Syracuse Crunch

Speedy Gourde Develops Into a Top Offensive Threat

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Like many times before, Yanni Gourde turned on the jets.

The Syracuse Crunch forward accepted the relay pass from Vlad Namesntikov in stride at the blue line, stormed in alone on Utica goalie Pat Nagle, and netted the eventual game-winning power play goal in a 4-1 victory Saturday.

Gourde, riding a six game point streak, is using his speed to his advantage to be one of the Crunch's top scoring threats this season.

“(Goalie Kristers Gudlevskis) makes a great play to pass it up to him to give him a breakaway, but no defenseman is going to catch him there because of his speed,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “He just needs to continue to use that. When he is successful, that’s what he does.”

Gudlevskis, Crunch Bounce Back to Top Comets

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Kristers Gudlevskis bounced back.

The Crunch goalie, one night after being pulled in a 7-6 loss to Albany, registered 38 saves and an assist on the game-winning power play goal to lift Syracuse over the Utica Comets, 4-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"It's a new game, that's history and move on," Gudlevskis said of the game Friday. "Most important was to bounce back from yesterday."

AHL Game Night: 2-28-15 Comets at Crunch

Gudlevskis gets his groove back.


One night removed from allowing 7 goals, Kristers Gudlevskis allowed just 1 goal on 39 shots to lead the Crunch to the win. Streakiness, thy name is Kristers Gudlevskis.

First Period
SYR Richard, (8) (Deschamps, Koekkoek), 6:24
UTI Shinkaruk, (7) (Blain, Huskins), 14:01 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (21) (Namestnikov, Gudlevskis), 7:45 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Richard, (9) (Blujus, Ashton), 8:27
SYR Marchessault, (16) (Koekkoek, Namestnikov), 17:49 (EN)

Gudlevskis, Tanner Richard, and Kevin Lynch were the game's three stars.

Don't look now, but first rounder Slater Koekkoek is starting to pick up some steam with 6 helpers in his last 5 games, including back-to-back 2 helper nights. He's also +6 over that span.

Syracuse sits 1 point behind Hershey now for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Devils Use Special Teams to Down Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse tied the score three times and briefly led in the second period, but Albany's special teams play proved to be too much.

The Devils went 4-for-5 with the man-advantage and added a shorthanded marker in the third, as Albany powered past the Syracuse Crunch, 7-6, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

While Crunch head coach Rob Zettler saw some things he liked, the overall game was frustrating.

"We have work to do," Zettler said of the Crunch, who sit in first place in the Northeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference. "We're not where we want to be in a lot of ways, but the bottom line is we continue to work hard and continue to compete. We just have to clean up some of the mess in front of our net and some of the discipline."

AHL Game Night: 2-27-15 Devils at Crunch

Crunch cut their kicker after he misses the extra point?


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 7 goals on 23 shots for the loss. Shot his season save percentage all the way down to .896 in the process. Freshly signed Allen York stopped 4 in mop up duty in relief.

First Period
ALB Sislo, (15) (Hrabarenka, K. Zajac), 5:33 (PP)
ALB Timmins, (7) (Boucher, Scarlett), 10:22 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (14) (Marchessault, Koekkoek), 11:55
SYR Kunyk, (7) (Ashton, Gourde), 16:57 (PP)
ALB Sislo, (16) (Boucher, Helgeson), 17:17

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (20) (Ashton, Namestnikov), 2:58 (PP)
ALB K. Zajac, (3) (Helgeson, Sestito), 8:30 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (14) (Koekkoek, Vermin), 9:55
SYR Kunyk, (8) (Broll, Dodero), 10:33

Third Period
ALB Wohlberg, (5) (D. Zajac), 1:03 (SH)
ALB Matteau, (6) (K. Zajac, Hrabarenka), 3:20 (PP)
ALB D. Zajac, (5) (Helgeson, Wohlberg), 6:51
SYR Marchessault, (15) (Vermin, Dotchin), 9:45 (PP)

Cody Kunyk and Jonathan Marchessault were the game's second and third stars.

I'm trying to imagine what an ex-defenseman like Zettler is going through having given up 10 goals in one game and 7 in another over the last month or so. I suspect it makes him want to peel the paint off the walls with his fingernails. The good news was Syracuse actually got 3 PP goals, but they ultimately lost the game because they were -2 on special teams including surrendering a SH goal. 1/5 on the PK and giving up a SH goal is just awful. There's no sugar coating it.

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Ashton Settling In With Crunch

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Carter Ashton is settled in and starting to contribute on the scoresheet.

The forward, reacquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade earlier this month, has built a rapport with Yanni Gourde and Tanner Richard on one of the Crunch’s top lines. Ashton was held without a point in his first three games with Syracuse, but has three points in his last five games.

“Sometimes it takes a couple games to find chemistry and get comfortable with the guys,” Ashton said at practice Tuesday. “It’s been a great transition so far. Sweeping three this weekend was good for the team, and I found some chemistry with (Gourde) and (Richard). We hope to keep that going.”

AHL Game Night: 2-25-15 Crunch at Americans

Tough return for Vasiy.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
SYR Gourde, (19) (Mormina, Namestnikov), 11:34
RCH Leduc, (6) (Austin, D'Amigo), 14:02 (PP)

Second Period
RCH Irwin, (12) (Schaller, Austin), 18:06

Third Period
RCH Dalpe, (16) (Carrier), 7:50
RCH Irwin, (13) (D'Amigo, Schaller), 13:13
SYR Mormina, (3) (Marchessault, Angelidis), 14:52
SYR Namestnikov, (13) (Marchessault, Dotchin), 17:15

Vladislav Namestnikov was the game's third star. He's now at a solid 32 points in 32 games.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 2-22-15 Crunch at Americans

Number one, with a bullet.


Allen York stopped 26 of 29 shots for the Crunch to cap their 3 win weekend.

First Period
SYR Namestnikov, (11) (Koekkoek, Corrente), 6:14
SYR Corrente, (2) (Gourde, Mormina), 17:54

Second Period
SYR Smith, (11) (Richard, Namestnikov), 16:46
RCH Reid, (8) (Tuzzolino, Leduc), 16:57
SYR Namestnikov, (12) (Marchessault), 18:11
RCH Varone, (13) (Irwin, Burt), 19:58 (PP)

Third Period
RCH D'Amigo, (9) (Irwin, Austin), 8:33

Vladislav Namestnikov and Matthew Corrente were the game's first and second stars. They've been usual suspects of late when three stars get announced. Namestnikov now had 30 points in 31 games. The Lightning will need to make room for him up top next season, because he's wearing this level out.

When you wake up tomorrow, the Syracuse Crunch will have the most points in the AHL. Nice. If they had a functional power play, they'd be untouchable.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 2-21-15 Senators at Crunch

Floodgates open.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 23 shots for the victory, as he bathed in sweet goal support.

First Period
BNG Camper, (9) (Prince, Schneider), 3:46
SYR Dotchin, (4) (Angelidis, Ikonen), 6:59
SYR Ashton, (5) (Gourde, Koekkoek), 19:45

Second Period
SYR Vermin, (9) (Namestnikov, Marchessault), 1:32
BNG Thompson, (6) (McCormick, Kramer), 8:24

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (16) (Ashton, Gourde), 7:53 (PP)
BNG Greening, (5) (Mullen), 14:48 (SH)
SYR Gourde, (18) (Angelidis, Richard), 19:37 (EN)

Mike Angelidis, Carter Ashton, and Joel Vermin were the game's three stars.

You get a power play goal and it turns out to be the game winner. Funny how that works. Syracuse remains in second in the Eastern Conference, just 1 point shy of Manchester.

Box score from

Angelidis Leads Crunch Past Senators, 5-3

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Mike Angelidis didn't pause to think over his answer.

The Crunch captain netted the eventual game-winning power play goal, chipped in a pair of assists, and dropped the gloves in a brawl in the final minute. But Angelidis was most proud of the two points in the standings after a 5-3 win over the Binghamton Senators at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"I'm proud the team got two points," Angelidis said. "We've lost a couple games there ... We got two in a row here. So it's key for us to keep going here. I think we've got to get our swagger back. The chemistry is starting to click here, especially offensively, hopefully we can just keep riding it."

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