Each Wednesday, TampaBayLightning.com will take a look at the Bolts' AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and how the Bolts Prospects are doing down on the farm.
Week in review
This past week, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, opened up their regular season with a pair of losses at home.
In their home opener on Saturday, October 11, the Crunch hosted the Springfield Falcons in a 3-1 loss. Scoring the lone goal for the Crunch was forward and assistant captain Mike Blunden, with Luke Witkowski and Nikita Nesterov picking up assists. Kristers Gudlevskis got the start in net, going 20/22 (one empty net goal), which was good for a .909 save percentage.
In their first back-to-back game, the Crunch hosted the Hartford Wolfpack on Sunday, October 12. Following the 3-1 loss to Springfield the night before, the Crunch were looking to get back into the win column. While they lost to the Wolfpack 4-3, they managed to pick up a single point as the game went to overtime. Scoring for the Crunch were Tanner Richard with one and Cedric Paquette with two. Jonathan Marchessault picked up two assists, with new Crunch players Jerome Samson and Slater Koekkoek collecting their first point with the team.
Keep an eye on
Following the opening games of the season, there are a few Crunch players to keep an eye on as the season progresses. The first is center Cedric Paquette. Paquette netted two goals in the Crunch’s 4-3 loss to Hartford and was one of the final players cut from the Lightning during training camp. He finished preseason with Tampa Bay having played in four of the six games, scoring one goal and two points. After posting a 20-goal season last year with the Crunch, expect another good year from Paquette.
Jonathan Marchessault has had a strong showing since coming to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in the middle of last season. In 21 games with the Crunch last year, he posted nine goals and 15 points. Marchessault also played well in this year’s preseason with the Lightning as he registered two goals and four points in only three games. After starting this season with two points in two games, Marchessault appears primed for another strong offensive campaign with the Crunch.
Syracuse returns to the ice for a rematch against the Springfield Falcons on Friday, October 17. The Binghamton Senators roll into town on Saturday, October 18, for what should be another strong match up as the Crunch close out their opening four-game home stand.