Syracuse Crunch

AHL Game Night: 4-9-13 Crunch at Monsters

Oh so close to getting the 2 points in the final road game of the season.

SYR-4
LE-5 (OT)

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 5 goals on 25 shots for the loss. Yuck.

First Period
LE Thomas, (22) (Hishon, Lauridsen), 4:13
SYR Sexton, (8) (Palat, Richard), 18:28

Second Period
SYR Namestnikov, (6) (Sustr, Korobov), 10:50 (PP)
LE Connolly, (9) (Thomas, Beaupre), 14:14
LE Vincour, (15) (Pock, Sullivan), 18:34 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Sustr, (1) (Korobov, Namestnikov), 2:03 (PP)
SYR Devos, (6) (Brown, Taormina), 3:26
LE Vincour, (16) (Hishon, Carey), 9:42

Overtime
LE Agozzino, (19) (Walker, Pock), 2:49

Ondrej Palat got the extremely rare penalty shot in Overtime, but failed to convert against Lake Erie netminder Kent Patterson.

Congratulations to Andrej Sustr on his first pro point, first pro goal, and first pro multi-point game.

Tanner Richard got a helper. In related news, water is wet.

Syracuse is now 3 points back of Providence and 1 points back of Springfield in the conference and 3 points ahead of Binghamton in the division. They head home for a hugely important 5 game homestand to finish the regular season. With Ryan Malone back for Tampa Bay, might Coach Zettler get back one of his star players for the kick at the finish line?

Box score from TheAHL.com.

What to Expect from Mark Barberio

In the old days of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mark Barberio may be a 2-year veteran at this point in his career.

The Lightning had little organizational depth and if prospects showed flashes of NHL ability, they were called up to the big club and thrown to the proverbial wolves.

When new general manager Steve Yzerman took over, he changed all that, and Barberio is a prime example of his player development philosophy.

Barberio to Make NHL Debut

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled defenseman Mark Barberio from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Additionally, defenseman Matt Taormina has been reassigned to the Crunch

Barberio, 23, has played in 70 games this season with the Crunch, posting eight goals and 40 points to go along with 44 penalty minutes and a plus-7 rating. He ranks third for assists (32) and fifth for points among AHL defensemen. The Montreal, Quebec native leads all Crunch defensemen in goals, assists and points. Of his eight goals this season, five have been recorded while on the man-advantage.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman has skated in 212 career AHL games with the Crunch and Norfolk Admirals, posting 30 goals and 132 points with 111 penalty minutes. Last season, while playing for the Admirals, Barberio won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s top defenseman. He was also part of the Admirals team that won the Calder Cup, registering two goals and nine points in 18 games during the playoffs.

Barberio was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round, 152nd overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

AHL Game Night: 4-6-13 Crunch at Bears

Rob Zettler's first win allows Syracuse to keep pace in the East.

SYR-2
HER-1

Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 20 shots for the big win. Once again, he's eased his season save percentage up to .900.

First Period
SYR Cote, (3) (Devos, Hutchings), 10:07

Second Period
HER Crabb, (2) (Taffe, Schmidt), 19:05

Third Period
SYR Palat, (12) (Richard, Sexton), 3:50

Ondrej Palat and J.P. Cote were the game's first and second stars.

Congratulations to Tanner Richard on his first professional point. Naturally, it was an assist. Luke Witkowski made his professional debut in the game.

This is how Syracuse has to scratch out wins with their finishers called up to Tampa Bay. It's got to be low scoring games and finding a way to get key goals at key times. Providence and Springfield won tonight, and Binghamton is going down late to Norfolk. If that holds, that will leave Syracuse 2 points behind Providence for tops in the East and 2 points clear of Binghamton for the East Division lead. Syracuse's last road game of the regular season is Tuesday against Lake Erie. They'll end with 5 straight at home, which might be edge they need to take the top spot in the East.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Lose, But Clinch Playoff Berth


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Rob Zettler kept his attention on the task at hand.

The Syracuse Crunch coach, despite hearing his team had clinched a playoff spot with a pair of Eastern Conference teams losing, focused on his team's comeback attempt late in the third period. But the 3-1 deficit turned to 4-1 with an empty-netter, and the Hershey Bears provided the rain for the Crunch clinching party at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday night.

"We're in, but it didn't feel very good," Zettler said.

AHL Game Night: 4-5-13 Bears at Crunch

Still seeking win one under Zettler.

HER-4
SYR-1

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
HER Kane, (14) (Orlov, Wellman), 9:18
SYR Jacques, (6) (Angelidis), 17:08

Second Period
HER Kundratek, (14) (Potulny, Kane), 19:21

Third Period
HER LeBlanc, (10) , 10:06
HER Kundratek, (15) , 19:51 (EN)

Time is slipping away for the Crunch to regain their footing. They will end the night 2 points out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference and tied inside their division. They have a rematch with Hershey in Hershey tomorrow night, which starts a 2 game road trip that will be the final roadie of the regular season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Zettler Anxious for First Win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

As he waits for his first win behind the Syracuse Crunch bench, Rob Zettler has gone through a range of emotions.

He’s excited and energetic, and comfortable yet anxious. Although his tenure has started with three straight losses, he knows it hasn’t stemmed from a lack of trying.

“These guys all want to win as much as I do,” Zettler said of his team. “I'm not worried about their effort. I'm not worried about how they played. We just have to find a way to get the W."

Bolts Recall Tyrell, Connolly; Reassign Four Players

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forwards Dana Tyrell and Brett Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Additionally the team has reassigned forwards Mike Angelidis and Ondrej Palat, along with defenseman Andrej Sustr and goaltender Cedrick Desjardins to the Crunch.

Richard, Witkowski Join Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It's all still sinking in for Tanner Richard.

After finishing up his first practice with the Syracuse Crunch Wednesday afternoon, the 2012 third-rounder -- one of two draftees signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday -- was just beginning to take in his new surroundings.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook since Monday,” Richard said. “It just doesn't stop beeping. Every time I look there's 15 or 20 messages from Facebook and Twitter and everything. Honestly, I'm trying to soak it all in and have a good time."

Richard wasn’t the only fresh face getting acquainted to a new team at the Onondaga County War Memorial. Defenseman Luke Witkowski (pictured), a sixth-round pick in 2008 who finished up his senior season at Western Michigan University, also donned a Crunch sweater for the first time.

Trade Analysis: Bishop Takes Conacher

Tampa Bay Lightning Rookie of the Year candidate and reigning AHL Most Valuable Player Cory Conacher was traded with a fourth round pick to the Ottawa Senators for goaltender Ben Bishop today.

Bishop, 6-foot-7, 214 pounds, has played in 13 games with the Senators this season, posting an 8-5-1 record with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. He also has one shutout. Bishop’s eight wins are tied for the team lead, while he ranks tied for eighth in the NHL for save percentage among goaltenders with 10 or more games played. He also played in 13 games with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL this season, posting an 8-3-2 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.

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