While Syracuse failed to convert on six power play chances, the Hamilton Bulldogs cashed in three times to hand the Crunch its fourth-straight loss, 3-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
Former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Dustin Tokarski stopped all 43 Crunch shots for his first shutout of the season with Hamilton.
"He played really well," said Syracuse defenseman Matt Taormina of Tokarski. "He did see a lot of shots, but we didn't really get in front to screen him."
Rough result in Montreal.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss.
HAM Blunden, (4) (Dumont, Tinordi), 15:55
HAM Ellis, (1) (St. Pierre, Nystrom), 11:00
HAM Dumont, (1) (Blunden), 13:06
SYR Cote, (2) (Richard, Paradis), 15:13
HAM Blunden, (5) (Ellis), 19:00 (EN)
Tonight was a special game with the Bulldogs playing in front of the big league crowd in Montreal. Between that an Dustin Tokarski's obvious motivation playing against his old organization, Hamilton had some extra juice for this one.
These two clubs square off again tomorrow night, and Syracuse should have Brett Connolly in the lineup.
Following the game Crunch GM Julien BriseBois confirmed Vladislav Namestnikov broke his hand in tonight's game.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Despite spending more than a decade as defensemen, the pair was signed and turned into forwards. A dozen games into their rookie seasons, Olson and Nielsen are getting acclimated with the position change with the Syracuse Crunch.
“At first it was a little different, I wasn’t really sure what to expect or what to think about it,” Nielsen said. “But the more I play it, the more comfortable I feel and actually enjoy playing on the front end -- getting in front of the net and going into the corners as opposed to playing defensively.”
In his first taste of professional hockey last season, Tanner Richard learned the importance of being versatile.
The Syracuse Crunch forward started his first game on the fourth line, but was promoted to the top line after a mid-game injury. The lines shuffled a few more times, and after reinforcements were sent for the team’s Calder Cup run, the 20-year-old fresh out of junior was back to a grinding line to finish out his eight-game stint.
Although he was a playmaking first-line center with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm, Richard has become acclimated with his role changing on a game-to-game or shift-to-shift basis.
Cedrick Desjardins stopped 32 shots during regulation and overtime, as well as three out of four shootout attempts, but the Syracuse Crunch fell to the Albany Devils, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"Cedrick was the reason we got one point tonight," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler. "We gave up a number of Grade A chances, including breakaways and point blank shots that we normally don't give up...He came up huge for us."
"We battled hard, gave everything we've got," Desjardins said. "But we fell a little short."
CDJ bested in a goaltender's duel.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 33 shots before allowing 1 of 4 shooters to convert to take the shootout loss.
ALB Scarlett, (1) (Whitney, Boucher), 17:55 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (13) (Cote), 18:19
Desjardins was the game's second star.
Both goaltenders played really well and it took a laser from Kucherov to get anything at all on Kincaid. These games happen over the course of the year. The key is to not start cutting it too fine on your chances or overpass just because you've had a little scoring block.
The Crunch are off until Friday when they'll face Hamilton.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins jumped out to an early lead and held on to snap the Syracuse Crunch's three-game win streak, 5-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
The Penguins scored three times in the first period against Crunch goalie Riku Helenius, who played in his first game since being injured Oct. 19.
"I thought we were rolling a little bit in the first period, and I felt good about it," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "Then they had a goal, and boom-boom, they followed it up with a couple more."
Callups/blueline injuries help crush Crunch.
Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 27 shots for the loss in his first start back from injury.
WBS Despres, (3) (Mikkelson), 2:26
WBS Megna, (4) (Despres, Gibbons), 11:23
WBS Conner, (6) (Despres, Gibbons), 19:44 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (8) (Kucherov, Cote), 7:29
WBS Kostopoulos, (5) (Harrington, Ebbett), 12:55
SYR Rankin, (5) (Paquette), 19:41
WBS Gibbons, (6) (Conner, Zolnierczyk), 1:41
SYR Gauthier, (2) (Namestnikov), 10:38
Vladislav Namestnikov was the game's third star. It was kind of a perfect storm against Syracuse with Korobov up in Tampa and Taormina and Nesterov out, along with the top line auditioning a new winger with Brown up and Helenius possibly a little rusty in his first start back. Life in the minors. They'll build off the fact they won the final 40 minutes of the game 3-2. They face Albany tomorrow.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Danick Gauthier's expected stay with the Syracuse Crunch was one game.
Sent down to the ECHL Florida Everblades at the beginning of the season to find his confidence and improve his work ethic, the 6-2 forward was brought back earlier this month to temporarily fill a space in the lineup.
"He showed up and he played well," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "We thought we'd give him another chance and he continues to play well."
Gauthier has made the most of his latest opportunity. The 22-year-old registered three points in his first four games with Syracuse, and has earned a shot on the Crunch's top line alongside Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov.
With JT Brown called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Syracuse Crunch started the process of finding a fill-in on the top line.
Cedric Paquette was the first to audition for the spot at practice Tuesday. The Lightning's fourth-round pick in 2012 certainly fits the mold - a gritty, defensively-responsible forward able to play on the left side.
"I like him because he goes in and he's a little bit dirty, as far as going into corners, getting pucks and digging out pucks," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler.
But Zettler didn't rule out trying out other players before a pair of home games this weekend.