For head coach Rob Zettler, it came down to a couple mental errors early.
The Crunch allowed a shorthanded goal on their first man-advantage and the Americans tallied a power play goal later in the first period, as Syracuse dropped its third-straight game to Rochester, 3-0, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
"Special teams were the difference," Zettler said. "They scored on the power play, we gave up one on our power play. The rest of the game I thought we were all over them."
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 25 shots, dropping the decision to Andrey Makarov, who stopped all 38 he faced at the other end.
RCH Armia, (4) (Leduc, Makarov), 2:58 (SH)
RCH Leduc, (1) (Pysyk, Grigorenko), 19:02 (PP)
RCH Varone, (4) (Adam, Samuels-Thomas), 7:42
It's rough to get shutout, but I'd say there were silver linings. They settled down after a rough First Period and outshot Rochester 25-11 the rest of the way. That's solid. They just couldn't crack Makarov, who can be impenetrable when he's on his game. Rochester is pretty loaded with high draft picks, too, so it's not like they were playing the sisters of the poor. They just really need to get some continuity and some bounces to go their way, and I think they'll be fine.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 5 goals on 30 shots for the loss. Despite the setback, he still sports a respectable .912 save percentage for the season.
SPR Madaisky, (1) (Gibbons), 0:19
SPR Collins, (1) (Gibbons, Craig), 4:00 (PP)
SPR Rychel, (2) (Sedlak, Collins), 8:32
SPR Tynan, (1) (Labrie, Anderson), 13:32
SYR Vermin, (2) (Blunden, Marchessault), 2:32
SPR Monardo, (5) , 7:19
Playing 3 games in less than 72 hours is hard enough. Doing so with your entire roster in flux the whole time makes it nearly impossible to have anything resembling continuity or consistency. It's a reality of minor league hockey when you have a rash of injuries up top, and that's what bit Syracuse this weekend. Mike Blunden and Jonathan Marchessault, for their parts, did assist on Syracuse's lone goal, fresh off the plane from Minnesota.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the OT victory.
WOR Abeltshauser, (1) (Hamilton, Trupp), 7:54 (PP)
SYR Smith, (1) (Samson), 8:27
SYR Angelidis, (1) (Paradis), 9:54
WOR Haley, (4) (Emanuelsson, Carpenter), 18:49
SYR Nesterov, (1) (Marchessault), 5:08 (PP)
Nikita Nesterov and Dalton Smith were the game's first and second stars.
With J.T. Brown and Brett Connolly getting hurt in tonight's Lightning game at Winnipeg, we'll see if a forward like Marchessault or Blunden gets the call for tomorrow's game at Minnesota. The Crunch, for their part, face Portland tomorrow.
The first surge gave the Syracuse Crunch a short-lived lead, but the second sealed the win.
Syracuse scored 25 seconds apart in the second period and 70 seconds apart in the third, as the Crunch beat the Binghamton Senators, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"When we got on the ice after the goal, we just said 'Hey, we need a good one,'" said Crunch forward Joel Vermin, who finished with a goal and an assist. "It's crucial. Right after a goal, you need a good shift."
Crunch's stars help pull out big victory over Bingo.
Kristers Gudlevskis had an excellent night allowing just 2 goals on 45 shots for the victory. Both defenses were porous, but Gudlevskis outdueled his counterpart at the opposite end of the rink.
BNG Schneider, (1) (Prince, Wideman), 3:58
SYR Marchessault, (2) (Paquette, Drouin), 5:19
SYR Vermin, (1) (Blunden), 5:44
BNG Puempel, (1) (Johnson, Schneider), 8:51 (PP)
SYR Blunden, (2) (Vermin, Kunyk), 13:20
SYR Corrente, (1) (Paquette, Drouin), 14:30
Mike Blunden, Jonathan Drouin, and Gudlevskis were the game's three stars. Drouin had 2 helpers and a game high 7 shots on goal. The current plan appears to be for Drouin to remain with the Crunch through next weekend before he rejoins the Lightning.
Syracuse travels to Worcester to play the Sharks next Friday.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for his first professional victory in North America.
SYR Marchessault, (1) (Cote, Blujus), 8:44
SPR Tyrell, (1) (Madaisky, Sedlak), 15:45
SPR Monardo, (1) (Sifers, Madaisky), 3:53
SYR Paquette, (3) (Marchessault, Kunyk), 18:51
SYR Drouin, (1) , 7:18
Some dude named Drouin, Jonathan Marchessault, and Cedric Paquette completed a Quebecois sweep of the three stars selections tonight.
I envy the folks who were in the arena tonight. Not only did they get to witness the first North American pro win by Vasilevskiy, but the first pro point by one of the truly great young players in the game. A future immortal. A young man who needs no introduction. 50 years ago when they recount this night to their grandchildren, and they will, they'll speak his name with the hushed reverence it deserves...
But, seriously. We love Blujus here at Bolt Prospects, and we love Vasilevskiy, but all that was overshadowed by the professional debut of Jonathan Drouin, who lived up to his billing. He was +3. He was dangerous all night in helping to tilt the ice in Syracuse's favor. And, of course, he scored the game winner on a partial break that began with a quick little defensive play in his own end and was completed with a top shelf, cookie jar breaking shot.
Syracuse gets Binghamton tomorrow night as the Jonny (Jouer au) Hockey road show continues on its short run in the AHL.
Jonathan Drouin chipped the puck past the defenseman, rushed down the ice and wristed the puck into the top right corner.
Drouin, the Tampa Bay Lightning's third overall pick in 2013, netted the game-winning goal in the third period of his professional debut to lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 3-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
"I tried some passes today and they didn't go through," Drouin said. "I decided to shoot that one, and I'm pretty happy it went in."
Drouin, on a rehab assignment after sustaining a slight fracture in his right hand during training camp, was on the ice for all three Crunch goals.
"Those guys are easy to play with," Drouin said of his linemates. "(Jonathan) Marchessault is fast and (Cedric Paquette) thinks the game well."