Syracuse Crunch

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.

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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.

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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."

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.


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.

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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.”

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