Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Snap Skid With Win Over Devils


By Jeremy Houghtaling

After totaling just three goals in the last five games, the Syracuse Crunch offense appeared to turn the corner.

Yanni Gourde gave the Crunch the lead midway through the first period, Jonathan Marchessault added a goal early in the second, and after the Devils cut their deficit to one, Vladislav Namestnikov sealed the win with a breakaway goal in the third, as Syracuse topped Albany, 3-1, to snap a five game losing streak at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

"I thought we started a little bit slow -- for six or seven minutes our execution wasn't there -- but we started rolling," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "I thought we competed hard. I thought the only time we were in trouble was the second period when we took three penalties in a row. It felt like they gained some momentum from it, they obviously scored on one of them, but we got back to our five on five game and controlled the play a little bit."

AHL Game Night: 2-20-15 Devils at Crunch

Offense starting to come together.

ALB-1
SYR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the victory. That's three pretty quality starts in a row as Gudlevskis adjusts to being the clear-cut number one between the pipes in Syracuse again.

First Period
SYR Gourde, (17) (Corrente, Ashton), 13:03

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (13) (Namestnikov, Vermin), 1:42
ALB K. Zajac, (1) (Thompson, Burlon), 9:16 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Namestnikov, (10) (Broll), 8:35

Vladislav Namestnikov, Jonathan Marchessault, and Matt Corrente were the game's three stars.

Syracuse had a couple of, frankly, horrible games as they tried to make the adjustment after adding Ashton to the lineup in lieu of losing Mike Blunden. They also had to deal with Marchessault being out of the lineup due to injury and a rash of callups, but you could see that game-by-game things were starting to come together. This was hardly an offensive explosion to get 3 goals, but now you're starting to see some lines gel and little-by-little the results are coming.

Syracuse will jump over Hershey onto 2nd in the Eastern Conference with tonight's result and they'll be 1-2 points behind Manchester for the top spot when the night concludes. So, the hiccup that the Crunch had hasn't compromised their standings position to any great degree. The Crunch are still in a great spot if they continue to build up as they have been doing in the last 2-3 games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Broll Looks to Make Impact with Crunch


By Jeremy Houghtaling

David Broll wanted to make an impact as quickly as possible.

The gritty forward, making his Syracuse Crunch debut last Friday, saw the opportunity in the first period when Norfolk’s Nic Kerdiles crossed the blue line and cut toward the middle of the ice with his head down. Nicknamed the Brolldozer since his time playing minor midget hockey, Broll laid out the opposing forward with a clean open ice check and later answered the bell by fighting John Kurtz.

Since being traded from the Toronto organization earlier this month, Broll is focused on taking advantage of his fresh start with Syracuse.

“I wanted to get into the game early, whether it was physical or getting puck on the net,” the 22-year-old said. “I took advantage of the opportunity there.”

AHL Game Night: 2-14-15 Crunch at Admirals

No love in Norfolk.

SYR-1
NOR-2 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the OT loss. He also stopped a penalty shot in the game, as well. It's another quality start for Gudlevskis, who has eked his save percentage up to .901. That actually matches his save percentage last season in the AHL before being recalled to the Lightning after Bishop's injury.

First Period
SYR Sergeev, (1) (Ashton, Cote), 5:19

Second Period
NOR Karlsson, (5) (Noesen, Manson), 7:47 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NOR Karlsson, (6) (Etem), 3:33

Artem Sergeev notched his first AHL goal of the season, while Carter Ashton got his first point with the Crunch since his re-acquisition from the Toronto organization. Baby steps for the suddenly offense-starved Syracuse Crunch.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-13-15 Crunch at Admirals

Syracuse has goalscoring amnesia.

SYR-0
NOR-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the loss. It was actually a quality start, but he would've had to stand on his head tonight to help overcome the fact the team could only muster 18 shots on goal.

First Period
NOR Kerdiles, (9) (Wagner, Etem), 1:13 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Manson, (3) (Noesen, Karlsson), 18:42 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

David Broll made his Crunch debut and promptly laid a vicious hit and got into a fight in a pretty robust physical game that saw a combined total of 72 PIM's handed out. Many were of the not-so-nice variety. As for the actual hockey game, one just has to hope that the Crunch are just in the midst of sorting out their new roles since the Ashton acquisition, and once they settle into the new roles the offense will turn back on. One hopes so, at least, after the team has been outscored 12-0 in the last 2 games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Dotchin picks up where he left off after injury


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Jake Dotchin picked up where he left off.

The rookie defenseman, who netted his first professional goal two periods before blocking a shot that injured his ankle on Dec. 5, needed little time to knock off any rust when he returned to the Syracuse Crunch lineup late last month.

Dotchin realizes the ups and downs come with the territory.

“I remember blocking that shot. It wasn’t a goal, but it felt like one to the guys and to me,” Dotchin said. “The guys were patting me on the back and what-not. It was unfortunate that I was out for that long, but it’s something I’d go down and do that for the team again, for sure.”

AHL Game Night: 2-10-15 Crunch at Flames

Whose idea was it to play a game on a Tuesday night?

SYR-0
ADK-10

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 13 shots for the loss before giving way to Allen York. Your gave up 6 on 14 the rest of the way.

First Period
ADK Reinhart, (7) (Agostino, Hanowski), 5:27
ADK Granlund, (6) (Hathaway), 10:11 (SH)

Second Period
ADK Cundari, (3) (Wotherspoon, Agostino), 2:24
ADK Shore, (11) (Cundari, Poirier), 8:00 (PP)
ADK Baertschi, (6) (Granlund, Hathaway), 11:42
ADK Baertschi, (7) (Hathaway, Cundari), 17:19

Third Period
ADK Elson, (8) (McGrattan), 8:22
ADK Agostino, (5) (Hanowski), 13:40
ADK Baertschi, (8) (Wotherspoon), 14:43
ADK Elson, (9) (McGrattan, Stevenson), 18:24

Not a whole lot you can say. Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes every bear in a 100 mile radius takes turns mauling you for 60 consecutive minutes.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Confident Despite Dropping Second Straight Game in OT


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Syracuse Crunch head coach Rob Zettler still sees his team as a confident group.

The Crunch fell behind despite outshooting the Springfield Falcons 18-8 in the first period and rallied to tie the score in the third, but Syracuse ultimately lost in overtime for a second straight night, 2-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Despite multiple lineup shuffles due to injuries and trades, the Crunch increased their point streak to seven games to maintain their lead in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference.

"The last two games we lost in overtime, I get it," Zettler said. "We're able to scrounge a point out of it the last two games. We're still generating a lot of chances, we're just not scoring right now."

AHL Game Night: 2-7-15 Falcons at Crunch

Revenge of the Bolt Prospects alumnus...

SPR-2
SYR-1 (OT)

Allen York allowed 2 goals on 36 shots for the OT loss. That's a quality effort for Syracuse's new backup.

First Period
SPR Craig, (12) (Sauve, Chaput), 7:11

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (15) (Richard, Koekkoek), 12:37 (PP)

Overtime
SPR Dano, (10) (Tyrell), 4:13

York was the game's third star.

On a night where Ric Flair was in the building signing autographs, it was a WCW-esque swerve that saw Bolt Prospects Alumni Ryan Craig score Springfield's lone regulation goal and fellow Bolt Prospects Alumni Dana Tyrell assist on the OT winner. It's like when Curt Hennig sided with the nWo in the cage at Fall Brawl. No!

Syracuse holds a 1 point lead for the Eastern Conference lead and the overall AHL points lead, as of this posting.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-6-15 Sound Tigers at Crunch

Syracuse backs into the AHL's top spot.

BRI-2
SYR-1 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the OT loss. Quality start for the Yak.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
BRI Graham, (3) (Conacher, Mouillierat), 7:41
SYR Namestnikov, (9) (Gourde, Smith), 8:37

Overtime
BRI Mouillierat, (16) (Graham), 3:36

Gudlevskis was the game's second star.

The point from the OTL moves Syracuse into a tie with Oklahoma City for the top spot in the AHL and moves their edge in the Eastern Conference to 2 points over Manchester.

The big news of the day, however, was the Lightning's acquisition of Carter Ashton and David Broll in exchange for a conditional 7th round pick in 2016. Ashton, of course, is a former Lightning first round pick who was shipped out of the organization in exchange for Keith Aulie (a deal we can now safely say neither team won). He's an accomplished power forward at the AHL level who should fill nicely for the injured Mike Blunden. Broll, a former 6th rounder in 2011, brings muscle, albeit not much else. He was playing for the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL prior to today's transaction.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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