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 35 shots for the victory. He's gotten points out of his last 4 starts and has evened his record at .500 for the campaign.

First Period
SPR Shinnimin, (4) (Grant, P. Samuelsson), 3:31 (PP)
SYR Vermin, (4) (Peca, McGinn), 10:43
SPR Bunting, (8) (Reese, Dauphin), 15:47

Second Period
SYR Blunden, (20) (Richard, DeAngelo), 10:46 (PP)

Third Period
SYR DeAngelo, (6) (McGinn, Peca), 4:29
SPR Cunningham, (18) (Szwarz, Shinnimin), 5:47
SYR Richard, (9) (Blunden, DeAngelo), 10:06 (PP)
SYR Blunden, (21) (Gourde, Richard), 16:57
SYR McGinn, (19) (Blujus, Witkowski), 18:49 (EN/PP)

Mike Blunden and Tanner Richard were the game's first and second stars. Both had 3 point games, as did Tye McGinn and Anthony DeAngelo. DeAngelo is now riding a 7 game points streak and has points in 10 of his last 11.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-4-16 Crunch at Pirates

Crunch score 3 unanswered to make Portland walk the plank.

SYR-3
POR-1

Adam Wilcox allowed 1 goal on 30 shots for the victory.

First Period
POR Brickley, (5) (Weegar, Gaunce), 4:57 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (8) (Walcott, Richard), 15:28

Second Period
SYR Richard, (8) (DeAngelo, McGinn), 17:55

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (7) , 19:55 (EN)

Tanner Richard and Wilcox were the game's first and second stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-2-16 Phantoms at Crunch

53 shots were still not enough for the Crunch.

LV-3
SYR-2 (SO)

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 30 shots before allowing 1 of 3 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
LV Martel, (20) (Lamarche, Palushaj), 3:15
SYR Blunden, (19) (Tambellini, DeAngelo), 11:39 (PP)

Third Period
LV Bardreau, (10) (McDonald, Straka), 9:30
SYR McGinn, (18) (Erne, Blunden), 19:30

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
LV- Leier
SYR- NONE

Wilcox and Mike Blunden were the game's second and third stars.

Syracuse outshot the Phantoms 48-30 in regulation, but it still took a Tye McGinn goal with just 30 seconds to go in the Third Period just for the Crunch to salvage a point from the game. The final shot advantage was 53-31 on a frustrating night where the Crunch probably deserved better.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Phantoms' Stolarz Stymies Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch seemed to throw everything they could at the net.

The Crunch registered 53 shots on goal and controlled the play for long stretches, but needed a goal with the extra attacker on in the final minute of regulation to send the game to overtime. Led by Phantoms goalie Anthony Stolarz, Lehigh Valley prevailed over Syracuse in a shootout, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

“I wish we would have gotten the two points tonight. We sorely need them,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said. “I’m happy with our guys’ effort. The process was good, the details were good, but the outcome was not what we wanted.”

Syracuse’s Mike Blunden finished with a goal and an assist. Tye McGinn added one goal, and Jeff Tambellini, Anthony DeAngelo, and Adam Erne each had one assist.

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