Joffrey Lupul scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 7:49 left in regulation to lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 3-2 win over the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs this afternoon at The Oncenter War Memorial Arena.
His game-winner helped the Crunch snap a four-game losing streak and seven-game winless streak. Click here for the game sheet.
Lupul was playing his second game with the Crunch after being sent to Syracuse on a long-term injury conditioning loan. He hasn't played in a game since last December 8, when he had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and developed an infection.
Under this scenario, Lupul can play up to three AHL games. After the three games, the Ducks can either recall Lupul to the NHL or apply for a two-game AHL extension.
"I was pretty frustrated for a while," Lupul said. "You can't help but let some negative thoughts get in your head, like what if your career is done, so just to be back here playing is pretty special, first of all. Obviously I'm working towards the goal of getting back to the NHL. It's nice being back on the ice and being back part of a team. Obviously, most of these guys I know, so it's nice to be back and be out there competing."
Lupul, who played on a line with Matt Beleskey
and Trevor Smith, said of his game-winning goal,
"It feels pretty good. It's been a year since I've scored a goal. I've never gone that long without a goal in my life for sure, and hopefully I don't have to again. The timing was nice towards the end of the third period. I know it's been a bit of a losing streak so to get us out of that feels pretty good."