Syracuse Crunch

Crunch's Defensive Depth Drives Blujus


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dylan Blujus sees the positives in the competition.

With the eight defenseman combining for more than 1,500 pro games, the Syracuse Crunch has been forced to make tough decisions on who to play each night. Blujus knows that the amount of depth on the Syracuse blue line means any player who struggles is likely to watch the next game from the stands.

In his second year pro, Blujus has worked to strengthen his play in his own zone and chip in on offense when he can to keep his spot in the lineup.

“It’s also good for the D because you have to have a good game every night, because there’s someone who’s going to take your ice time if you’re not playing good,” Blujus said. “It’s tough, but it’s good for us.”

AHL Game Day: 11-29-15 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Miserable weekend ends on a hopeful note.

SYR-4
BRI-0

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 31 shots he faced for the shutout victory. His 2.01 GAA and .935 sv% thus far this season marks a clear progression from the previous two seasons when he muddled around the .900 sv% mark.

First Period
SYR Blunden, (4) (Peca, Nesterov), 4:05

Second Period
SYR Paradis, (4) (Mormina, Richard), 15:41
SYR Blunden, (5) (Nesterov, DeAngelo), 18:51 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Gourde, (4) (Richard, Paradis), 18:31 (EN)

Mike Blunden, Gudlevskis, and Nikita Nesterov were the game's three stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Late Spark Not Enough in Crunch's Loss to Marlies


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse searched for a spark.

After being held to one shot on goal in the first period, Crunch captain Mike Angelidis dropped the gloves for a spirited bout in the second and head coach Rob Zettler switched around the lines for the third. Syracuse scored once in the final frame, but ultimately fell to the Toronto Marlies, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“The start killed us,” Zettler said. “They were the better team for two periods, and we didn’t decide to play hockey until the third period when it was too late.”

AHL Game Night: 11-27-15 Crunch at Marlies

Crunch crushed by high-powered Marlies.

SYR-1
TOR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss.

First Period
TOR Leivo, (6) (Brennan, Arcobello), 6:24 (PP)

Second Period
TOR Carrick, (3) (Brennan, Frattin), 4:40
TOR Gauthier, (2) (Campbell, Clune), 7:01

Third Period
SYR McGinn, (3) (DeAngelo), 4:11 (PP)

Tye McGinn was the game's third star.

Toronto gave several of their stars the day off, including Bolt Prospects Alumni Richard Panik, and the Marlies still hardly looked threatened by Syracuse over the course of the game. Just two teams in a completely different area code in terms of depth.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-25-15 Crunch at Americans

Crunch battle back from 2 goal deficit to salvage a point.

SYR-3
RCH-4 (OT)

Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the loss. Not a great stat line, but the defense in front of him was a bit tardy tonight.

First Period
RCH Ruhwedel, (1) (Donovan, O'Reilly), 5:26 (PP)
RCH Rodrigues, (1) (Akeson, Dupuy), 9:32
SYR Taormina, (4) (Paradis, Dotchin), 16:04

Second Period
RCH Carrier, (3) (Bailey, O'Reilly), 17:24

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (1) (Blunden), 9:18
SYR Tambellini, (6) (McGinn, Taormina), 19:11

Overtime
RCH Dupuy, (2) , 1:49

Jeff Tambellini was the game's third star.

The Crunch's veterans pulled the sled tonight with Mike Angelidis keying the comeback by finally getting the monkey off his back with his first goal of the campaign. It's much needed with Marchessault up top in Tampa Bay.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Bolt Prospect of the Week

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect(s) of the Week for the week ending November 24 is … Joel Vermin, W, and Jonathan Marchessault, W, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL).

Walcott Embraces Utility Role With Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

However he gets into the lineup, Daniel Walcott wants to make the most of his opportunity.

A natural defenseman, Walcott changed positions last weekend after multiple call-ups left the Syracuse Crunch short a few forwards. The 21-year-old rookie responded by registering his first professional point Friday.

With Syracuse boasting a deep blueline, Walcott is willing to help out on the ice wherever he can.

“I was pretty fortunate that they trusted me to be the extra forward instead of bringing in someone else,” Walcott said. “They could have easily done that, but they take care of their prospects. … I’ve been waiting a while to get back in a game here, so it felt good. I have to work hard and show that I can go wherever they need me.”

AHL Game Night: 11-20-15 Crunch at IceCaps

Crunch fall just short of their own undermanned triumph.

SYR-3
STJ-4 (OT)

Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 28 shots for the OT loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
STJ Andrighetto, (5) (Barberio), 5:30 (PP) GIF
STJ Fournier, (1) (Dumont, MacMillan), 6:54 GIF
SYR Ikonen, (1) (Broll, Koekkoek), 15:35 GIF

Third Period
SYR McGinn, (2) (Walcott), 5:59 GIF
STJ Gregoire, (2) (MacMillan), 13:44 GIF
SYR Gourde, (3) (Blujus, DeAngelo), 16:33 (PP) GIF

Overtime
STJ Andrighetto, (6) (Barberio), 0:50 GIF

Tye McGinn was the game's third star.

The Crunch entered this game with nothing close to a full compliment of forwards due to the rash of injury recalls to Tampa Bay. Hence, you had defensemen taking shifts at forward. Cats living with dogs. Pure pandemonium. And yet, the Crunch managed to outshoot the IceCaps by a pretty impressive 47-28 margin.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Offense Struggles in Loss to Pirates


By Jeremy Houghtaling

When the Syracuse offense finally got chances, it struggled to convert.

Crunch forward Philippe Paradis scored midway through the third period but Pirates veteran goalie Mike McKenna stopped the other 20 shots on goal, as Syracuse fell to Portland, 4-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

The Crunch, who had won their last three games, have four of their top nine scorers called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s definitely a part of it, but it’s not an excuse,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “It’s the old saying that other people have an opportunity. I didn’t think we made it hard enough for that team to play against us tonight.”

AHL Game Night: 11-18-15 Pirates at Crunch

Depleted Crunch fall to Portland.

POR-4
SYR-1

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss. After seeing Good Kristers in the last start he had, Bad Kristers reared his head tonight. Inconsistency is Gudlevskis' demon.

First Period
POR Brickley, (1) (Harper), 1:37
POR Schremp, (7) (Shaw), 12:09

Second Period
POR Matheson, (2) (Balisy), 13:36

Third Period
SYR Paradis, (3) (Richard, Gourde), 7:59
POR Olson, (1) (Gaunce, Balisy), 19:25 (EN/PP)

Philippe Paradis was the game's third star.

With 2 of the team's top forwards in Tampa Bay and Gudlevskis not on top of his game, things slid south almost immediately.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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