Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Downed By Devils, 6-2


By Jeremy Houghtaling

After putting the Syracuse Crunch on the board with a power play goal early in the second period, Brett Connolly celebrated with an unenthusiastic fist pump.

The goal brought the Crunch back to within three, but the Albany Devils continued to pour on the pressure to hand Syracuse its fourth-straight loss, 6-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"It's a moral victory that we played better tonight than we did last night," Connolly said. "But it's still not good enough."

Crunch Shut Out by Penguins, 2-0


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored twice in the first period, and held on to hand the Syracuse Crunch their second straight shutout loss, 2-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

Syracuse had trouble creating sustained pressure, and was held to four shots in the first period and 16 overall.

"For whatever reason -- it's hard to explain -- we came out flat tonight," said Syracuse forward Jon DiSalvatore. "You've got to be ready to battle, you've got to be ready for the pressure."

AHL Game Night: 3-21-14 Penguins at Crunch

Offensive outage continues.

WBS-2
SYR-0

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for another hard luck loss. Lack of goal support is a terrible thing.

First Period
WBS Machacek, (17) (Ebbett, Dumoulin), 7:38
WBS Payerl, (3) (Manderson, Zlobin), 17:39 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Gudlevkis was the game's third star.

16 shots on goal. That's all Syracuse could manage in the entire game. 16 shots on goal. That's about 5 less than Bishop had to stop in the Third Period alone against Toronto the other night. 16? It's embarrassing.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Smith Excited About Fresh Start with Syracuse


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dalton Smith doesn’t pull any punches as to what’s expected.

In limited minutes over his first five games with the Syracuse Crunch, the 6-2, 218-pound power forward has a goal and a fighting major, but while Smith has shown he can chip in on the scoresheet, he’s not focused on point production.

“I’m an energy guy, someone who’s going to stick up for his teammates," the 21-year-old said. "If we need a boost, hopefully I can make a play, whether it’s a big hit or a fight. Getting points is a bonus. They don’t expect me to put up big numbers. Just the way I play around the net, sometimes I get some lucky rebounds.”

AHL Game Night: 3-16-14 Crunch at Devils

Crunch crushed by Albany.

SYR-0
ALB-3

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 36 shots for the loss. Hard to be anything but apologetic to your goaltender when you get outshot 37-13 in a game.

First Period
ALB Hrabarenka, (6) (Zajac, Urbom), 16:53 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
ALB Sislo, (20) (Hrabarenka, Zajac), 14:45
ALB Sislo, (21) (McPherson), 19:38 (EN)

Syracuse just couldn't manage anything on offense. Nothing. Thirteen shots is embarrassing. Flat out.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Fall to Bulldogs in Shootout, 2-1


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Kristers Gudlevskis believed his team should have won.

The Syracuse Crunch goalie, having stopped 28 of 29 shots in regulation and overtime, turned away the first eight shootout attempts. But the Hamilton's Mike Blunden broke through for the lone shootout goal, as the Bulldogs topped the Crunch, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"I just try to stop the puck, because I think we deserved to win this game," Gudlevskis said. "That's it, just focus on that. I've worked on the shootout in practice a lot."

AHL Game Night: 3-15-14 Bulldogs at Crunch

Legendary goaltending by Gudlevskis, but no dice in the shootout.

HAM-2
SYR-1 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis sparkled, allowing 1 goal on 29 shots before allowing 1 of 9 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. That's a shame.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Connolly, (15) (Namestnikov), 6:42
HAM Leblanc, (12) (Ellis), 10:36

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
HAM- Blunden
SYR- NONE

Gudlevskis was the game's second star. He was bested in the goaltending duel by counterpart Robert Mayer, whose performance included stopping Yanni Gourde on a penalty shot.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Bounce Gives Crunch OT Win Over Bears, 3-2


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jon DiSalvatore's objective was to just jab the puck toward the net.

With nearly two minutes gone in overtime, the Syracuse Crunch forward took a whack at a loose puck a few feet from the net. In a stroke of luck, the puck went off a Hershey Bears defenseman, fluttered up over the goalie, kissed the crossbar and fell just over the goal line to give the Crunch a 3-2 win at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"I'll take it," DiSalvatore said with a grin.

AHL Game Night: 3-14-14 Bears at Crunch

Syracuse unleashes the secret weapon.

HER-2
SYR-3 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory. The Latvian rookie is now 4 games over .500 for the season and has inched his save percentage up to .901 for the campaign.

First Period
HER Brown, (15) (Newbury, Byers), 9:50 (PP)
SYR Landry, (1) (Paradis, Gourde), 14:04

Second Period
SYR Smith, (5) (Rankin, Langelier-Parent), 2:48

Third Period
HER Watkins, (10) (Kolomatis, Byers), 9:13

Overtime
SYR DiSalvatore, (10) (Connolly), 1:50

Jon DiSalvatore and Gudlevskis were the game's first and second stars. But, who cares about that? After nearly 3 seasons in the organization, finally Charles Landry was let loose upon the league. Tonight the young defenseman finally scored his first ever AHL goal. Congratulations.

Also, as advertised, new signee Yanni Gourde had a helper in his Syracuse debut, keeping the forward at his point a game pace for the season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Gourde Finds Home in Lightning Organization


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Yanni Gourde took the ice Tuesday as determined as ever.

The 5-9 left-winger signed a new deal -- an American Hockey League contract with the Syracuse Crunch for the rest of this season and a two-way deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning over the next two years -- last weekend. But Gourde, who spent time with three teams over the past two years, isn’t completely satisfied with his new found stability.

"It's awesome to feel that type of security right now," Gourde said. "But hockey is day-by-day. Every practice is important, and every time I step on the ice I need to improve myself to get better."

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