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Crunch Lose, But Clinch Playoff Berth


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Rob Zettler kept his attention on the task at hand.

The Syracuse Crunch coach, despite hearing his team had clinched a playoff spot with a pair of Eastern Conference teams losing, focused on his team's comeback attempt late in the third period. But the 3-1 deficit turned to 4-1 with an empty-netter, and the Hershey Bears provided the rain for the Crunch clinching party at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday night.

"We're in, but it didn't feel very good," Zettler said.

NA Juniors Playoff Game Night: 4-5-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

(8)Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 6 @ (5)Quebec Remparts 1
Rouyn-Noranda leads best-of-7 second round series, 1-0

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits, *Second Star*
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 4-7-11, +7, 4 PIM
Season totals: 33 GP, 29-34-63, +17, 14 PIM
With R-N: 27 GP, 26-27-53, +18, 12 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

Rouyn-Noranda was the only road team to win Game 1 in Round 2, defeating the Remparts in Quebec City, 6-1. The Huskies scored twice in each period. Kucherov was second star for the second game in a row. He had two goals and an assist in the Huskies’ clinching win in Round 1. Game 2 against Quebec is Saturday.

First round totals: 5 GP, 3-6-9, +7, 4 PIM

(10)Val-d’Or Foreurs 1 @ (3)Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 10
Blainville-Boisbriand leads best-of-7 second round series, 1-0

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 0-0-0, -2, 6 PIM, 0 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 2-2-4, +3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 6-33-39, +20, 65 PIM

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 2-2-4, +2, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 0 Hit
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 4-5-9, +3, 4 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 27-56-83, +29, 103 PIM

Host Armada outshot the Foreurs, 42-17, en route to a 10-1 shellacking of the league’s 10-seed. Cedric Paquette (pictured) had two goals and four points for the Armada, who look to go up 2-0 in the series at home on Saturday.

Ontario Hockey League

(E3)Oshawa Generals 1 @ (E2)Barrie Colts 4
Barrie leads best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals, 2-0

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 0-2-2, +3, 10 PIM
Season totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
With Barrie: 28 GP, 2-6-8, -1, 42 PIM
With Owen Sound: 38 GP, 2-12-14, +1, 39 PIM

Barrie had 22 shots in a second period as they outscored Oshawa, 3-1, in the middle frame and ended up beating the Gens, 4-1, in Game 2 of their second round series. Game 3 is Sunday in Oshawa. Mitchell Theriot (Islanders) had a hat trick for the Colts.

AHL Game Night: 4-5-13 Bears at Crunch

Still seeking win one under Zettler.

HER-4
SYR-1

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
HER Kane, (14) (Orlov, Wellman), 9:18
SYR Jacques, (6) (Angelidis), 17:08

Second Period
HER Kundratek, (14) (Potulny, Kane), 19:21

Third Period
HER LeBlanc, (10) , 10:06
HER Kundratek, (15) , 19:51 (EN)

Time is slipping away for the Crunch to regain their footing. They will end the night 2 points out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference and tied inside their division. They have a rematch with Hershey in Hershey tomorrow night, which starts a 2 game road trip that will be the final roadie of the regular season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Zettler Anxious for First Win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

As he waits for his first win behind the Syracuse Crunch bench, Rob Zettler has gone through a range of emotions.

He’s excited and energetic, and comfortable yet anxious. Although his tenure has started with three straight losses, he knows it hasn’t stemmed from a lack of trying.

“These guys all want to win as much as I do,” Zettler said of his team. “I'm not worried about their effort. I'm not worried about how they played. We just have to find a way to get the W."

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